Navy magazine is distributed on Capitol Hill,the Pentagon and naval bases around the world. It provides information that impacts Sailors, their families and the Navy. Navy is published quarterly by the Association of the United States Navy (AUSN).

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 14 of 43

13 Association of the United States Navy RADM David J. Hahn, chief of Naval Research and director of Innovation, Technology Requirements and Test & Evaluation, in July 2017 unveiled "Naval Research and Development: A Framework for Accelerating to the Navy and Marine Corps After Next," a guiding docu- ment the Office of Naval Research calls a "bold call to action: to be first to field decisive capabilities." The document notes that the framework has three compo- nents: align, allocate and accelerate. The Navy "must align early research, development and demonstration to priority technology requirements; allocate invest- ments for higher payoff in lethality, integration and interoperability; and accelerate capability adoption to match the pace of technology innovation." In many ways, the framework serves as a guide to a new way of doing business for the naval research enterprise and its stakeholders across the spectrum, from identifying a need or capability gap to accelerated delivery of that capability to the fleet. During a recent interview at the Pentagon, Hahn, who became the 26th chief of Naval Research in November 2016, discussed the creation of the framework, the goals of the effort and how it's changing the way the Navy thinks about the movement of technology, from discovery to deploy- ment. Excerpts follow. What was the impetus for the creation of the Naval Research and Development Framework? Our Research and Development Framework — and the reason I use that term is because a framework by itself doesn't scratch the itch — if we're aer acceler- ating capability to the fleet and force, to the Sailors and Marines out there who are really doing the work, then we have to look at the whole continuum of activity that's required to get capability at scale. As we're thinking about that as the goal — capability at scale — we recognize that there's lots of necessary elements along that chain of events. Sometimes they move sequentially, sometimes they skip steps and bounce along. At the end of the day, we believe that capability that we're providing to our Sailors and Marines ought to be able to move at the speed that the underlying technology can move. We see it oen in our day-to-day life. You see what's happened in the movement of cell phone technologies. at's not limited to just the protocols necessary for cell phones to operate. It's the underlying operating soware. It's the ability to consume applications. It's the way that the apps interact with each other. It's the way that the data that's available to that whole system works with everything the user wants to do with their cell phone. It's not really a phone, it's just a supercomputer in your hand. at's moved at an incredible pace in the course of 10 years. OK, now, lay that on top of how we do business inside of the DoD frankly, and I don't see the same absorption of technology that I see in my day-to-day logistics that I execute with my logistics group — Amazon, right? I don't see that same movement on the comms end, with the networks that I operate, or my live-feed communications that I'm working through the deliverer of the content that's coming to me from lots of different sources. I think we've got an issue there. So, why an R&D framework? If we think about all of the events, the elements that must take place to get capability at scale, we recognize that it's going to start with an inherent understanding of the tech- nologies and it ends with the understanding of how those technologies get absorbed in a safe and effective and mission-focused way into our capital assets, the platforms. e platforms that we work with inside the Navy and Marine Corps are capital investments that last for a long time. We do not have the opportunity just to take our cell phone — the platform — and trade it in for a new one. We have to upgrade our platform, our aircra carrier, our DDG, our submarine, our F/A-18. at capital investment has got to last for decades, and each of those upgrades must be done in an efficient way with operational units. I'm going to lose mission days every time I make the choice to do that upgrade. We're not geared for that, exactly, and I can't just trade the whole thing in and get a new one. When you recognize that series of challenges and you recognize that it starts with an understanding of technology and ends with absorption into that plat- form in a way that Sailors and Marines can use it, and we want to do that at speed, with agility, we recognize that the research and development piece of that is huge and we must think about it holistically. "We believe we're in partnership with the acquisition community because, at the end of the day, that's how we get capability to scale."

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of AUSN - SPRING 2018