Raytheon wins last DOD supercomputer center bid

Raytheon E-Systems last week won a $168.9 million contract to establish the Defense Department's fourth and final supercomputing facility under its High-Performance Computing (HPC) Modernization Program.

Under the eight-year contract Raytheon E-Systems Dallas will provide up-to-date supercomputing capabilities and support services for the Army Research Laboratory at Aberdeen Proving Ground Md. The contract was awarded by the Army's Information Systems Selection and Acquisition Agency (ISSAA).

The Maryland facility has been designated one of DOD's four Major Shared Resource Centers which will be hubs for the research activity of more than 4 200 engineers and scientists.

"The idea is to bring all these [central] labs up to date to be more comparable with industry " an ISSAA spokesman said.

"When we complete this state-of-the-art facility it will be one of the single largest compute engines in the world " said Joe Curtis a Raytheon E-Systems spokesman.

The vendor is also a teammate of Nichols Research Corp. on its HPC modernization contracts.

Earlier this year ISSAA awarded two contracts to Nichols Research for supercomputing centers at the Corps of Engineers' Waterways Experiment Station and the Air Force Aeronautical Systems Center. It also awarded one to Grumman Data Systems at the Naval Oceanographic Office at Stennis Space Center Miss.DOD also has awarded a contract to AT&T to provide networking services between the facilities.

These facilities already had resident supercomputing systems but "what they had was mostly antiquated processing capability " the ISSAA spokesman said. For the most part researchers have been using oversized supercomputing hardware even though the industry now offers more scalable and cost-effective parallel processing systems the spokesman said.

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