The reprioritized roles and missions to be performed by the Navy and by the Submarine Force, as outlined in the Secretary of the Navy’s white papers “From the Sea” and “Forward From The Sea,” require greater information throughput than is presently available within existing submarine communication shore and shipboard systems. The new communication suites must support strategic communications including multiple pathways capable of performing command and control (C 2 ) functional requirements throughout a nuclear conflict. They must also permit seamless interoperability and access to the common tactical picture found within the Battle Group Joint Maritime Command Information System (JMCIS), reception of large data file transfers for Tomahawk strike planning, and reception and transmission of video, voice, facsimile, and imagery while operating with combined and joint forces in the littoral regions. Submarine and Navy Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (C 4 I) must be interoperable with the Global Command and Control System (GCCS) being deployed by the Department of Defense (DOD) and the DISA. JMCIS will be the Navy’s implementation of GCCS and is required on-board all submarines.


The SCMP provides a coordinated basis for planning, programming, and budgeting. The SCMP is the primary and authoritative document for planning, organizing and controlling the end products of the Navy’s submarine-related communication programs. This summary is intended to consolidate planning and improve total communications performance for all classes of attack (SSN) and ballistic missile (SSBN) submarines by organizing and controlling program objectives across the various lines of authority and responsibility. The SCMP is also intended to act as the focal point through which advances in communication systems and combat control systems are coordinated. This SCMP is an update of the plan approved in May 1994 to reflect programmatic changes and to coordinate improvements in the submarine communications suite with ongoing improvements in the submarine combat control systems (CCS).


To achieve the objective of affordable interoperability, sound acquisition strategies and a common radio room plan must be used. The overall strategy for installing a common radio room throughout the submarine fleet will be accomplished by soliciting early participation from industry and by performing class–specific installations. Technical concepts will be demonstrated and evaluated through a series of prototype SCSS installations prior to selection of a specific implementation for full production and introduction into the fleet. Installations supporting these evaluations will be coordinated with the Type Commanders (TYCOMs) such that the submarine evaluating prototype equipment will receive a comprehensive package of all upgrades. This coordination of prototype installations will allow a synergistic evaluation of the prototype systems operating together on a dedicated submarine, and will also reduce test and evaluation costs.

Starting with LOS ANGELES class submarines, a hybrid-design SCSS will be provided in which new communication systems such as Extremely High Frequency (EHF), Miniaturized Demand Assigned Multiple Access (Mini-DAMA), and a Baseband System (BBS) will be installed to complement existing communication systems. This hybrid SCSS will be developed in phases: (1) Submarine Message Buffer (SMB) Phase (FY94 – FY96); (2) BBS Phase (FY97 – FY98); and (3) Submarine Automated Radio Room (SARR) Phase (FY99+). These phases are described in greater detail in Section 3. Installations will be coordinated through the TYCOMs, scheduling major ship and operational alterations (SHIPALTs and OPALTs) (e.g., EHF, BBS or Mini-DAMA) concurrently to minimize cost and the need to repeatedly disrupt the radio room and operating schedule of the submarine.

Due to the high cost of integrating new systems into the existing TRIDENT radio room, the plan will “freeze” the radio room at revision 5.3.1 until FY01, with the exception of EHF installations and the requirement for multiple high data rate (HIDAR) receivers to be installed prior to January 2000. The potential for installation of DAMA capability prior to the planned FY01 SCSS block upgrade for TRIDENT is being assessed. After FY01, newer communication systems will be “packaged” so that a group of communication equipment such as EHF, Mini-DAMA, Submarine Low Frequency/Very Low Frequency (LF/VLF) VMEbus Receiver (SLVR), Antenna Distribution System (ADS), and BBS can be installed during one installation period. For the SEAWOLF class, modernized communication equipment and capabilities will be installed following Post-Shakedown Availability (PSA) periods. Finally, the New Attack Submarine (NSSN) class will receive its variant of the SCSS/Exterior Communications System (ECS) during the new construction period via a “turn-key” installation strategy. The SCSS ECS implementation strategy for each submarine class is described in Section 5 (Sections 5.2 - 5.4).


