U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) last month awarded Anduril Industries a nearly $1 billion contract, the company’s largest ever, to act as a systems integrator for the command’s counter-unmanned aircraft systems (CUxS) capability needs worldwide.

Under the $967.6 million contract, which was awarded on Jan. 19, California-based Anduril will provide its Lattice platform, an artificial intelligence-based operating system that works with the company’s and third-party vendors’ sensors and counter-measures to detect, track, identify and defeat drone threats. The open, interoperable Lattice backbone uses computer vision, machine learning and mesh networking to fuse real-time data into a single, autonomous operating picture and scales as needed.

“As the Systems Integration Partner (SIP), Anduril will develop, deliver, advance, train and sustain counter-unmanned systems capabilities for special operations forces wherever they operate,” Lt. Cmdr. Ryan de Vera, a USSOCOM spokesperson, tells HSR. He also said that the company will be required to provide a family of systems with an open, modular and scalable architecture and that in addition to its own sensors and systems, Anduril will provide options “with best-of-breed, third-party sensors and effectors for a layered defensive approach.”

The company said that as the SIP, it will constantly survey the market for the best sensors and effectors and lead efforts to rapidly and seamlessly integrate them into Lattice.

“The SIP is an innovative concept promoting a team-of-teams approach to ensure USSOCOM is able to keep pace with an evolving threat,” de Vera said. “No one vendor or technology is going to solve this complex problem on its own.  As the SIP, Anduril is required to collaborate with the government to ensure best-of-breed sensors and effectors from across the industrial base are a part of the family.  USSOCOM remains impartial to sensors and effectors in its approach to the CUxS mission.”

The contract also allows for Anduril to provide CUxS as-a-service to SOCOM.

In addition to its Lattice platform, which is used for a range of security applications, Anduril also brings to the table its Sentry Tower, Anvil interceptor UAS that collides with small drones mid-air to knock them out of the sky, and Foxhound radio frequency and Pulsar electronic warfare systems. The Sentry Tower system is used by U.S. Customs and Border Protection as the Autonomous Surveillance Tower for border security.

The Sentry Towers can work off-grid, powered by renewable energy to provide autonomous surveillance around-the-clock. The towers include radar to detect movement and a camera to locate the movement, and use AI-based algorithms to autonomously identify items of interest.

In the CUxS application, Lattice with its network of sensors provides persistent coverage and autonomous detection, classification and tracking of targets and alerts users to threats and then offers options for mitigation or engagement.

SOCOM received 12 proposals for the 10-year indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity CUxS contract.

“At Anduril, our team is constantly innovating the toughest defense challenges facing our military,” Brian Schimpf, the company’s co-founder and CEO, said in a statement. “The evolving unmanned aerial threat requires flexible, adaptable, and rapidly deployable technology approaches. With the Lattice CUxS family of systems, Anduril is well-equipped to deliver the solutions SOCOM needs today and in the future.”