The Naval Modular Automated Communications System II (NAVMACS II) was developed to replace existing outdated NAVMACS (V) Message Processing Systems onboard U.S. Navy ships. NAVMACS II is designed to provide automatic electronic communications services to multiple users, and is supported by software that performs the communications processing required by all connected systems. This requirement includes providing a user interface, and allows users to perform a variety of tasks, based on security clearance levels, authorizations and needs.
The purpose of NAVMACS II is to receive, process, store, distribute and transmit a site’s internal and external messages automatically. To meet this goal, NAVMACS II provides interfaces to multiple external systems of the Naval Telecommunications System (NTS), including landline and Radio Frequency (RF) communication circuits. This is accomplished by use of the NAVMACS Communication Controller (NCC) that acts as the Front-End Processor (FEP), providing up to 16 front-end off ship interfaces. The NCC provides the serial communications channels needed to interface with crypto devices and radios. Additionally, the system provides interfaces to local systems within a site’s communications network.
Basic tasks include reading and sending messages to other user sites. Advanced tasks include configuring system databases, and performing system administration functions. NAVMACS II provides a capability to convert military message formats to the standard email format, for delivery via the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) to local email servers. This approach accomplishes direct delivery of message traffic to users who have functional email accounts.
The system architecture consists of two basic hardware configurations hosted on the Tactical Advanced Computer-3 (TAC-3), a Hewlett-Packard 700 series computer. An additional derivative of this architecture employs Commercial Off-the-shelf (COTS) Personal Computers in place of the TAC-3. All three configurations employ common operating systems and application software.
The AN/SYQ-7A configuration is intended for use on large-deck ships such as CV/CVN, LCC, AGF and LHD platforms that process large daily quantities of messages. The AN/SYQ-7B HP and AN/SYQ-PC variants are intended for use on smaller deck ships such as FFG, AOE and AOR platforms who process smaller quantities of messages.
All NAVMACS II systems delivered to date utilize Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS), to provide standby AC power in case of shipboard power loss. The UPS is an important system component because it allows NAVMACS II operators to gracefully shutdown the system, which forces open files of the operating system and running processes to be closed properly. An unexpected system shutdown can lead to data loss and operating system corruption.
The first shipboard demonstration of NAVMACS II occurred onboard the USS America (CV-66) in January 1992. A second demonstration was completed onboard the USS John F Kennedy (CV-67) in March 1993. A third shipboard demonstration, utilizing the TAC-3 computer was completed onboard the USS America in August 1993. Developmental Test and Evaluation (DT&E) was conducted onboard the USS Mount Whitney (JCC/LCC-20) in February 1995. Operational Evaluation (OPEVAL) was accomplished onboard the USS Mount Whitney in September 1995. The first production installation of NAVMACS II was completed onboard the USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63) in May 1995. To date, there are over 125 installations of NAVMACS II on U.S. Navy ships. The current fleet release of software for NAVMACS II HP configurations is 2.3. The current fleet release for PC configurations is 2.3.
The AN/SYQ-7A configuration utilizes the Hewlett-Packard (HP) 750/755 computers as Main Communication Center processors, and National Computing Device (NCD) X-Terminals as user workstations. In addition, the HP-715/730 computers are used as additional workstations/fileservers acting as the gateway to other shipboard networks. This configuration is fully redundant, employing (2) MAINCOMM processors and (2) NAVMACS Communication Controllers (NCC). One system is online, while the second system maintains a backup role should the online system fail. (2) Internal 2.0 GB hard disk drives and (1) 2.0 GB removable hard disk drive per computer provide online storage.
AN/SYQ-7B (HP Variant)
The AN/SYQ-7B configuration utilizes the Hewlett-Packard (HP) 715/730 computers as Main Communication Center processors. Workstations consist of a HP monitor, keyboard and trackball. The AN/SYQ-7B configuration does not include any additional fileserver/workstations; thus, the interface to other shipboard networks is achieved directly from the Main Communications machine. This configuration is not fully redundant. One processor operates in the MAINCOMM mode, while the other acts as a slave or X-Terminal device. The X-Terminal device has complete functional access to system capabilities. Modes of operation are interchangeable per processor. This configuration includes one NCC, with an 8-channel circuit capability. Online storage is achieved by a shared 10 GB Redundant Array of Independent Disks (RAID) device.
AN/SYQ-7B (PC Variant)
The AN/SYQ-7B (PC Variant) configuration is identical in functionality and operation to the AN/SYQ-7B HP Variant configuration. The PC Variant utilizes Compaq 1850R Personal Computers for the Main Communication Center processors.
(For further information, please visit the Tactical Messaging Afloat https://navmacsii.nosc.mil/ site.)