Two dozen more companies have joined the Air Force’s Advanced Battle Management System effort to network its aircraft, sensors, and computer systems, the Pentagon said Nov. 4.
Nearly 100 contractors are now part of that project, which offers hundreds of billions of dollars for technologies that can crunch combat information, share it across the force, and display it in new ways. Many, but not all, of the companies, have pieced together their tools during ABMS demonstrations throughout the year. More events are planned for 2021.
“These contracts provide for the development and operation of systems as a unified force across all domains (air, land, sea, space, cyber, and electromagnetic spectrum),” the Pentagon said.
The Air Force is casting a wide net to work with startups and other companies that don’t typically do business with DOD, and has started procuring some of their products for longer-term use. Firms in the latest batch of ABMS contractors are offering tools that pull together images and sensor data, create common operating pictures, anticipate human behavior, and simulate combat possibilities.
The service hopes to gradually introduce more joint all-domain command and control technologies into daily use over the next several years, and to experiment with the other armed forces.
“The ABMS portfolio will continue to advance concepts and capabilities based on lessons learned from [fiscal] 2020 events,” the Air Force said in its 2020 budget request. “[Fiscal] 2021 efforts will also include integration of event data with the digital system model. It is important to note that there is no predefined or realized objective system. Capabilities are introduced in a rapid fashion building on previous development sprints and events with consistent transition to the field.”
USAF and the Army recently agreed to partner more closely on efforts to speed wartime decisions and connect their long-siloed systems. The Navy may eventually join such a pact as well.
Companies included in the latest contract announcement are:
- Altamira Technologies
- AMERGINT Technologies
- Lyteworx Automation Systems
- Rebellion Defense
- Rhombus Power
- Advanced Simulation Research Inc.
- Digital Mobilizations Inc.
- EFW Inc.
- F9 Teams
- Hewlett Packard Enterprise
- Infinity Labs
- Radiant Mission Solutions
- Ortman Consulting
- R2 Space
- Sierra Nevada Corp.