Def Pro reports that after operating the world’s largest intranet with a single contractor in charge for over a decade, the US Navy plans to unbundle the functions required to sustain the network. In order to replace it, the Navy will hold a series of competitions each year to see who can offer the best deal. The future system the Navy is pursuing is called the Next Generation Enterprise Network, or NGEN and it would replace the existing Navy-Marine Corps Intranet that provides an array of information resources to uniform and civilian personnel in the sea services, including command links to warfighters.
“But wasting money isn’t the worst thing about the NGEN concept. What’s really worrisome is that the Navy is likely to impair its entire warfighting system by trying to command a globally deployed fleet through a weak and vulnerable network. After spending decades developing a force posture in which each system is the best of its kind ever built, the service now proposes to implement an information backbone that enemies will find much easier to compromise — a balkanized network that may break down or be disrupted at moments when many lives are on the line. If the Navy can’t point to a single instance where the business model it is pursuing for managing the future flow of sensitive information has worked, what does that tell us about the likely outcome of the NGEN experiment?”