Military looks for joint architecture

The Army, Navy and Air Force agreed to work with Lockheed Martin Corp. to develop an architecture that melds three of their key network-centric warfare programs.

This week the Air Force announced a $3 million contract for Lockheed Martin Integrated Systems and Solutions in Gaithersburg, Md., to design, implement and test a joint architecture to serve as the framework for combining the Command and Control Constellation, ForceNet and the Army Enterprise Architecture.

C2 Constellation represents the Air Force's future land, air and space sensors and will use common computer protocols and communications standards to share information. ForceNet, which defines the Navy's network architecture and standards, links sensors, weapons, platforms and sailors. The Army Enterprise Architecture covers all of the service's systems, the technical specifications behind them and how they operate in combat, with the goal of standardizing hardware and software purchases.

This week's announcement comes four months after the Defense Department issued a new architecture policy, the first revision since 1997. Military officials believe a blueprint for combining the services' systems will enable warfighters to more quickly attack the smaller, more mobile targets that are typical of the military's anti-terrorism efforts.

"Integration begins at the architectural level with the standards and framework that govern how systems work together and exchange information," said Doug Barton, director of network-centric programs at Lockheed Martin Integrated Systems and Solutions, in a Feb. 9 statement. Lockheed Martin will work on the contract with Boeing Co., IBM Corp., L-3 Communications and Raytheon Co.

The companies will first define standards for exchanging information among the three systems. They will test the architecture at the C2 Enterprise Integration Facility at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., according to the statement.

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