U.S. Air Force Awards $950 Million for Advanced Battle Management System Development

soldiers look at a tablet during training
Advanced Battle Management System demonstration at Duke Field, Fla., Dec. 17, 2019

The U.S. Air Force has awarded development contracts to 28 vendors for its Advanced Battle Management System that could be worth $950 million over five years.  The indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contracts allow for the vendors to compete for individual task orders through May 28, 2025.

The ABMS program is the Air Force’s distributed concept for multidomain battle management command and control. It was born out of the termination of the E-8C Joint Surveillance and Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS) aircraft.  The service was previously planning to replace its existing Boeing 707-based E-8Cs with a fleet of 17 manned ISR aircraft based on a business jet platform.  However, the Air Force became concerned about the survivability of a centralized battle management platform and shifted to the distributed system-of-systems approach utilizing a mix of assets, like satellites and manned and unmanned aircraft.

The latest development contracts support the maturation, demonstration, and proliferation of Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2) capabilities that will feed into the distributed ABMS network.  In other words, the program aims to develop an “internet of things” type environment where systems in all domains (air, land, sea, space, cyber, and electromagnetic spectrum) can connect to disseminate information to personnel.

The 28 vendors included in the contract are: Alion Science and Technology, Apogee Research, World Wide Technology, BAE Systems, Boeing Defense Systems, Borsetta, CACI, Chooch Intelligence Technologies, Collins Aerospace Co, Dell Technologies, Fregata Systems, General Dynamics, Hellebore Consulting Group, Honeywell Aerospace, Immersive Wisdom, L3 Harris, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Palantir, Parsons Government Services, Persistent Systems, Raytheon, Securboration, Silvus Technologies, Simple Sense, Solid State Scientific, Viasat, and Wind Talker Innovations.

About Shaun McDougall

As editor of International Military Markets, North America, Shaun has cultivated a deep understanding of the vast defense markets in the United States and Canada. Shaun's perspective on defense procurement and budget issues has been cited in a variety of defense periodicals, including Defense News and National Defense Magazine. Further, Shaun played an integral role in the development of Forecast International's U.S. Defense Budget Forecast product, which offers an unprecedented level of insight into the Pentagon's acquisition budget. In addition to providing original analytical content for the U.S. Defense Budget Forecast, Shaun oversees an internal defense budget forecasting process involving Forecast International's team of skilled systems analysts following release of the DoD's annual budget request. Shaun is also in charge of managing Forecast International's Weapons Inventory database.

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