The Coast Guard’s command, control, communications, computers, cyber, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C5ISR) activities include the acquisition and integration of capabilities and equipment for use on the full spectrum of Coast Guard assets. Current C5ISR efforts build on prior accomplishments such as the now completed legacy C4ISR acquisition program; efforts are designed to optimize life cycle cost and enhance operational effectiveness of the Coast Guard fleet.
C5ISR equipment strengthens the Coast Guard’s ability to ensure the nation’s maritime safety, security, and stewardship through cyber secure networking, data processing and information-sharing equipment across partner agencies.
Through collaboration with the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense (DOD), the intelligence community and state and local coalition partners, the Coast Guard is providing standardized and interoperable C5ISR baselines across existing and future assets.
Why these activities?
The increased demand for Coast Guard mission capabilities – from increased mission demand in the Arctic to growing counterterrorism and homeland defense responsibilities – requires a transition from aging command and control networks. The Coast Guard is establishing a new standard of C5ISR capabilities for new and legacy cutters through the Sea Commander and SeaWatch acquisition programs as well as related improvements for the aviation and boat fleet.
Sea Commander fuses data from weapons systems, organic sensors, intelligence systems, common operating pictures, and common data links from partner agencies into a single, real-time operational picture. It is the primary command and control system for NSCs.
SeaWatch is an enterprise command and control and paperless navigation system used across multiple new and legacy surface platforms. SeaWatch was delivered to the Fast Response Cutter Program, Offshore Patrol Cutter Program and has been designated for the polar security cutters (PSC). In December 2022 the SeaWatch program received a three-year authority to operate, signifying it met DOD activation standards, with limits to ensure continuing compatibility and security requirement certification.
The Coast Guard will integrate SeaWatch capabilities with other PSC operational requirements, such as new surface search radars and an ice radar processor.
The Coast Guard’s newest C5ISR solutions provide significant performance improvements through enhanced electronic sensors, computer networks and data processing capabilities. New command and control equipment allows cutter crews to navigate, maneuver, target and fire weapons, collect and analyze sensor and intelligence data, and support ship operations while underway.
How are these activities implemented?
Through collaboration with other acquisition programs and the sustainment community, the Coast Guard is providing standardized and interoperable C5ISR baselines across existing and future assets. This enables Coast Guard operators to perform mission tasks with enhanced situational awareness and improve coordination with U.S. agencies and allied nations.
Additionally, the Coast Guard is acquiring advanced communication, intelligence and information sharing capabilities for the service’s cutters, enabling the seamless transmission of voice and data communications via radio and satellite. These updates give crews the ability to pass data on secure networks as it is acquired, facilitating faster response times between federal and state agencies during law enforcement and search and rescue missions.
C5ISR improvements remain a focus for the Acquisition Directorate. Specialized teams now manage a broadly matrixed portfolio of discrete projects that directly support other Coast Guard acquisition programs.