Navies Showcase Smart-Ship Technology

WASHINGTON (07/05/2000) - More than two dozen warships and 120 sailing tall ships from 17 nations began to converge on New York Harbor Friday to help celebrate the Independence Day holiday and to showcase how cutting-edge technologies have revolutionized naval warfare.

The sixth International Naval Review, July 3-9, is "the largest maritime event in history [and] a celebration of sea power for the 21st century," said Navy Capt. Dan Dayton, spokesman for the event.

Navies from around the world are gathering in New York Harbor to demonstrate how information technologies, such as precision-guided munitions and command, control, communications, computers and intelligence (C4I) systems have sparked a "sea change that is more profound than the switch from [sail] to steam," Dayton said.

Network-centric warfare has the potential to "make small ships capital ships," said Cmdr. Hank Miranda of the Navy's Surface Warfare directorate.

One of the main initiatives touted by U.S. Navy officials during a briefing Friday was the service's push to build the next generation of "smart ships," including the new DD-21 destroyer and CVX1 aircraft carrier.

Both ships will rely on cutting-edge IT to significantly reduce the number of sailors required to operate and maintain the vessels, Dayton said. The future CVX1 carrier, he said, "will be a revolution" in carrier operations such as the DD-21, which will reduce the number of sailors needed to run the ship from more than 350 to 95.

The CVX1 "will use either the same [DD-21] technologies or advancements from those technologies," Dayton said. "I think we have all of the pieces [of technology] in place, we just need to tie them together."

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