An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

sky background image

New Supercomputer at Navy DoD Supercomputing Resource Center Adds Over 17 petaFLOPS of Computing Power to DoD Capability

20 July 2023

From Chrsitine Cuicchi , Director, Navy DoD Supercomputing Resource Center, DoD HPCMP

“The HPE Cray EX4000 system will address physics, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning applications for thousands of High Performance Computing Modernization Program (HPCMP) Users throughout Department of Defense.” -Christine E. Cuicchi, Director, Navy DOD Supercomputing Resource Center, DOD HPCMP
STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss.——Recently, the DOD High Performance Computing Modernization Program (HPCMP) awarded a 2023 HPC acquisition investment to Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. The HPE Cray EX4000 system—named BLUEBACK —will be housed at the Navy DOD Supercomputing Resource Center (DSRC) giving thousands of DOD HPCMP users an additional 17.7 petaFLOPS of computing power.

Set for operation in 2024, BLUEBACK will be installed and operated at the Navy DSRC facility at Stennis Space Center with support from U.S. Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command (Naval Oceanography) to support all DOD services and agencies.

17.7 petaFLOPS enables over 17 quadrillion calculations per second; or the equivalent of 17,000 trillion calculations per second.

“If one person were to accomplish what BLUEBACK performs in one second, they would need to perform one calculation every second of every day for 560,891,140 years,” said Bryan Comstock, Navy DSRC Chief Technologist.
Composed of 256,512 processors, BLUEBACK will address physics and AI/ML applications for thousands of DOD HPCMP users.

“The Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI/ML) capabilities of BLUEBACK alone will be 64 times that of the entirety one of the Navy DSRC’s previous supercomputers, EINSTEIN─a Cray XT5 which DSRC operated from 2008-2012…the entire BLUEBACK system will be over 150 times more capable than EINSTEIN,” said Comstock.

DOD’s new addition of BLUEBACK stands to solve computational obstacles and offer operational advantages.

 “This system significantly enhances DOD HPCMP’s capability to support DOD’s most demanding computational challenges and includes the latest generation accelerator technology from Advanced Micro Devices in the form of 128 AMD MI300A Accelerator Processing Units (APUs),” said Christine E. Cuicchi, Director, Navy DOD Supercomputing Resource Center.

According to Cuicchi, the 2023 fiscal year acquisition investments made by the DOD HPCMP included corresponding hardware and software maintenance services.

“BLUEBACK will replace three older supercomputers in the DOD HPCMP ecosystem which will ensure that the HPCMP’s overall supercomputing capability will remain above 100 petaFLOPS,” Cuicchi said.

 BLUEBACK’s architecture consists of:
  • An HPE Cray EX4000 system with 256,512 total compute cores, composed of AMD EPYC Genoa processors, 128 AMD MI300A Accelerator Processing Units (APUs), and 24 NVIDIA L40 GPGPUs connected by a 200 gigabit per second Cray Slingshot-11 interconnect and supported by 20 PB of usable Cray ClusterStor E1000 Lustre storage, including 2 PB of NVMe-based solid state storage, and 538 TiB of system memory.
The name BLUEBACK, was chosen in honor of the USS Blueback (SS-581) and will join existing systems: NARWHAL, a 308,480-core HPE Cray EX supercomputer─currently the largest unclassified supercomputer in DOD, named in honor of the USS Narwhal (SSN-671); and NAUTILUS, a 176,128-core Penguin TrueHPC supercomputer named in honor of the USS Nautilus (SSO-571).

About the DOD HPCMP
The HPCMP provides the Department of Defense supercomputing capabilities, high-speed network communications and computational science expertise that enable DOD scientists and engineers to conduct a wide-range of focused research and development, test and evaluation, and acquisition engineering activities. This partnership puts advanced technology in the hands of U.S. forces more quickly, less expensively, and with greater certainty of success. Today, the HPCMP provides a comprehensive advanced computing environment for the DOD that includes unique expertise in software development and system design, powerful high performance computing systems, and a premier wide-area research network. The HPCMP is managed on behalf of the Department of Defense by the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center located in Vicksburg, Mississippi.
For more information, visit:

About the Naval Oceanography
Naval Oceanography has approximately 2,900 globally distributed military and civilian personnel, who collect, process, and exploit environmental information to assist Fleet and Joint Commanders in all warfare areas to guarantee the U.S. Navy’s freedom of action in the physical battlespace from the depths of the ocean to the stars.


Commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command | 1100 Balch Blvd. | Stennis Space Center, Mississippi 39529

Guidance-Card-Icon Dept-Exclusive-Card-Icon