Creation of ‘Disruptive Capabilities’ Office to Rapidly Field Technologies Being Considered by US Navy


Washington: In a move to tackle operational issues, the US Navy is considering the establishment of a “Disruptive Capabilities Office” (DCO), focused on rapidly fielding existing technologies, media reported quoting sources and  a draft document.

Though details are still not clear but reports say that plans could change pending approvals from Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro and acting Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Lisa Franchetti. But a draft charter, dated for late June 2023 and circulated this summer at an industry event, stated the DCO would be a “unique office” capable of “rapidly [solving] emerging operational problems with a broad aperture unconstrained by legacy processes.”

However, Capt. Patrick Evans, a spokesman for Del Toro, said, “it would be premature to comment on any internal deliberations or pre-decisional matters.” A spokeswoman for Franchetti declined to comment.

In the Navy’s current structure, funding for a given piece of technology is provided by one of several offices the service calls “the high nines,” a group of admirals and one Marine Corps general who advise the chief of naval operations on the requirements — and by extension the funding — for various ships, planes and other technologies. Their nickname comes from their offices being internally labelled as N95, N96, N97, etc.

But that funding doesn’t always lead to getting systems into the hands of warfighters, where the services can flesh out how the new tech can solve an operational problem. With this new office in place, the “high nines” would still fund — or in Navy lingo, be the “resource sponsors” for — various unmanned systems and other technologies, but the DCO would have the money and authority to see those same systems sent to the fleet for operations, according to the sources.