The United States Navy is getting ready to double down on its investment in technology capabilities that will drive cooperation and collaboration not just within the Department of Defense but with strategic alliance partners as well. This was the big news out of this year’s West 2023 conference held recently in San Diego, California. The details that Rear Admiral Adam Small was able to share about Project Overmatch, the Navy’s contribution to Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2), focus on the drive to interoperability to ensure seamless linkages between all parts of the battlefield of tomorrow – air, sea, land, space, and cyber.
As well as supporting the overall goal of interoperability between domains and between strategic allies, the Navy, however, is also focused on ensuring American supremacy in the Indo-Pacific region to combat China’s great power ambitions. Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Michael Gilday noted that Project Overmatch is second only in importance to the delivery of the Columbia-class ballistic missile submarine and that funding for Project Overmatch is increasing by 167 percent to $195 million in FY23.
Beyond the financial investment, what exactly will the Navy’s investment in Project Overmatch require to be successful?
“Looking at the things that have traditionally caused delays for large-scale, complex projects, like Project Overmatch, procurement has obviously been an issue,” explained John (JD) Soper, President of Chenega Defense and Aerospace Solutions (CDAS). “A typical procurement cycle that takes 12 to 18 months can’t support today’s Navy. The Navy needs to be agile and needs to be able to tap into options like sole sourcing where you can move from development of a statement of work to starting work in 4 weeks.”
This prioritization on agility also applies beyond contracting to being able to find the right talent, develop software to solve mission-critical problems, and derive insights from the vast amounts of data that will be collected arising out of Project Overmatch. At West 2023 Vice Admiral Kelly Aeschbach discussed how the Navy’s needs are changing more rapidly than ever, particularly in the areas of information and electronic warfare. For example, of the MQ-Triton 4 project, Aeschbach noted that “we’re examining … whether our initial concept for [Triton] is sufficient … with the amount of data we may collect, and how we might want to use it,” our staffing needs will likely change.
“Watching the Navy evolve into a data-centric organization and understanding the opportunities and challenges that come with this next-generation of capabilities is tremendously exciting,” shared Soper. “We’re proud to be able to support the drive for innovation and agility not only with cutting-edge solutions, but also with the procurement processes to get the Navy what they need now.”
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