Air Force awards JAGUAR contracts

The Air Force Research laboratory information directorate late last week awarded five contracts in support of the Defense Advance Research Projects Agency's (DARPA) Joint Air/Ground Operations: Unified, Adaptive Replanning (JAGUAR) program.

The contracts are potentially worth a total of more than $36.5 million.

JAGUAR is designed to develop technologies that enhance air operations centers. Officials also hope to automate more air tasking functions and reduce manpower requirements.

During recent operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, air operation centers were able to dynamically plan more missions than before, and with a greater sense of speed. In 1991's Operation Desert Storm, allied forces could coordinate an air attack in about four days by the end of the war. In this year's conflict, coalition forces whittled that time down to 45 minutes.

But that amount of time is still not low enough, according to military experts. Future requirements will require the use of more unmanned aircraft, more multi-mission aircraft, and more engagements per sortie.

"JAGUAR will address future concerns by uniting technologies for plan generation, plan assessment and model adaptation in a consistent, model-based framework that can respond to the forthcoming transformations in air operations," said Carl Defranco Jr., program manager in the Air Force Research Lab's information systems division.

DARPA hopes to have a working JAGUAR prototype by early 2008.

Contract winnersCompanyLocation Contract size Project description
The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory Cambridge, Mass.$9.3 million Creation of a system design to provide a common information environment for component developers.
Lockheed Martin, Advanced Technology LaboratoriesCherry Hill, N.J.$8 millionDesign and development of a plan understanding and monitoring associate.
BBNT Solutions LLCCambridge, Mass$7.7 millionUpdate models of assets and procedures that form the primitive elements of the JAGUAR plan.
AlphaTech Inc.Burlington$7 millionDesign and development of a plan generator.
Northrop GrummanFairfax, Va.$4.5 million"Experiment design and evaluation" for the entire JAGUAR process.

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