Navy sets timeline for $16B in IT projects

The Navy makes progress on CANES and NGEN, announcing a timeline for RFPs and awards worth $16.4 billion.

Proposal and capture managers at some of the largest prime contractors will likely have a business summer as the Navy moves ahead with two of its largest and most visible IT programs, the Consolidated Afloat Networks and Enterprise Services (CANES) and theNext Generation Enterprise Network (NGEN).

NGEN is the whopper, estimated by Deltek Input to be worth $14.5 billion to replace the Navy-Marine Corps Intranet contract, currently held by Hewlett-Packard. CANES carries an estimated price tag of $1.9 billion.

Officials are hopeful the programs will help revolutionize naval IT, and the programs also are gearing up for contract action, with the release of draft request for proposals this summer and final RFPs by the end of the year.

"This is the only way we can afford to modernize everything we need to, all the legacy networks, but we have to be careful not to break anything or let anything fall through the cracks,” said Capt. D.J. LeGoff, program manager, Tactical Networks Program Office. LeGoff discussed CANES as part of a Navy Program Executive Office panel at AFCEA Naval IT Day on June 9 in Vienna, Va.

“We cannot keep paying those kinds of dollars to support legacy systems,” LeGoff said.

CANES is designed to be interoperable with the Navy-Marine Corps Intranet (NMCI), the legacy predecessor to NGEN, ` according to Capt. Shawn Hendricks, program manager, Naval Enterprise Networks Program Office.

Brig. Gen. Kevin Nally, Marine Corps CIO and director for command, control, communications and computers, said that some NMCI accounts have already successfully begun transitioning to the NGEN test bed.

Requests for proposals for NGEN will begin release this summer, with draft components of the RFP coming on June 30, July 30 and Aug. 30. The final draft will come out Sept. 30 and final RFPs will be out by Dec. 21, Hendricks said.

All contracts will be awarded no later than December 2012, with the systems engineering technical review set for completion no later than May 2013 and transition complete no later than April 30, 2014, he said.

A just-released NGEN technical data synopsis is available on Hendricks said those interested in more information should monitor the FedBizOpps website.

Harris Corp. has announced a team to pursue NGEN that includes Computer Sciences Corp., General Dynamics and Cisco Systems. The incumbent, HP Enterprise Services also plans to bid as a prime.

The major transitions of both CANES and NGEN won’t be without challenges, Hendricks and LeGoff both said.

“The budget realities mean that we have to find efficiencies within our own infrastructure,” said LeGoff, adding that consolidation and reduction as well as configuration management and training also present challenges of their own.

Hendricks also noted that budget issues will be tough but necessary to overcome, stating that despite an expected decrease in funding, capabilities must be maintained and productivity must be increased.