NIMA replacing mapping toolkit

Officials are looking to the private sector to lead another Defense Department contract into the future, with the National Imagery and Mapping Agency's recent award of a development and life cycle support contract for the Commercial Joint Mapping Toolkit (C/JMTK).

The contract award to a team led by Northrop Grumman Information Technology will replace all Joint Mapping Toolkit functions with commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) components. JMTK is a suite of independent, government-developed software applications that were consolidated in 1994 to provide a standardized geospatial visualization capability to DOD command and control (C2) systems.

The award will be executed in two phases. Phase I includes three primary activities:

* Adding enhancements to address DOD-specific requirements.

* Providing engineering to achieve compliance with the Defense Information Infrastructure Common Operating Environment (DII COE).

* Performing functional tests to achieve certification.

After certification, the C/JMTK will be delivered to system developers for integration with DII COE mission applications, and later, full-scale fielding.

The DII COE is a software infrastructure that enables mission applications, including the maneuver control system, shipboard C2 systems, the theater battle management core system and global C2 systems to interoperate and share common software functions.

In Phase II, authorized DOD users will have unlimited operational use of the C/JMTK as the standard in the common operating environment.

The contract, which was awarded June 26 and is potentially worth about $72 million across 11 years, also contains licensing options for military and intelligence users outside of the DII COE who require interoperability with the toolkit for the imagery and geospatial community.

NIMA is the project's program manager and will execute it in partnership with the Defense Information Systems Agency, which is responsible for configuration management and full-scale fielding, said retired Air Force Lt. Gen. James Clapper Jr., NIMA's director.

"In partnership with DISA, the C/JMTK will provide increased capabilities and significantly improve performance to those DII COE mission applications that use NIMA geospatial information and products as a backdrop for their command and control information," Clapper said in a release. "Not only will this initiative address congressional and DOD guidance to commercialize software processes, it will support the warfighter."

Stu Shea, Northrop Grumman IT TASC vice president and director of space intelligence, agreed and said the program also provides the means to deliver not only on COTS integration, but also "open systems and standards, and opens the door to [DOD-wide] command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance interoperability."

Northrop Grumman IT will implement the C/JMTK program, including providing software development, systems engineering, DII COE segmentation, testing, training and prototyping at NIMA's Reston, Va., location.

The company's team members are ESRI, ERDAS Inc., Analytical Graphics Inc. and Great Circle Technology Inc.

ESRI's ArcGIS software will serve as the foundation to insert COTS geographic information systems components into the DII COE and associated systems.

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