Collectively known as ‘C4ISR Projects,’ the hardware and software delivered by the C4ISR Projects forms the functional backbone of an IT network architecture that improves the Coast Guard’s ability to save lives, enforce maritime laws and contribute to national security. Also, these technologies provide the foundation for interoperability with partners in the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense and with other law enforcement and emergency services agencies.
The Coast Guard is delivering advanced C4ISR capabilities with its newest surface assets, including the National Security Cutter (NSC) and the Response Boat-Medium (RB-M). Likewise, other investments have modernized the legacy cutter fleet’s C4ISR equipment, including unclassified and classified computer networking architectures, satellite and marine VHF radio communications; and the Automatic Identification System (AIS), a VHF broadcast system that automatically exchanges a vessel’s navigational position, speed, heading and identification information.
The Coast Guard has integrated improved C4ISR capabilities into the platforms of its aviation product line. For example, the Mission System Pallets aboard the HC-144A Ocean Sentry medium range surveillance aircraft include: a powerful new radar, daylight and thermal imaging cameras, a law enforcement radio communication suite, AIS equipment, a 406 MHz direction-finding set, and a mission data recorder. An effective example of life cycle cost management in logistics, the Ocean Sentry shares much of its C4ISR equipment in common with the Coast Guard’s HC-130J Hercules long range surveillance aircraft fleet. Additionally, complementary equipment upgrades are being made to the HC-130H fleet, to ensure that these older aircraft remain interoperable with the newer additions to the fleet.
Ashore, the C4ISR projects have upgraded communications and computing equipment at Coast Guard Command Centers. The projects also have added new, solid-state HF transmitters at the Communications Area Master Stations (CAMS) in Virginia and California. The new transmitters include automatic link establishment capability, reducing operator workload, and are smaller, more reliable and less costly to operate and maintain than those they replaced. At the Coast Guard’s state-of-the-art training Center Petaluma, Calif., the projects have delivered high quality C4ISR equipment to provide students with real-world systems that prepare them for service with the Coast Guard as well as in joint operations with DHS and DoD partners.