The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) has awarded contracts to research advanced cybersecurity and digital engineering to protect aircraft electronic systems against digital threats. The indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contracts awarded to Booz Allen Hamilton and Ball Aerospace are worth up to $200 million US each over five years.
The awards are in support of the Trusted and Elastic Military Platforms and Electronic Warfare System Technologies program (TEMPEST) – part of AFRL’s Agile and Resilient Platform Architectures (ARPA) program – which seeks to develop and integrate next-generation avionics cybersecurity tools and new system architectures. The shared agreement will include enhanced development, technology demonstrations, improvement of current techniques to detect, respond and adapt to new and unusual avionic cyberattacks in real time; and prototyping tools, techniques and capabilities for identifying and mitigating vulnerabilities in avionics systems. Booz Allen and Ball Aerospace will also examine building security technologies that will include assessment and testing tools; malware detection and adaptive response techniques; and solutions aimed at security open-systems and platforms with agile architecture. The cybersecurity technologies that will be developed under the contract include tools for avionics vulnerability assessment and testing.
“The challenge that the ARPA program seeks to address is the AF need to rapidly and efficiently field enhanced war-fighting capability in order to maintain technological advantage in highly contested and consistently changing environments,” AFRL spokesperson Bryan Ripple said..
Solutions developed under the ARPA program “will be applied to a wide-range of associated platforms that operate within diverse, contested environments,” Ripple noted.
The Department of Defense expects that both of the companies’ contract work will be completed by August 2028.