STR moves ahead with software project to boost effectiveness of military planning and command and control

March 3, 2022
JAWS considers dynamic coordination of kill webs across the battlespace, since sensors, weapons, and decision makers are not always in the same place.

ARLINGTON, Va. – Battle management experts at Systems and Technology Research LLC (STR) in Woburn, Mass., will help U.S. military researchers develop software to boost the effectiveness of large-scale military planning through theater-scale command and control with automation and predictive analytics.

Officials of the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in Arlington, Va., announced a $15 million order last week to STR for phases one and two of the Joint All-Domain Warfighting Software (JAWS) program.

JAWS considers dynamic coordination of kill webs across the battlespace, since sensors, weapons, and decision makers are not always in the same place.

This approach to command and control enables flexibility by enabling decision makers to optimize assignments by developing software to set up synchronized kill webs that operate on and under the sea, on land, in the air, in space, and in the electromagnetic spectrum.

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The order brings the total value of the contract to $30.2 million. STR won a $15.2 initial contract in December 2020 for the DARPA JAWS program. The Raytheon Technologies Corp. Missiles & Defense and Intelligence & Space segments also are JAWS contractors.

The primary issues for command and control are sensing, communications, and weapons. JAWS defines sensing is the ability to detect, geolocate, and identify potential targets for attack.

Communications is the ability to pass data at the right time and quickly enough to deploy, maintain, and maneuver, assets. Weapons involves choosing the right weapon for the job.

Coordinating kill webs in areas as large as military theaters typically are centralized and difficult to scale. This can result in flexibility at low military echelons, but in cumbersome human-intensive planning at high echelons, with widespread use of tactical radios with targeting information.

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Instead, the JAWS program seeks to develop the software tools that create a distributed command and control structure using dynamic teaming and machine-to-machine interfaces to enable centralized and distributed planning and execution combinations.

For example, when few targets and resources are involved, much of the overall battlespace can push to the tactical edge without significant coordination. Yet with many targets over large areas, theater level coordination is necessary to allocate resources efficiently.

JAWS is not intended to prescribe command structures but enable them based on mission need; it is inherently a man-machine team. The tools developed in JAWS should support the speeds necessary to decision makers to synchronize kill webs at scale.

The intended users of JAWS are the joint force commanders working across military services and warfare domains. Select command and control forces at the tactical edge will interface with JAWS for tight coordination.

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The JAWS program should yield new capabilities that include:

-- extendable architectures that abstract essential resource and tasking data dependencies for rapid integration of new sensors, communication concepts, and weapon systems;

-- ways to abstract and resolve sequences of events like coordinated fires with variable planning horizons; and

-- ways to safeguard warfighting capability amid intermittent or permanent loss of information flow between any nodes.

DARPA researchers want to demonstrate solutions in a live, virtual, constructive environment to consider various scenarios and evaluate command and control features. This virtual environment will call for four rackmount computer servers with 500 gigabytes of memory, 100 cores on CPU; and one terabyte of solid-state data storage.

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The test environment also will have 500 terabytes of network-attached data storage; and five desktop workstations with 10-core CPUs, and 256 gigabytes of memory, one terabyte of disk storage.

On this order STR will do the work in Woburn, Mass; Alexandria, Va.; Dayton, Ohio; Menlo Park, Calif.; as well as in California and Columbia, Md., and should be finished by June 2023.

For more information contact STR online at Raytheon Intelligence & Space and Raytheon Missiles & Defense online at, or DARPA at

About the Author

John Keller | Editor-in-Chief

John Keller is the Editor-in-Chief, Military & Aerospace Electronics Magazine--provides extensive coverage and analysis of enabling electronics and optoelectronic technologies in military, space and commercial aviation applications. John has been a member of the Military & Aerospace Electronics staff since 1989 and chief editor since 1995.

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