NSA contract advances Trailblazer

The National Security Agency's Trailblazer initiative is moving from the planning stages to development with the agency's recent award of a multimillion-dollar, multiyear contract to a team led by Science Applications International Corp.

Trailblazer is an initiative designed to modernize NSA's foreign signals intelligence capabilities. The SAIC deal, which was awarded Sept. 18 and is for a 26-month performance period, focuses on the development of the technology demonstration platform (TDP) supporting the program, according to an NSA spokesperson.

"This marks a significant shift in the Trailblazer program from a planning to a development activity," the spokesperson said. "The TDP is the first large-scale industry system integration contract awarded under the Trailblazer acquisition program. It represents a significant step forward in NSA's transformation."

The SAIC team will provide and integrate commercial technologies that are scalable, secure and interoperable, according to the agency.

"The TDP is a risk-reduction activity," the NSA spokesperson said. "The TDP will play a critical role for the agency in understanding and managing risk associated with large-scale integration and the acquisition of a complete, integrated [signals intelligence] capability."

SAIC's core team members are Booz Allen Hamilton, Northrop Grumman Corp., Boeing Co. and Computer Sciences Corp., according to the San Diego-based company.

The NSA spokesperson said that Trailblazer is still in the concept development phase and a final completion date will be established once the program reaches Milestone B, which is expected next summer.

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