Predictive battlespace work continues

The Defense Department is working to fuse its intelligence assets so that warfighters know probable enemy courses of action and vulnerabilities before ever entering the battlefield.

To help accomplish that ambitious goal during the next few years, the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Information Directorate this month selected Zel Technologies LLC to lead the Intelligence Preparation of the Battlespace for Predictive Battlespace Awareness program.

The program is designed to provide spiral research and development, life cycle management, testing and fielding, said Charles Flynn Jr., program manager in the directorate's Information and Intelligence Exploitation Division. The contract also calls for familiarizing users with a software application known as Automated Assistance with Intelligence Preparation of the Battlespace.

The AFRL and Zel Technologies jointly developed the software under a 2001 contract, but the new five-year agreement, awarded June 4 and worth $24.9 million, will take that work to the next level, Flynn said.

The new software application will integrate with numerous intelligence systems, including:

* Air Force target development systems.

* Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance management and employment systems.

* Fusion systems.

* Intelligence and command and control databases.

* Effects-based operations systems.

Nearly 30 Air Force air operations centers will use the software, and it is also being prepared for use by the intelligence community in DOD's Intelligence Information System environment.

Fielding of the software will begin in March 2004, and the best-case scenario would have implementation completed across the Air Force in 2006 and DOD-wide the following year, according to an AFRL spokesperson.

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