The mission and roles discussed in Section 1 place certain minimum requirements on the C 4 I links to and from submarines. This section summarizes these communications requirements, as referenced in the appropriate Mission Needs Statement (MNS), Operational Requirements Document (ORD) and joint COMSUBLANT/COMSUBPAC requirements letters. Integrated submarine C 4 I includes SCSS, JMCIS, CCS, and a platform local area network (LAN).


OPNAV, USSTRATCOM, CINCSOC, COMSUBLANT and COMSUBPAC have jointly identified the following requirements for submarine communications:

Submarine requirements for HDR satellite communications (SATCOM) were defined by COMSUBLANT in a requirement’s letter of 29 November 1994. The Joint COMSUBPAC/COMSUBLANT requirements letter dated 04 November 1993 identified several specific requirements, concentrated in two areas: (1) New Antenna Design and Configuration and (2) Interoperability. Tables 2-1 through 2-5 address these requirements and summarize the capabilities being fielded by current (FY96) and planned acquisition programs. These requirement letters may be found in Appendix E.


One of the immediate tasks delineated by the Navy in “From the Sea” is to continue the full integration of SSNs into expeditionary task forces. To be effective units of a Naval Task Group within a joint, Tailored Forward Element (TFE), submarines must be fully interoperable with both Naval and Joint communication systems. Submarines must be capable of tailoring on-board capabilities to optimize their support for the Joint Task Force (JTF) and Naval Component Commanders. The SCSS strategy is to provide a radio room architecture with open system features that will provide a much improved level of communications flexibility and interoperability for submarines.

SCSS requirements are evolving and will continue to evolve over time with the Navy’s CSS requirements and as a subset of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) “C 4 I for the Warrior” and the Navy’s Copernicus communication architectures. The Submarine CSS program will implement an open system, multimedia, circuit sharing architecture which: (1) allows users to share all communication circuits available; (2) permits easy, cost effective expansion to accommodate new capabilities; (3) reduces development, production, and support costs by using common hardware and reusable software; and (4) will be fully interoperable with Navy JMCIS.


In addition to operational requirements determined by the submarine force, the SCSS must be compatible with Navy/Joint and various commercial systems and standards. The major ones are discussed in the following paragraphs.

2.3.1 Submarine Communications Support System Interface with the Joint Maritime Command Information System

The SCSS will be interoperable with the Navy JMCIS in three ways. First, for interoperability with the submarine Command and Control systems (e.g., Joint Operational Tactical System [JOTS], Navy Tactical Command System - Afloat [NTCS-A]), the SCSS will make use of the Generic Front End Control Processor (GFCP). The GFCP provides flexible input/output (I/O) processing and protocol conversion between the SCSS and the submarine CCSs enabling JMCIS data to be used and displayed. The GFCP replaces the Sensor Interface Unit (SIU) presently used on-board most submarines. Second, submarines will strive for JMCIS compliance by using JMCIS/Unified Build software and operating systems whenever feasible in the deployment of the SCSS C 4 I systems. Finally, items such as the SCSS Integrated Network Manager (INM), which is part of the Submarine BBS program, will be JMCIS-compliant. Joint Maritime Command Information System Description

JMCIS refers to two things: (1) a “Superset” collection of software modules which can be customized and configured to build a Command Information System; and (2) a Navy fielded Command Information System (e.g., a collection of software and actual fielded systems). The Navy developed JMCIS software is the “software core” around which Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) and DISA are deploying the GCCS. JMCIS will be the Navy’s implementation of GCCS Afloat.

Submarine JMCIS refers to an open architecture system and a software development environment that offers a collection of services and already built software modules for Command Information System components. Figure 2-1 shows a high level architectural view of Integrated Submarine C 4 I.

It is important to understand the following aspects of JMCIS:

JMCIS is managed Navy-wide by SPAWAR (PD 70 and PMW 171).

The submarine implementation of JMCIS will consist of loading a COMSUBLANT/ COMSUBPAC-approved selection of JMCIS software modules on JMCIS compliant computers and is the responsibility of Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA).

2.3.2 Submarine Communications Support System Interface with the Defense Messaging System

The Defense Message System (DMS) is a joint DOD program created to improve DOD’s electronic messaging and interpersonal electronic mail (e-mail) capabilities, while reducing cost.

The DMS will replace the baseline Automatic Digital Network (AUTODIN) messaging and Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) e-mail with a system based on the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) recommendations for Automatic Message handling, X.400, and Directory Services, X.500. The DISA DMS Program management has planned an evolutionary program in which the DOD DMS architecture will be implemented through a series of phases over time. Within the Navy, SPAWAR PMW 172 manages the DMS program for shore and afloat implementation. The two major infrastructure programs that will be used to incorporate automatic message handling is the Naval Modular Automated Communications System (NAVMACS) for Surface afloat units and the Naval Communications Processing and Routing System (NAVCOMPARS) for activities ashore.

The SCSS Exterior Communications System will be fully DMS compliant. In the near-term, submarine SCSS DMS implementation is planned to provide DMS services while the submarine is pierside. In this planned architecture, the UNIX-based SMB will host DMS applications supporting communications front end processing and message routing functions based on classification (SECRET and below message will be routed via a submarine LAN). Multi-Level Information System Security Initiative (MISSI) products (FORTEZZA with Assure) will be used for information security (INFOSEC), and Lotus Notes will be used for message profiling, storage, and routing to individual users. Messages from the submarine can be transferred into the Defense Information System Network (DISN) through landline connectivity or by transferring DMS messages onto a floppy disk for hand delivery to an appropriate shore activity that provides a DISN interface.

In the long term, as the DMS is incrementally implemented into the fleet for tactical DMS message delivery while underway, the submarine SCSS ECS architecture will support the receipt of tactical messages via X.400/X.500 messaging.

2.3.3 Submarine Communications Support System Interface with the Submarine Local Area Network

Automated distribution of data is required on submarines and will be implemented in accordance with the Submarine Afloat Information Systems Strategic Plan (CSLNOTE 5230 of 31 Jun 94). SPAWAR PMW 174 is working with NAVSEA and PMW 173 to field the Standard Non-Tactical Automated Data Processing Program (SNAP III) LAN on submarines. This element of the submarine integrated C 4 I is described by the SCSS Security Concept of Operations (SCONOP).

2.3.4 Submarine Communications Support System Interface with the Submarine Combat Control System

The SCSS is the ECS through which the CCS sends and receives data to and from the telesphere. This element of the submarine integrated C 4 I is the responsibility of NAVSEA.

2.4 Polar Coverage Requirements

Submarines require polar communications capability. This requirement is being addressed by Navy/Joint Systems under direction of the Joint Staff (J61).