The government has appointed Leidos Australia as the prime system integrator for a project intended to make it easier to search, access and analyse data on the Defence Secret Network (DSN).
The Department of Defence in late 2015 launched a request for proposal (RFP) process for Joint Project (JP) 2096 Phase 1. Defence described JP 2096 as a “multi-phase and evolutionary program to enable and support military and intelligence force elements and organisations in their conduct of operations”.
The department said Phase 1 will provide infrastructure on the DSN to “store, manage and process” large volumes of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) data.
JP 2096 Phase one will “create a unified, integrated mission dataset that enables users to discover, access, analyse, manipulate and publish ISR information and intelligence in a timely manner, regardless of location, organisation, activity or information source,” the department said.
JP 2096 Phase 1 “at its core aims to speed up the search and collation of intelligence data,” Air Vic-Marshal Warren McDonald said in a May 2018 speech.
“Why would that be important? Well in the future, and not too distant future, we will be required to work through very large amounts of data to formulate decisions that must be made quickly in a conflict.”
“It was always thus, but with artificial intelligence on the horizon, a capability that has the promise of delivering the right decision more quickly than a human, we had best be ready for it,” McDonald, the Chief of Joint Capabilities, said.
Around $500 million has been approved for the first tranche of JP 2096.
“This project will allow intelligence analysts to rapidly search and discover collected data to improve intelligence and decision support to Australian Defence Force (ADF) and whole of government decision makers,” defence minister Christopher Pyne said in a statement.
“The project will help deliver on the government’s commitment to improve the situational awareness, mission planning and warfighting capabilities of the ADF as outlined in the 2016 Defence White Paper.”
The government said the first tranche will integrate selected ISR data and applications, as well as build a search and discovery capability, and deliver an ISR development and support centre. It will also “sustain the ISR integration capability throughout its life”.