"One of the things about age is that I can tell you with great confidence I’ve been to the future. I’ve been there actually many times.” - Nicholas Negroponte, MIT Media Lab founder Recent developments in naval systems have delivered the next generation in defense capability. Integrating these systems into ships is a challenge to existing ship design practices, theory, and engineering design tools. Not unlike hybrid or all-electric cars, Navy ships are moving to a new paradigm where electric power and energy supply is directly related to platform and mission system performance simultaneously. This necessarily changes our modeling practices and the fundamental engineering knowledge behind them. A historical review of today’s software environment for early stage naval design along with lessons learned and future challenges is presented. Many of these lessons and challenges are not unique to naval surface combatant design but are universal to early-stage engineering of complex systems.
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