The U.S. Air Force selected Raytheon Technologies to transition the service’s primary intelligence-sharing system, awarding the company $178 million.
Raytheon will provide field support for the Distributed Common Ground System Enterprise, the Air Force’s main system for planning, collection, processing and disseminating intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, under the March 10 contract. According to the Air Force, its DCGS draws in data from airborne sensors aboard the RQ-4 Global Hawk, Mq-1 Predator, MQ-9 Reaper and other ISR platforms all over the globe.
The DCGS Enterprise is effectively a system of systems developed and procured separately over time, resulting in a variety of stovepiped, closed architecture solutions. The Air Force wants to move to an open architecture, and under this contract Raytheon will provide support for that transition.
Work on the five-year contract is expected to be completed in 2026.
Meanwhile, the Air Force is considering hiring a contractor to build out that open architecture, enabling the service to more readily integrate data from the intelligence community and commercial providers into DCGS.
On Feb. 25, the Air Force issued a notice to identify vendors capable of managing “the development and integration of new capabilities” for DCGS. The service is considering awarding a multiyear/multiaward indefinite delivery/indefinite quanity contract to that end, called Air Force DCGS Requirements Supports Services.
Among other things, the contract would help develop a government-owned open architecture that could link Air Force systems to emerging geospatial intelligence capabilities being developed by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and commercial providers. The upgraded system would be able to more rapidly integrate new data sources, in part by setting meta data standards.
In essence, the project would transform DCGS to an open architecture that can accept more data from the intelligence community and commercial providers, integrate that data, and use artificial intelligence to create multi-intelligence analysis.