Navy on track to deploy Project Overmatch capabilities with carrier strike group in early 2023

A Carrier Strike Group transits the Pacific Ocean Jan. 25, 2020. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jason Isaacs)

After about 18 months of work on Project Overmatch, the Navy is on track to deploy a more advanced networking capability with a carrier strike group early next year, the service’s top officer said Thursday.

The highly classified Project Overmatch is the Navy’s contribution to the Pentagon’s vision for Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2).

“We are swimming in data. How do you get the right information to the right decision maker at the right time to put yourself in a position of advantage against your opponent?” Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael Gilday said during remarks at the Heritage Foundation think tank.

“What we’re aiming for and we’ve actually had a lot of success with is developing a network of networks that allows us to transfer any data over any network. So it’s a software-defined communication, communication-as-a-service framework, where software actually decides what that prioritized information is and what’s the best path it should take to get to a decision maker,” he said.

Soon, part of the fleet will get to put the technology through its paces during a deployment. If all goes according to plan, it will then be expanded to other parts of the force.

“We’re at the point early next year where we will deploy a carrier strike group with this capability. We’ll see how it goes and then look to scale it after that,” Gilday said.

“We believe that the Navy is on a path to deliver the Navy tactical grid, which we think could easily become the joint tactical grid as part of … JADC2 for the Department of Defense. We feel we’re in a very good path right now in terms of our experimentation,” he added.

The Navy is using a DevOps environment to further the initiative.

“We’re actually leveraging the best technology that we can, but also the best processes that we’ve been able to obtain from industry,” Gilday said. “We’re trying to benchmark against world-class networks and world-class software systems.”

Project Overmatch has been the CNO’s No. 2 priority behind only the Columbia-class ballistic missile submarine program. However, Navy officials have been relatively tight-lipped about their contributions to JADC2 compared to the Army and Air Force, who have been more open about discussing their Project Convergence and Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS) efforts, respectively.