Raytheon [RTN] has been awarded a $197 million five-year contract to help the Air Force collect and disseminate data from multiple sensors for its missile warning architecture, the company said Jan. 28.
A ground system dubbed the Future Operationally Resilient Ground Evolution (FORGE) Mission Data Processing Application Framework will help the service process Overhead Persistent Infrared (OPIR) satellite data from assets including its Space Based Infared System (SBIRS) constellation as well as the future Next-Generation OPIR systems. It will also process data from civil and environmental sensors, Raytheon said in a Tuesday press release.
“The U.S. government’s global satellite network produces a constant flood of data — petabytes and petabytes of it every day,” said Dave Wajsgras, president of Raytheon Intelligence, Information and Services in the release. “The Air Force wants to open that network up so they can use as much of that data as possible. That’s a huge transformation not just for the service, but for the whole government.”
Booz Allen Hamilton [BAH] and
BAE Systems were also competing for the FORGE contract.
The Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) at Los Angeles Air Force Base – which since last month sits under the nascent Space Force – said in a June 2019 release that it implemented a more “agile program management” process to the FORGE program to allow for flexibility to speed up program development.
Wajsgras said in the release that its FORGE system was built with an open architecture, where various entities can build applications to allow for more rapid and flexible data processing. The prototype system was developed in less than one year, and Raytheon employed agile software development processes and built upon work from past programs to speed up the FORGE’s development.
The fiscal year 2020 defense appropriations bill passed last December included $1.47 billion for the Air Force’s next-gen OPIR program, $75 million more than the service originally requested. The funds include the development of the FORGE ground system, as well as a prototype scheduled for launch in 2020, among other program developments (Defense Daily, Dec. 18, 2019). Lockheed Martin [LMT] is the prime contractor for the next-gen OPIR program and is under contract to build three systems in the Block 0 phase for up to $2.9 billion.