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The Navy’s current budget situation does not allow for room to grow to 355 ships, according to Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael Gilday, but the total number of ships in the fleet may be the wrong measure.

  • Gen. John Ferrari (U.S. Army, ret.), visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and former director of program analysis and evaluation for the Army, said the Navy could outfit a few ships with 5G technology, sensors and cameras within six months and field new software into the fleet within four years.
  • Technology is often obsolete by the time the military services develop and field it over a period of 10-15 years, so innovating now by replicating the playbook of the Army’s Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) would increase capability and progress towards a joint network, explained Ferrari.
  • Barriers to implementation are risk tolerance and internal bureaucracy for funding, said Ferrari.
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