WASHINGTON — Northrop Grumman will refine the Defense Intelligence Agency’s data collection-and-analysis pipelines in a deal worth as much as $700 million.

The company announced its win of the so-called Neptune Phoenix contract this week, saying it would provide the agency an “integrated cloud and sensor solution” to more efficiently relay intel to troops.

The DIA ingests, reviews and distributes information that shapes U.S. military operations. Public details about its work and contracts are rare, given classification.

Jennifer Walsmith, Northrop’s vice president of cyber and information solutions, in a statement Dec. 13 said the goal was to transform the “digital ecosystem for the intelligence community” as well as “streamline inputs and provide actionable information at the speed needed to outpace evolving threats.”

Northrop previously won a $690 million order from the DIA to deliver the Transforming All-Source Analysis with Location-Based Object Services program. The TALOS effort, as it’s known, aimed to build big-data systems aligned with DIA’s artificial intelligence-empowered library dubbed the Machine-Assisted Rapid-Repository System, or MARS.

The DIA is revamping itself as the Department of Defense shifts its geographic focus away from the Greater Middle East to confront both Russia and China. At the same time, it’s pushing digital transformation that embraces new software, technologies and practices.

DIA officials last year teased the establishment of its “China mission group,” a collection of experts and analysts dedicated to Beijing and its global ambitions.

“It’s as simple as this: We created a box and we called it China,” DIA Chief of Staff John Kirchhofer said at an Intelligence and National Security Alliance event at the time. “If you are in DIA and you are working China, you’re in that box.”

While much of the intelligence community “has been heavily focused in Europe, and that goes back decades,” he added, “that’s not necessarily where this long-term threat is coming from, even with Russia being as belligerent as they are today.”

Northrop is the third largest contractor in the world when ranked by defense-related revenue, according to the Defense News Top 100 list. The Virginia-based company earned $32.4 billion in 2022 and $31.4 billion in 2021.

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

More In Sensors