Plans to Streamline Future Naval Capabilities Program Continues to Evolve
By JAMES PETERSON, Special Correspondent
WASHINGTON — The plan to replace the current Future Naval Capabilities (FNC) program is evolving and will continue to evolve, Mike Meyers, the Office of Naval Research’s FNC division director, said at the Naval Future Force Science and Technology Expo on July 20.
In March, Meyers said he was tasked with streamlining the FNC program to speed up the entire process of getting the technology out to the fleet.
The FNC program was initiated by the Department of the Navy in 2002. It is a science and technology program that was designed to develop and transition cutting-edge technologies to acquisition program managers within a five-year time frame, according to the Office of Naval Research.
“The [current] process slows down the train,” Meyers said. “It’s not going to be good enough for the future.”
He said one focus of changes to the program is spiral development, which should lead to three-year FNCs rather than four to five.
“Every year,” he said, “wouldn’t it be nice to have something that you can prototype and test out in the field?”
For that to become a reality, Meyer said he believes it ultimately comes down to a human level.
“The program officers, the program managers and their counterparts … really make the thing happen,” Meyer said. “It’s really rare that an FNC falls apart in the end stages if that dialogue is constant and solid from the very beginning.”
While he speculated that some would find the change too sudden, Meyer said, “we don’t want to wait to adjust the program.”