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FAS Project on Intelligence Reform

Ship's Signals Exploitation Equipment (SSEE)

The Ship's Signals Exploitation Equipment (SSEE) Phase 2 program is a signals exploitation system that allows the operators to monitor and analyze signals of interest within the Ship's Signals Exploitation Space (SSES) aboard a variety of ship classes.

The SSEE system evolved from the AN/SSQ-80 Local Monitoring Subsystem (LMS) and the TRUMP system that provided the system with a basic cryptologic analysis capability. The SSEE system's increasing capability to detect, identify, and locate targets near to and over the horizon will contribute significantly to the ship's Command and Control Warfare (C2W) capability and will become the center of the ship's Information Warfare (IW) operations.

SSEE takes advantage of government-off-the-shelf (GOTS), commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS), and non-developmental items (NDI) when possible. Due to the success of the SSEE system it has become a fundamental building block for the other PMW 178 programs, such as the Cooperative OUTBOARD Logistics Upgrade (COBLU) and the Battle Group Passive Horizon Extension System (BGPHES). Reciprocally, SSEE will benefit from other PMW 178 proven system technologies; for example, SSEE will integrate the Tactical SIGINT Technology Adaptive Recognizer (TSTAR) and the Narrowband Acquisition Subsystem (NAS) from the Combat Direction Finding (CDF) system. A phased approach to procuring the SSEE System has led to three existing baseline systems and two planned systems increments.

The use of COTS/GOTS/NDI hardware and software is innovative and creative because incremental upgrades to hardware can be integrated, tested and fielded in a shorter time than traditional development efforts. The system can evolve and adapt quickly in order to exploit new threat emergent technology thus allowing the Navy to take full advantage of state-of-the-art technology being used in the commercial market. The use of GOTS/COTS hardware common with other systems also allows more economical procurement of hardware and spares. SPAWAR can exert greater control over the development and system costs by using a field activity as the integration agent.

This approach has accelerated testing and deployment of SSEE system improvements and increased shipboard cryptologic capabilities. Since 16 March 95, when SPAWAR 00 granted full production of SSEE Phase 2 Increment B hardware, over 35 systems have been procured and installed on surface combatants and at shore sites. SSEE is using the same hardware and software as Cryptologic Carry-on Programís Advanced Cryptologic Carry-on Exploitation System (ACCES), and some common hardware and software with PRIVATEER, a SOCOM program. For example, SSEE is using the same Spectrum Analyzer, Radio Frequency Management System (RFMS) hardware as PRIVATEER. In addition, SSEE is using PRIVATEERís Local Monitoring System (LMS) and PRIVATEER will use SSEEís Core Digital Signal Processing (CDSP) software.

SSEE has achieved positive results based on the number of systems fielded. The use of COTS/GOTS/NDI hardware presents challenges to the traditional configuration management practices and support structure. For example, vendors for laptop computers being installed on SSEE platforms are continuously replacing current models with new systems that must be tested each time to ensure they work with existing software. In addition, the government is relying more on commercial manuals for guidance on troubleshooting and operating procedures.

Sources and Methods



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Created by John Pike
Maintained by Steven Aftergood

Updated Friday, February 11, 2000 1:07:38 PM