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Research Questions

  1. What does the U.S. Navy need to support situational awareness and command and control afloat and ashore?
  2. What are the four potential alternatives within the range of maintaining the current legacy system to new development that integrates with a Navy cloud that intends to bring big data techniques to the fleet, and how can the Navy best compare and contrast them?
  3. Of the four alternatives, which one is recommended?

This analysis of alternatives (AoA) is about a software system the U.S. Navy will need to support situational awareness and command and control (C2) afloat and ashore. Specifically, the RAND Corporation was tasked by the Chief of Navy Operations (OPNAV N2N6F4) to conduct an AoA, set forth by the director, for the follow-on to Global Command and Control System-Maritime (GCCS-M) called Maritime Tactical Command and Control (MTC2). MTC2 is a new maritime C2 program of record in Program Executive Office for Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence. The alternatives for MTC2 range from maintaining the current legacy system to new development that integrates with a Navy cloud that intends to bring big data techniques to the fleet. In this report, we analyzed four of the potential alternatives within this range. Alternative 1 would maintain the status-quo GCCS-M system that is already fielded afloat and ashore. Alternative 2 builds on the status quo by integrating and enhancing capabilities from the Command and Control Rapid Prototyping Continuum (C2RPC) applications. Alternative 3 is focused on new developments that provide the capabilities of the second alternative and also takes advantage of a shore-based cloud. Alternative 4 is also focused on new developments that take advantage of a shore-based cloud, and it also relies on an afloat cloud called the Navy Tactical Cloud. This analysis covers four distinct areas: performance modeling, cost analysis, a risk assessment, and an information assurance evaluation. Based on these efforts, Alternative 4 is recommended.

Key Findings

Of the Four Alternatives, Alternative 4 Is Preferred

  • Alternative 1 would maintain the already-fielded GCCS-M system. This system has been found to be deficient in performance and has a high life-cycle cost compared with Alternatives 3 and 4.
  • Alternative 2 builds on the status quo but does not eliminate it, thus adding capability but not rectifying other performance and cost concerns.
  • Alternative 3 is focused on new developments that provide a lightweight afloat capability and a shore-based cloud. This reduces life-cycle cost but is riskier programmatically because of dependencies on other programs.
  • Alternative 4 is also focused on new developments that take advantage of a shore-based cloud and an afloat cloud called the Navy Tactical Cloud. This system may be the most robust in performance and cost, yet it is risky in terms of schedule and program. Despite the risk of this alternative, the potential to improve performance and reduce life-cycle cost is too great a benefit for the Navy to ignore.

Recommendations

  • The results from the performance, cost, and risk analysis are a preference for Alternative 4.
  • Alternatives 3 and 4, as new systems for replacing GCCS-M, result in potential annual sustainment cost savings through fiscal year 2030.
  • Information-assurance assessments acquired through in-person interviews suggest that Alternatives 3 and 4 will be relatively easier to achieve and maintain information assurance (IA) compliance than Alternatives 1 and 2, but a more-thorough IA analysis is needed.
  • Maintaining the status quo supposes the least amount of risk in cost and schedule but at a monetary cost that is higher than it needs to be, given the Navy's migration to Consolidated Afloat Networks and Enterprise Services (CANES) and a performance cost whereby GCCS-M cannot meet a number of the critical performance measures identified by the Navy.
  • Given this analysis, and given that the Navy is already embarking on providing shared infrastructure to support other programs that MTC2 can leverage, we recommend Alternative 4.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Introduction

  • Chapter Two

    Alternatives

  • Chapter Three

    Determination of Effectiveness Measures

  • Chapter Four

    Methodology

  • Chapter Five

    Analysis Results

  • Chapter Six

    Recommended Alternative and Rationale

  • Appendix

    Tabletop Exercise Overview

This research was sponsored by the Department of the Navy, and conducted within the Acquisition and Technology Policy Center of the RAND National Defense Research Institute, a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, the Unified Combatant Commands, the Navy, the Marine Corps, the defense agencies, and the defense Intelligence Community.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation research report series. RAND reports present research findings and objective analysis that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors. All RAND reports undergo rigorous peer review to ensure high standards for research quality and objectivity.

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