The overall integrated plan for the acquisition, installation, and maintenance of a common radio room on-board all classes of submarines requires a cooperative, coordinated effort among many organizations. Specifically, United States Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM), Commander-in-Chief Special Operations Command (CINCSOC), the Submarine TYCOMs, the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Staff (N6, N8), the Naval Systems Commands (SPAWAR, NAVSEA), and Naval Laboratories (NCCOSC, NUWC) must work closely together to clearly articulate the requirements, solutions, and implementation of the plan. The Submarine Communications Systems Program Manager, SPAWAR PMW 173, is designated as the overall coordinator of all aspects of submarine communications.

PMW 173 has designated the Navy Command, Control, and Ocean Surveillance Center (NCCOSC), Research, Development, Test and Evaluation Division (NRaD) as lead laboratory for submarine communication design architecture since they are the lead activity for all Navy communication architectural and system engineering designs. The Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC), Newport Division has been designated lead laboratory for submarine platform integration. NCCOSC In-Service Engineering Division, East (NISE East) has been designated the lead organization for coordinating submarine communications system in-service engineering management, including installations and life cycle support. Submarine communications installations, currently managed by multiple organizations, will transition to a single, integrated management in 1996. Submarine Development Squadron Twelve will continue to develop communication operational concepts and submarine communication procedures. As submarine missions evolve, the SCSS and supporting communications concepts must also evolve. The mix of missions carried out by both attack and ballistic missile submarines (and potentially Guided Missile Submarines (SSGNs)) has changed significantly since the end of the cold war. This change in mission emphasis is driving the revolution in submarine communications.


The demise of the Soviet Union has altered the roles and missions of both the U.S. Navy and its Submarine Force. The submarine communications system (ashore and afloat) must support mission requirements for both SSNs and SSBNs. The finite assets and capabilities of the submarine communications system had previously been optimized to support cold war missions. These tradeoffs must now be reviewed as the submarine communication systems and its supporting acquisition programs are “re-optimized” to reflect the Navy’s and submarine force’s reprioritized mission emphasis.

1.5.1 Joint Services and Navy-wide

The Naval services are in an unprecedented period of change. This change provides a unique opportunity to redirect the Naval forces to best support their future employment. The Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) White Papers, “...From The Sea,” and “Forward From the Sea”, define this new direction as “...to provide the Nation with Naval Expeditionary Forces which are: The new direction set forth by these white papers shifts the emphasis of naval operations from preparing for and executing open-ocean warfare against the Soviet Union to preparing for and executing Joint operations, conducted from the sea, in littoral regions. The four key operational capabilities required to execute this new direction as stated in “...From the Sea” are: To ensure that Navy acquisition programs support this new direction, the CNO initiated an assessment process based on seven Joint Mission Areas (JMAs) and two Support Areas. These JMAs (Joint Strike; Joint Littoral Warfare; Joint Surveillance; Joint Space and Electronic Warfare/Intelligence; Strategic Deterrence; Strategic Sealift/Protection; Forward Presence) and Support Areas (Readiness Support and Infrastructure; Manpower, Personnel, and Shore Training) are employed to assess an acquisition program’s contributions to the key capabilities. In addition to their traditional roles, such as Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), submarines can and will conduct warfare tasks in support of all seven JMAs. The SCSS and its associated acquisition programs must be able to support these JMAs with interoperable communications that provide effective C 2 links, as well as support C 4 I requirements.

The submarine communication systems must also provide the communication support necessary for the SSBN force to ensure continued deterrence of nuclear aggression. “From the Sea” states “As long as the United States maintains a policy of nuclear deterrence, our highly survivable nuclear powered ballistic missile submarines will remain critical to national security”. Although the current radio room adequately supports the strategic communications requirements, these vital links must not be degraded as tactical connectivity is improved by reprioritizing assets or communications-related acquisition programs.

