A powerful new supercomputer is set to enter production service in 2024 at the Navy’s key high-performance computing hub in Mississippi, where it will supply ultrafast processing capabilities to personnel from across all Defense Department components.
Named Blueback, in homage to the Navy’s now-decommissioned Barbel-class attack submarine with the same name, the machine is the latest to be added to the DOD High Performance Computing Modernization Program’s arsenal.
The system will be installed at the Navy DOD Supercomputing Resource Center (Navy DSRC) facility that is operated by the Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command at Stennis Space Center. Blueback will mark the latest to join two of the Navy’s existing supercomputers — Narwhal and Nautilus — there.
High-performance supercomputers are generally measured in flops, or floating-point operations per second. Each flop refers to a possible calculation — like addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division — that the advanced machines are built to complete, and a petaflop system can make one quadrillion of those calculations per second.
“At 17.7 petaFLOPS, this system will replace three older supercomputers in the DOD HPCMP’s ecosystem and ensures that its aggregate supercomputing capability will remain above 100 petaFLOPS, with the latest available technology,” according to the department’s announcement unveiling Blueback.
Officials from the Navy, Pentagon, and Naval oceanography command did not answer DefenseScoop’s questions regarding Blueback’s envisioned applications — or which three legacy systems it will be replacing — by publication Tuesday.
The supercomputer’s advanced components are being delivered by HPE Cray, AMD and Nvidia, among others.