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T-AGS(X) Multi-Mission Ship (MMS)

The next generation Naval Oceanography ship will be capable of supporting multiple missions with near real-time, tactical characterization of the battlespace environment and integration with operational C2 functions (as well as conducting traditional hydrographic surveys). T-AGS(X) ships will continue to support peacetime strategic engagement requirements delineated by theater unified commanders and naval component commanders in conjunction with traditional hydrographic surveys.

These ships must incorporate emerging technologies to characterize all aspects of the ocean and atmosphere to include manned and unmanned vehicles, and fully integrate with the ESG to populate the 4D Cube. The employment of T-AGS(X) in missions directly associated with specific military operations will be a principal operational force requirement as determined by REA and delineated in OPLAN and/or OPORD documentation.

The "4D Cube" is the central concept that describes how Network Centric Warfare and interoperability must be realized through effective information management and synchronization in time and space (the four dimensions of the 4D Cube). Naval Oceanography will be closely associated with the 4D Cube in terms of supporting a common reference frame (GI&S and Precise Time WGS-84 and UTC), and populating the cube with relevant METOC knowledge, information, and data. The 4D Cube/NCW will necessitate a seamless digital dataset of land, air, space and water products, and geo-referenced data points to support operations.

The Expeditionary Sensor Grid (ESG) concept is under review and development at the Navy Warfare Development Command (NWDC). It involves "new expeditionary sensors, processing, and supporting networks that when combined with the emerging information infrastructure (Joint, Coalition, and National) will provide the tactical and operational warfighters with the necessary situational awareness to maintain battlespace dominance while rapidly dismantling any potential adversary's anti-access capabilities." The ESG may have an important role of enabling networking of METOC data obtained from expeditionary and fixed/remote battlespace sensors to support battlespace awareness through accurate characterization of the environment. Access to remote and expeditionary sensors that characterize the environment will be crucial to realizing an accurate VNE, especially for operations in denied areas.

Rapid Environmental Assessment (REA) is defined as "a real-time assessment of the physical environment's impact on a specific military operation, to include atmospheric, oceanographic, and geophysical conditions that influence capabilities and performance of forces involved." The REA is therefore part of the overarching CONOPS for a specific military operation, and determines the steps that will be taken to populate and maintain appropriate 4D Cube GI&S features in support of that operation.

The Oceanographic Ship Common Hull Study examined the feasibility of using a common hull platform for future Auxiliary General Purpose Oceanographic Research (AGOR) and T-Auxiliary General Purpose Survey (T-AGS) ships. The Navy's report to Congress on Fleet Renewal was signed by Acting Secretary of the Navy, Hansford T. Johnson and submitted to the House Armed Services Committee on 25 February 2003. The report was based on the Federal Oceanographic Facilities Committee (FOFC) Report and the JJMA Common Hull Study. The purpose of the Common Hull Study was to determine if there would be cost savings by developing a common hull for the Navy's T-AGS vessel and the Academic AGORS. Six different hull forms were developed and sized to meet T-AGS and AGOR mission requirements. The Common Hull Study revealed that there is minor commonality between T-AGS and AGORS primarily in mission handling systems and hull mounted sensors. The major differences are in the timing of construction and cost of construction. The JJMA Common Hull Study provided cost estimates for both SWATH and Monohull implementations. The estimated cost of construction for the Ocean Class is $63 M - $80 M and the cost for the Regional Class is $28M - $37M. The low end of the range represents the cost for a monohull and the high end of the cost range represents cost for the SWATH. The POM-04 budget included $80M for Ocean Class vessels. This budget was not included in the Navy's budget request due to competing internal Navy priorities. It is possible that the Ocean Class request will be resubmitted for the FY06 budget.

N096 (among others: LCS, HSV, JCC-X) is moving toward more multi-mission ships to augment the classical "survey" missions. By designating this ship a prototype the Navy would like to take advantage of spiral development to field state of the art mission capabilities at sea. The prototyping is focused on the mission equipment which will take advantage of state-of-the-art technology that is mature enough for transition to the optimum hull form for this complex mission capabilities.

"Agile Adaptability" can best describe the Multi-mission ship. While it's primary role while be battlespace characterization, the ship will be able to directly support the Expeditionary Warfare, Mine Warfare, ASW, and ISR. The ship will be able to support submarine operations and will be a fusion node within the FORCEnet The ship will be able to receive high resolution satellite imagery directly from national sensors, process the data onboard, fuse the data with the tactical plot, and deliver the information to the warfighter. UAVs, USVs, and UUVs launched, operated, recovered, and maintained on the MMS provide a unique capability to characterize the battlespace. The MMS would have the ability to operate and recover, remote vehicles launched from other platforms. Data collected from the remote vehicles will be processed onboard, fused and disseminated to the warfighter. A MMS operating in the vicinity of independently operating surface ships and submarines would complement the ability of the warfighter to conduct land attack and time critical strike.

The hydrographic survey conducted by a "conventional" military survey ship is very complementary with the mission conducted by mine warfare ships. A highly detailed baseline survey is the first data needed to effectively conduct iochange detectionly for mine warfare operations. Currently baseline surveys are collected years ahead and stored iton the shelflt until needed. The robust data processing capability and the use of remote vehicles will allow the MMS to conduct baseline surveys, change detection, and underwater search and reconnaissance in-stride.

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Page last modified: 07-07-2011 12:58:13 ZULU