Navy using software from older ships in DD(X) program

The Navy is using software from older ships and designing platforms of 'reusable software' to run the targeting, radar and other advanced systems in its DD(X) warship modernization program.

Capt. Charles Goddard, the DD(X) program manager, described the process after a House Armed Services Subcommittee on Projection Forces hearing earlier this week on the status of the troubled program.

'We're reusing approximately 65 percent of the software for DD(X) from DDGs [guided missile destroyers] and from large-deck amphibious ships,' he said. 'That's saved us in excess of a billion dollars.'

'There are some common functions you have between ships, such as how you manage your radar, how you track an aircraft or a cruise missile'those kinds of functionalities can be put into software configuration items,' Goddard said. 'You can move them from platform to platform to the common infrastructure [each ship uses]. That's the gist of what our architecture is all about, reusable software.'

He also refuted concerns in a Government Accountability Office report that some IT work is behind schedule. Auditors in recent evaluations found four Navy systems have encountered problems and two others, including the advanced gun system and the integrated undersea warfare system, will not be completed in time for installation on the first ship.

'We have built the engineering development model of the Total Ship Computing Environment infrastructure,' Goddard said. 'We're completing a third of the software; [and] we're about 25 percent done with 6 million lines of code we're developing for those ships.'

Testimony at the hearing included urging from Adm. Vern Clark, chief of naval operations, and undersecretary of Defense Kenneth J. Krieg that lawmakers not limit the DD(X) budget to $1.7 billion per ship. The Navy believes the first DD(X) ship alone will cost $3.3 billion.

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