WASHINGTON — More than two dozen companies including a division of AT&T Inc. are entering the competition to make real the Pentagon’s vision of seamless communications as part of a deal worth up to $950 million.

The U.S. Air Force on July 1 selected an additional 27 vendors, both large and small, to compete for work tied to Joint All-Domain Command and Control, or JADC2, which aims to better connect sensors and shooters and enable rapid responses on the battlefield.

C4ISRNET in November 2020 reported the Air Force made similar awards to 93 total companies.

While the Department of Defense on Friday did not specify what the contractors would produce, a related contract announcement said they would be tasked with the “maturation, demonstration and proliferation of capability across platforms and domains, leveraging open systems design, modern software and algorithm development.”

The indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity, multiple-award contract was done through Air Force Life Cycle Management in Ohio. IDIQ contracts provide for a number of products or services over the course of a predetermined timeframe. They are frequently used by the federal government and are thought to streamline the procurement process.

The July 1 awardees include:

  • ADDX of Virginia
  • Capella Space of California
  • AT&T Corp. of Virginia, a unit of AT&T Inc.
  • Applied Information Sciences of Virginia
  • Atmospheric & Space Technology Research Associates of Colorado
  • Credence Management Solutions of Virginia
  • Edge Technologies of Virginia
  • EOS Defense Systems USA of Alabama
  • Exfo America of Texas
  • Hermeus of Georgia
  • Ierus Technologies of Alabama
  • Cyberspace Solutions of Virginia
  • Labelbox of California
  • Nalej of New York
  • OST of Virginia
  • Praeses of Louisiana
  • Real-time Innovations of California
  • Riverside Research Institute of New York
  • Saber Astronautics of Colorado
  • Shared Spectrum Company of Virginia
  • Shield AI of California
  • Skylight of Florida
  • Sparkcognition Government Systems of Texas
  • Tenet 3 of Ohio
  • Trace Systems of Virginia
  • Ultra Electronics Advanced Tactical Systems of Texas
  • BrainGu of Michigan

Work is expected to wrap by the end of May 2025. Exactly where the work will be conducted depends on the orders and winners.

An inquiry made July 5 to the Air Force was not immediately answered.

JADC2 is meant to give the U.S. an advantage over large, technologically advanced opponents by speeding the collection and distribution of information and allowing the best-positioned or most-qualified force to confront a threat. The effort relies on heaps of technology — artificial intelligence, cloud environments, 5G — and requires linking once-incompatible systems across land, air, sea, space and cyber.

The services have their own contributions to JADC2: The Army has Project Convergence, the Navy has Project Overmatch and the Air Force has the Advanced Battle Management System, or ABMS.

Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall considers the buildout of ABMS, a next-generation command and control system, an imperative. In recent months, he has called for more tangible, operational results and less arcane experimentation.

Members of Congress in June sought clarity on the price and progress of JADC2 and included an audit of the endeavor in a version of the annual defense bill. House staffers at the time said the review would help gauge “the state of play” and inform future decisions. The evaluation, they added, is not meant to be punitive.

Some $231 million for ABMS was requested in fiscal 2023.

Colin Demarest is a reporter at C4ISRNET, where he covers military networks, cyber and IT. Colin previously covered the Department of Energy and its NNSA — namely Cold War cleanup and nuclear weapons development — for a daily newspaper in South Carolina. Colin is also an award-winning photographer.

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