Air Force looks for better aerial warfighting networking

The Air Force released a new announcement about a five-year, $24.9 million research project to develop multi-domain aerial warfighting network capabilities.

The Air Force wants innovative and affordable technologies that provide agile and secure information across aerial platforms. The intent is to expand the Global Information Grid (GIG) to connect the three major warfare domains: air, space, and land, according to a sources sought notice.

The innovation would deliver timely and reliable information to warfighters and weapon systems across the Air Force enterprise to support Command and Control, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance. For instance, the network would provide a beyond line-of-sight (BLOS) communications infrastructure.

As the first step, the Air Force Research Laboratory is soliciting white papers for design, development, integration, test, evaluation and experimentation of the warfighting network capabilities. The papers may describe:

  • Agile aerial network architecture
  • Information transport performance management
  • Integration and interoperability with GIG
  • Multi-domain aerial networking

The second step is the solicitation and award that is likely to happen each fiscal year with a project lasting roughly 36 months. The Air Force anticipates multiple awards for the project using procurement contracts, grants, cooperative agreements or other transactions.

The department recommends that companies send white papers before each of these annual dates.

  • Oct. 31, 2017
  • Aug. 3, 2018
  • Aug. 2, 2019
  • July 31, 2020
  • July 30, 2021

The projected annual funding ranges between $4 million and $5 million.

The Air Force released its announcement Sept. 19.

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

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