1.5.2 Tailored Expeditionary Forces

“...From The Sea” also presented the concept of tailorable expeditionary forces. To support this concept, the Navy and Marine Corps must be restructured around flexible, forward-deployed Naval Expeditionary Forces which expand on and capitalize upon the Naval Services’ traditional expeditionary roles. “From the Sea” states “Naval Expeditionary Forces provide unobtrusive forward presence which may be intensified or withdrawn as required on short notice”. The Naval Service will provide the Unified Commanders in Chief (CINCs) an Expeditionary Force Package, flexibly and dynamically configured from the available Naval Forces, which ranges from an Aircraft Carrier Battle Group (CVBG) and its assigned aircraft, submarines, and surface ships, to Special Operations Forces (SOF) teams. The Submarine Force and its communications systems must be capable of supporting this flexible Expeditionary Force during operations with joint and combined task forces.

1.5.3 Submarine Force

Mirroring the changes in Navy-wide mission priorities, the Submarine Force has shifted its mission emphasis from global sea control to the support of regional conflict ashore [2]. The Submarine Force Strategic Plan provides a Submarine Force Vision and Mission Statement. The Vision statement states:

“The U.S. Submarine Force will remain the world’s preeminent submarine force. We will aggressively incorporate new and innovative technologies to maintain dominance throughout the maritime battlespace. We will promote the multiple capabilities of the submarines and develop tactics to support national objectives through battlespace preparation, sea control, supporting the land battle and strategic deterrence. We will fill the role as the Navy’s stealthy, general purpose warship”.

The Submarine Force Mission statement states:
“The Submarine Force will provide the National Command Authority, Theater Commanders and Joint Task Force Commanders with:

1.6 Copernicus Concept

The original Copernicus pillars have evolved to support the shift to “Forward...From the Sea” and “Operational Maneuver From The Sea.” In “Forward...From the Sea,” it was recognized that the most important role for Naval forces, short of war, is to be engaged in forward areas, preventing conflicts and controlling crisis. The Copernicus evolution reflects the need for the C 4 I infrastructure to support the architecture, down to the shooter and the weapon. Deployed forward, Naval C 4 I gives the joint commander C 2 on arrival.

Copernicus supports worldwide C 4 I coverage to the shooter. Fixed and mobile elements now provide the shooter the same information previously available only to decision makers in command centers. Conceptually, platforms are linked by moving information around the information spectrum. The information spectrum consists of three integrated grids (Figure 1-1).

Surveillance Grid: A capabilities grid blanketing the battle space instead of a series of single sensors. This grid consists of national, theater, and platform sensors that the warfighter can access directly through Global Information Exchange System (GLOBIXS) and Tactical Data Information Exchange Subsystem (TADIXS).

Communications Grid: An overlaying wide area network (WAN) of pathways that uses multiplexing and digital technology to move data and information into and around the battlespace. Copernican connectivity facilitates the movement of information among operators and analysts.

Tactical Grid: A tactical network of communications links that ties together all units of a force regardless of the platform or component. This grid connects the units Combat Control Systems (CCSs) to provide fire-control grade information across the battle cube to the shooters. The Battle Cube Information Exchange System (BCIXS) can “plug” and “play” to access C 4 I information directly by using Tactical Digital Information Links (TADILs) tied to higher echelon Tactical Command Centers (TCCs) and the tactical grid itself.

1.6.1 Information Warfare

Information Warfare (IW)/Command and Control Warfare (C 2 W) is any action to exploit, manipulate or destroy an adversary’s information and/or information systems while leveraging and defending friendly information and information systems to achieve information dominance. IW can be employed before and during hostilities and is fought in the information battle space. IW permeates strategic, operational and tactical levels; encompasses political, economic, physical and military infrastructures; expands the spectrum of warfare from competition to conflict; redefines traditional military and national security concepts; and spans the spectrum from peace through warfighting. C 2 W, the military and submarine force implementation of IW, is the integrated use of operations security, military deception, psychological operations, electronic warfare and physical destruction to deny information to, influence, degrade or destroy an adversary’s C 2 capabilities, while protecting friendly C 2 capabilities against such actions.

