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Threat Prioritization Decision Aid for Theater Anti-Submarine Warfare (TASW)



OBJECTIVE: Develop a threat-prioritizing decision aid for Theater Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) watch standers that automates recommended threat priority in a multi-threat environment according to the watch stander’s roles and responsibilities. 

DESCRIPTION: Improvements in Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) sensors and processing along with improved Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities have provided a significant increase in detection opportunities against submarine threats. Properly assigning assets with these system improvements becomes overwhelming when facing a high volume of potential threats. The decision maker requires a tactical decision aid on how to assess the priorities of potential threats displayed on the ASW tactical picture in a multi-threat environment based on the Theater ASW Watch Officer’s role and responsibility. On a Commander, Task Force (CTF) Command Center, the multiple decision makers have specific roles and responsibilities during ASW operations. The basis for making these decisions is derived from the ASW common tactical picture, which is maintained at the Command Center using the Undersea Warfare Decision Support System (USW-DSS), a Command and Control system at CTF Command Centers. Tools to enhance the tactical picture in USW-DSS continue to evolve, but USW-DSS does not have a Tactical Decision Aid (TDA) to facilitate adaptation of the tactical picture to the needs of the disparate users of the display. With expanding adversary threats and areas of operations, there is a need to be able to prioritize specific areas (such as proximity to a given asset or geographic point) or threats of interest (such as ship classes or capabilities) to each individual Watch Officer on the tactical picture display in an easily manipulated, user-friendly format. To address these challenges, the Navy seeks a capability that automates the evaluation of each threat based on relevant information available in currently utilized databases in USW-DSS and prioritizes the threats based on information associated with the threat and the respective Theater Watch Officers’ roles and responsibilities. The automated evaluation and prioritization of the threat will be displayed on a pre-determined-sized “Watch List” Graphical User Interface (GUI) that allows an operator to see the calculated prioritizations of potential threats while also viewing the geographic tactical picture in which the potential threats are displayed. Threat prioritization should be dynamic so that it may update as the situation changes. The prototype will demonstrate on Computer off the Shelf (COTS) hardware the capability to evaluate operations and the ability to effectively provide automated alerts for a minimum 10 threat Theater ASW scenario. The prioritization capability should focus on Theater ASW Commander (TASWC) roles and responsibilities first, with other Theater Watch Officers addressed as determined by the Government. Prioritization algorithms must be amendable due to the manning and operational differences between Theater Command Centers. The Phase II effort will likely require secure access, and NAVSEA will process the DD254 to support the contractor for personnel and facility certification for secure access. The Phase I effort will not require access to classified information. If need be, data of the same level of complexity as secured data will be provided to support Phase I work. Work produced in Phase II may become classified. Note: The prospective contractor(s) must be U.S. Owned and Operated with no Foreign Influence as defined by DoD 5220.22-M, National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual, unless acceptable mitigating procedures can and have been be implemented and approved by the Defense Security Service (DSS). The selected contractor and/or subcontractor must be able to acquire and maintain a secret level facility and Personnel Security Clearances, in order to perform on advanced phases of this contract as set forth by DSS and NAVSEA in order to gain access to classified information pertaining to the national defense of the United States and its allies; this will be an inherent requirement. The selected company will be required to safeguard classified material IAW DoD 5220.22-M during the advance phases of this contract. 

PHASE I: Develop a concept for an automated threat prioritization decision aid. Establish the feasibility of the technology to meet the requirements stated in the Description. Determine feasibility through development and analysis of algorithms and/or modelling approaches that provide a prioritization scheme for ASW threats for multiple ASW threat scenarios. Develop a Phase II plan. The Phase I Option, if exercised, will include the initial design specifications and capabilities description to build a prototype in Phase II. 

PHASE II: Develop and deliver a prototype automated threat evaluation and prioritization decision aid for watch standers. Demonstrate that the prototype can automatically provide appropriate recommendations for threat prioritization to different watch stander profiles (provided by the Government in Phase II) according to parameters set forth in the Description. Work with the Government to conduct testing to validate the prototype decision aid. It is probable that the work under this effort will be classified under Phase II (see Description section for details). 

PHASE III: Support the Navy in transitioning the technology to Navy use within a developmental build of an ASW command and control system such as the AN/UYQ-100 USW-DSS. Ensure that the technology addresses critical Navy needs for managing assets during high-volume threat scenarios. Enable transition at a Government-provided facility. Continue to demonstrate and report on performance during further laboratory testing or at-sea trials that will occur after Phase II testing. Commercial use could be in, but is not limited to, the Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) operated by the U.S. Coast Guard. VTS monitors traffic through busy and/or tight waterways and requires vessels to report operating intent. The U.S. Coast Guard could utilize a similar technology in VTS that can inform a VTS operator of which vessels to be cautious of for a particular incoming vessel. The VTS operator could then relay to the particular vessel before passing through a waterway of the vessels to be cautious of while on course maneuvering through the waterway, thus avoiding potential waterway accidents. 


1. McCormack, Sebastian. “Interoperability Essential to Success of Theater Anti-Submarine Warfare.” Official Navy Website, 31 October 2013.; 2. “AN/UYQ-100 Undersea Warfare Decision Support System (USW-DSS).” Official Navy Website, 24 January 2017.; 3. White, Robert. “What Role Can a Theater Anti-Submarine Warfare Commander Serve in the New Maritime Strategy?” Naval War College, 23 October 2006.

KEYWORDS: Anti-Submarine Warfare; Situational Awareness For Watch Standers; Undersea Warfare; Threat Prioritization For Submarines; Theater ASW; CTF Command Center 

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