Officials of the U.S. Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center (SPAWAR) Atlantic in Charleston, S.C., awarded a $6.5 million contract to Leidos this month for part of the Communication in Contested Environment (C2E) program of the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in Arlington, Va. SPAWAR awarded the contract on DARPA's behalf.
The DARPA C2E program seeks to develop jamming-resistant communications and difficult-to-detect-communications technology to keep battlefield networks functioning amid a variety of spectrum-warfare threats.
Leidos experts are involved in the Heterogeneous Networking and Advanced Communication Technologies development and demonstration component of the DARPA C2E program. L3 Communications Corp. in Salt Lake City also won a $1.1 million contract in August to participate in the DARPA C2E program.
The three areas of the C2E program are heterogeneous networking capability to improve pervasive services while accommodating legacy platform capabilities; a communication system architecture that accommodates new and improved communications capabilities; and a development environment that accommodates third-party technology and rapid capability refresh.
Enemy technology that is designed to intercept, deny, and exploit U.S. tactical communications has advanced quickly, and poses a formidable threat to U.S. air dominance and air supremacy, DARPA officials say.
To counter this threat, U.S. military forces have improved link capacity of a wide range of data radio systems, which focus on the individual node performance. Unfortunately these advances do not address the problem of overall network performance and network pervasiveness, DARPA researchers explain. This is where the C2E program comes in.
The C2E program seeks to make networking improvements that use existing communications capabilities along with new capabilities. The program will seek to use development environments and system architectures for military communications systems that provide flexibility and capability to refresh communications capabilities similar to that of the U.S. commercial communications industry.
DARPA officials say they expect continued growth in sensor systems, unmanned systems, and networked weapon systems that will drive the need for larger, more pervasive networks. At the same time, experts also expect enemy counter-communications systems to improve.