1.6.2 Connectivity and Battle Cube Information Exchange System

Connectivity links nodes throughout Copernicus to implement the sensor-to-shooter construct. Rapid and reliable connectivity is the cornerstone of all C 4 I provided by GLOBIXS, TADIXS and BCIXS. Connectivity is critical to the Common Tactical Picture (CTP) because it provides the managed bandwidth for timely transmission of imagery, video, voice, and data. Connectivity is critical to the Defense Information Infrastructure (DII) users in peace, crisis, conflict, humanitarian support, and war. It is the widely-distributed, user-driven infrastructure composed of the information assets owned by all the military Services into which the warfighter can gain access from any location, for all required information.

Initially, there were four pillars of the Copernicus architecture: the GLOBIXS, the CINC Command Complex (CCC), the TADIXS, and the TCCs. As the Copernicus architecture evolved, a new pillar emerged — BCIXS (Figure 1-2). The initial pillars flowed and filtered information to and from the TCC for use in the battle space. The Copernicus battle space is defined as the entire military and political infrastructure that spans the range of the pillars to the TCC. The BCIXS extends the architecture to include the battle cube — the area in which shooters and weapons reside. The battle cube is a conceptual, multi-dimensional area that includes subsurface, surface, air and space as the environment for conducting warfare. BCIXS represents the battle cube in which tactical forces operate. The boundaries of the BCIXS are fluid and defined by the dynamics of the battle. Shooters operating in the battle cube form the operational nodes in the BCIXS. Shooters are equipped with C 4 I tools that allow them to receive and process information from the Copernicus architecture.

1.6.3 Copernicus Sensor-to-Shooter Concept

The Sensor-to-Shooter Concept within the Copernicus architecture focuses on the process of putting a weapon on target. This includes surveillance and reconnaissance, acquisition and localization, combat identification, targeting, engagement and guidance, and battle damage assessment. Historically, systems were developed to engage a specific threat with little regard for the interrelationship with other systems or supporting infrastructure. Stovepipe systems made it difficult for platforms to share information in a timely manner causing inefficiencies, especially in joint and allied operations. The sensor-to-shooter construct integrates all systems in the weapon procurement and employment process.

1.6.4 Common Tactical Picture: Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence/Communications Support System Integration

Within the Copernicus architecture, the CTP refers to all information spanning the spectrum from the sensor to the shooter that allows tactical commanders to understand the battle space. CTP consists of surveillance, intelligence, identification, environmental and positioning inputs and tactical decision aids. Key factors in the CTP include timeliness, coverage, sensor revisit rates, accuracy and completeness. All users then share the same scalable picture and can extract the pieces relevant to their specific needs and tactical situation. Reducing fratricide during hostilities is an objective of national policy. This depends on a near-perfect tactical picture with common grid (location) references on all platforms.

Reduced reaction times, combined with increasingly capable threat weapons, makes full C 4 I/CCS integration a critical objective of Copernicus. Fewer nodes and integration of C 4 I/CCS accelerates the decision making process and assists the joint warfighter in achieving information dominance over the enemy. Copernicus is accomplishing this integration by prescribing the interfaces between C 4 I systems and CCS, empowering platforms to react immediately to threats. These interfaces depend on common standards and protocols so that systems in the architecture can transfer data. The first major step in fielding Copernicus was implementing JMCIS. The JMCIS architecture links C 2 systems into functional categories and creates an environment for Services to field interoperable systems with common user interfaces. JMCIS has already migrated several stovepipe systems into one workstation to produce a CTP. More Navy and Marine Corps C 4 I systems will continue to migrate into the JMCIS architecture as Copernicus evolves. JMCIS is the maritime implementation of the GCCS. GCCS supports an open system environment for automated information processing at all warfighting levels of the DOD.