Nearly two years after Palantir Technologies sued the Army for not considering commercial products for its battlefield data management system, the company is co-recipient of a $876 million contract for that very program.
Raytheon [RTN] and Palantir will share in the firm-fixed-price contract for the Distributed Common Ground System-Army (DCGS-A) Capability Drop 1, the Army said March 8. The contract specifically requires “a commercial item that is a combined hardware and software solution to meet the interoperability, security, training, usability and data-management capabilities.”
Palantir sued the Army in June 2016, asserting that its commercial data management system could meet requirements for the Distributed Common Ground System (DCGS) but that the bid selection process excluded commercially available systems by default. The company already had lost a protest to the Government Accountability Office and therefore took its case to the Court of Federal Claims.
Palantir contended that its Gotham data management system performs to the Army’s DCGS specifications and that it was unlawfully excluded from competition. Gotham gathers data from multiple sources, shares and analyzes that data across a suite of analytical tools and provides efficient visualizations for use by commanders and soldiers, according to the company’s initial complaint.
A judge on Oct. 31, 2016, ruled in favor of Palantir, effectively forcing the Army to reopen the competition. Palantir and Raytheon stand to benefit from more than simply building the system. The companies will compete for incremental software upgrades and hardware refresh, which means ongoing opportunities for future contracts for sensors, processors, software and other elements under the same DCGS program.
The Army already has spent 15 years and $6 billion developing DCGS, the Army’s current system for intelligence information sharing, processing, operational use and storage. DCGS-A Increment 2 is the Army’s next phase of DCGS-A development. Lockheed Martin [LMT] has built and integrated elements of DCGS.
Eight companies submitted bids for the recompete that resulted in the recent contract award, according to the Army. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of March 8, 2028.