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Director, Operational Test & Evaluation
FY97 Annual Report

FY97 Annual Report


4 Major Shared Resource Centers
13 Distributed Centers
Defense Research and
Engineering Network
40+ software projects
Total program cost (TY$) $1,310M
Life cycle cost estimate (TY$) $6,668M
Full-rate production (IOC) FY00

Prime Contractor
Nichols Research Corp., Huntsville, AL
Grumman Data Systems, Herndon, VA
Raytheon E-Systems, Garland, TX
AT&T, Oakton, VA


The Department of Defense (DoD) High Performance Computing (HPC) Modernization Program (HPCMP) is structured to modernize the total high performance computational capability of the DoD science and technology (S&T) and developmental test and evaluation (DT&E) programs' HPC environments and to maintain state-of-the-art capability through upgrades as technology advances.

The DoD HPCMP is a coordinated initiative to develop and sustain complete high performance computing environments. The HPCMP consists of three initiatives: HPC Centers, Defense Research and Engineering Network (DREN), and the Common HPC Software Support Initiative (CHSSI).

The HPCMP is consolidating the Department's primary HPC resources at major shared resource centers (MSRCs) and distributed centers (DCs) through the use of the DREN, a nationwide high speed network service from a major commercial telecommunications carrier. The MSRCs and DCs are equipped with state of the art HPC commercially available systems and supporting resources. The CHSSI software initiative focuses on developing programming applications for Defense-specific and dual-use applications using new scalable computer technology.

The HPCMP contributes to Joint Vision 2010 by directly supporting the research, development, test and evaluation necessary to provide superior weapons, communications, and defenses to the fighting forces. The HPCMP is the major force that improves the DoD's ability to exploit computation to sustain technological superiority.


A Mission Needs Statement (MNS) was approved in February 1994 and subsequently revalidated by DDR&E on July 28, 1995. The HPCMP was initially established to modernize the HPC capabilities of the DoD laboratories and research and development centers under the cognizance of the DDR&E. Subsequently, the National Defense Appropriations Act for FY95 expanded the scope of the program to include - "science and technology sites under the cognizance of the Director of Defense Research and Engineering and DoD test and evaluation facilities under the Director of Test and Evaluation, OUSD(A&T)."

The DoD HPC Modernization Plan, dated March 31, 1992, was developed and submitted to Congress as directed in the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal years 1992 and 1993. This five year master plan provided the rationale, process, timetable, and funding requirements for HPC modernization in the DoD S&T programs. The modernization plan was updated and resubmitted to Congress in June 1994 and again in March 1997.

HPCMP received Milestone 0 approval in April 1994, Milestone I approval in February 1995, and Milestone II approval in December 1995. After Milestone II approval, the program: 1) began funding and managing CHSSI software projects; 2) awarded a commercial services contract for the DREN on July 12, 1996; 3) completed contract awards for the centralized acquisitions of the program's 4 MSRCs by August 9, 1996; and 4) completed decentralized acquisitions for the program's FY96 DCs by September 30, 1996. The HPCMP employed a MAISRC Integrated Product Team approach in early 1996 and has since received approval to implement FY97 and FY98 plans for DCs and the CHSSI.


DOT&E approved a TEMP for MSRCs and DREN on February 13, 1996 and a Capstone TEMP for CHSSI projects on September 24, 1997. Joint Interoperability Test Command, the independent operational test agency, is currently working on a tailored testing strategy for the three HPCMP initiatives to ensure that the users are satisfied with the HPC systems and the systems are operationally effective and suitable. Formal OT&E is scheduled to begin in 1998 following DOT&E approval of the test plans.


Although no formal operational tests have occurred yet, plans are in place to evaluate the enhanced computing capabilities of the HPCMP, the additional research resources provided, and the development of computational algorithms to enable DoD's scientific and engineering community to design, evaluate, and improve the products provided to the warfighters. Major issues to be addressed during the OT&E will be system performance, interoperability, and vulnerability.

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