PRC wins $46 million DIA deal

The Defense Intelligence Agency last month awarded a $46 million contract to Litton/PRC Inc. to modernize databases and related applications across the intelligence community and to bring new database technology into the field.

The intelligence community like other components of the Defense Department is under a 1994 mandate to migrate its basic information systems from legacy "stovepipe" platforms - where different but related systems cannot exchange information - to a more open computing environment.

The Air Force's Rome Laboratory launched the Databases for the 21st Century program "to create a contract vehicle to help the [DOD] agencies services and commands move these databases and related applications to comply with new migration systems and the new [system] architectures " said John Frank a systems engineer at Rome Lab Griffiss Air Force Base New York.

Jim Howry community systems department manager at PRC said this aspect of the program will not be especially difficult. "Once you have down the requirements for the various stovepipe systems and understand the functional end user of the information it makes [the work] relatively straightforward " Howry said.

Simultaneously however the intelligence organizations are looking to upgrade their data management capabilities. To some extent data management is built into the whole concept of migrating information systems. As different parts of an intelligence organization move to interoperable platforms they will want to take advantage of the new open environment.

The program's first customer is the Air Force Information Warfare Center San Antonio Texas. "They have a number of diverse databases spread throughout the center and they want to put them on-line so [individual data sets] are available to all their analysts and not just to the ones working with a particular database " Frank said.

Additionally the program will help move new technology out of government and industry and into real-world operations. "Part of what this effort does is help transition technology that is coming out into the operational environment " Frank said. The community is interested in such topics as distributed database management data replication and object technology.

The primary database vendors continue to develop new solutions in such areas as remote access and object relational database management. These technologies are creating new requirements in the intelligence community said Bruce Triner manager for intelligence C4I and logistics at Sybase Inc. a major player in the intelligence community.

"As technology continues to develop organizations like the Defense Intelligence Agency are beginning to identify areas where they can collect more information than they have before and more types of information " Triner said.

Additionally DOD recently launched a program called the Joint Intelligence Virtual Architecture for developing better analytical tools for working with data. In both cases Databases for the 21st Century provides a venue for fielding new products according to Rome Lab.

PRC a subsidiary of Litton Industries is teamed with BTG Inc. and Sterling Software Inc. on the five-year program. All three have worked extensively in the intelligence community including working as teammates on past programs. For example PRC and Sterling teamed on the agency's Extended Intelligence Data Base program a database design development and software support project.

PRC believes this experience played a factor in its successful bid on Databases for the 21st Century. "We have all worked together before and we have worked on things from an integrated nature " Howry said.

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