Future Naval Capabilities

Initiated by the Department of the Navy in 2002, the Future Naval Capabilities (FNC) program is a science and technology (S&T) program designed to develop and transition cutting-edge technology products to acquisition managers within a three- to five-year timeframe. The program aims to deliver mature products for integration into platforms, weapons, sensors or specifications that improve Navy and Marine Corps warfighting and support capabilities.

Through the FNC program, the Office of Naval Research (ONR) responds to S&T capability gaps by proposing technology investments called enabling capabilities (ECs). ECs consist of one or more interrelated products, which together provide a distinct capability that addresses one or more gaps. These investments begin at a point where analytical proof-of-concept or component/breadboard validation has been established in the laboratory, and are subsequently matured during their three- to five-year development cycle such that a model or prototype can be demonstrated in a relevant environment.

Once technologies are demonstrated, acquisition sponsors take responsibility for conducting any additional research, development, test and evaluation (RDT&E) necessary to engineer and integrate the product into an acquisition program of record, or other program, that will ultimately deploy the new capability into the fleet or force.

FNC products fall into one of nine functional areas, or pillars:

  • Capable Manpower: Intuitive systems and personnel tools for matching Sailors and Marines to the right jobs and training for mission-essential competencies
  • Enterprise and Platform Enablers: Cross-cutting technologies to lower acquisition, operations, and maintenance costs
  • Expeditionary Maneuver Warfare: Naval ground forces with special emphasis on regular and irregular warfare
  • Force Health Protection: Medical equipment, supplies and procedures to reduce morbidity and mortality when casualties occur
  • FORCEnet: C4ISR, networking, navigation, decision support and space technologies that provide an architectural framework for naval warfare in the information age
  • Power and Energy: Energy security, efficient power and energy systems, high energy, pulse power
  • Sea Basing: Logistics, shipping and at-sea transfer technologies that provide operational independence
  • Sea Shield: Missile defense, antisubmarine warfare, mine warfare and fleet/force protection technologies that provide global defensive assurance
  • Sea Strike: Weapons, aircraft and expeditionary warfare technologies that provide precise and persistent offensive power

For more information or to get engaged, download a summary of the FY16 Enabling Capability (EC) New Starts with contact information, download a copy of the FNC Guidebook, or contact the FNC team via email at onr.fnc-team@navy.mil.

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