Combatant commands poised to scale targeting capabilities via Palantir’s Maven system

Work under the new contract will initially cover five U.S. combatant commands: Central Command, European Command, Indo-Pacific Command, Northern Command/NORAD, and Transportation Command.
Combined Air Operations Center (CAOC) at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. The CAOC is comprised of a joint and coalition team that executes day-to-day combined air and space operations and provides rapid reaction, positive control, coordination, and de-confliction of weapon systems. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Joshua Strang)

In the wake of a new $480 million contract award, U.S. military combatant commands are about to get expanded access to data integration and artificial intelligence tools to aid battlespace awareness and targeting.

Wednesday evening the Pentagon announced that Palantir landed a deal for its Maven Smart System led by the Army. On Thursday, company executives said the effort will significantly grow the user base and help the department’s Chief Digital and AI Office proliferate the technology to warfighters and pursue its vision for Combined Joint All-Domain Command and Control (CJADC2), which aims to better connect the platforms, sensors and data streams of the U.S. military and key international partners to improve decision-making, operational effectiveness and efficiency.

The IDIQ contract will help the combatant commands and the Joint Staff do CJADC2-related work, Shannon Clark, head of defense growth at Palantir, told reporters.

The tech is expected to facilitate battlespace awareness, global integration, contested logistics, joint fires and targeting workflows.


“This is taking what has been built in prototype and experimentation and bringing this [Maven system] to production,” Clark said. “The prototype began in 2021, we fielded that to a small set of users at each of these combatant commands. Now this is offering an enterprise capability with essentially no user limit at these combatant commands. So any individual that is focused on some of the workflows that [the technology is designed to aid] … will have access to the platform. That’s one of the things we’re so excited about, frankly, is because this means that an intel analyst or a user that’s doing work in the field has access to this platform, as do the combatant commanders themselves.”

Work under the new contract will initially cover five U.S. combatant commands: Central Command, European Command, Indo-Pacific Command, Northern Command/NORAD, and Transportation Command. The tech will also continue to be deployed as part of the Defense Department’s Global Information Dominance Experiments (GIDE), according to Clark.

“Users are going to span everyone from intel analysts and operators in, you know, some of the remote island chains across the world to leadership at the Pentagon. It’s going to reach thousands of users across the globe,” Clark said.

The company will be working with other vendors and U.S. government partners to integrate their technologies with Maven.

“We will be partnering with them to help integrate other AI capabilities, not just what Palantir brings to the table. So they will be able to build on all the data integrations that Palantir is doing, build on the pipelines and the applications within the platform or other platforms through open APIs and our ontology software development kits,” Clark said. “We want to be able to integrate with any data system, any new AI capability that the government procures and wants to be part of this ecosystem. So, you know, should tomorrow a new sensor come online, should … a new AI capability come online, we want to be able to integrate with that.”


The Pentagon’s Chief Digital and AI Office also awarded Palantir a $33 million prototype other transaction agreement “to rapidly and securely” onboard third-party vendor and government capabilities into a government-owned, Palantir-operated data environment, according to a CDAO release that went out Thursday afternoon.

The Maven system and the data environment will support the Defense Department’s plans for the Open Data and Applications Government-owned Interoperable Repositories (Open DAGIR) initiative that was announced Thursday.

The first task order under the $480 million Maven contract is worth $153 million. The funding will go toward licenses to deploy the company’s software, according to Clark.

“This task order kicks off on June 1 … Those licenses will be made available immediately to all those users,” she told DefenseScoop during the meeting with reporters. “That’s the beauty of commercial software. The beauty of the product that we built is that we can get it up and running in days and weeks, not months and years.”

The Maven tech can integrate data from a variety of reporting systems — such as satellite imagery, signals intelligence, electronic intelligence, human intelligence, or other sources — across multiple domains to provide users with better situational awareness of friendly and adversary forces. That info can be displayed for commanders and other personnel via easy-to-use maps and dashboards, Andrew Locke, DOD enterprise lead at Palantir, told reporters.


The system can also “layer in” AI capabilities, such as computer vision models that scan imagery and look for objects of interest.

“For the user, they can go immediately from kind of that tip and cue that something of interest is there and actually nominate, you know, targets from the platform. So, you know, when we think about the integration of AI into these workflows, it is very much like humans involved in the process … They’re providing their unique subject matter expertise to verify that, you know, what AI maybe suggested is there is actually there. And then go from that into what you know the next stage of a process might be,” Locke said.

That could include what he called a “targeting nomination workflow.”

“In this case, you can either nominate a single target or multiple targets. We help to augment the user where we take all the metadata associated with those detections and kind of package that in the … format that they’re familiar with as part of the target nomination. As they do that, that would then transition to a separate capability that we’re providing across target management where nominated targets would then pop up right into a board … And for a staff, they can really optimize a process, take like their standard operating procedures that are unique to that organization and then code that in software,” he explained.

Data from social media could also be integrated into workflows if the U.S. government asked for that, he suggested.


“On our side, [we’re] really agnostic, you know, to the data sources. And really no technical limitation,” he told DefenseScoop during the meeting with reporters.

Palantir will defer to the Pentagon in terms of providing specifics on the actual social media sites or programs that they might want to pull from, he noted.

“But basically … if the government were to be using a sort of AI to initially run off of social media, whether that’s computer vision against images or videos that are in posts, or some type of like geolocation or, you know, natural language processing, you know, over keywords … then we would provide, like, the integration of whatever those social media sources potentially look like. And then … move that into classified networks, and then provide that sort of information in conjunction with the other data sources that we’ve integrated on the government’s behalf,” Locke said.

Updated on May 30, 2024, at 5:20 PM. This story has been updated to include information about an other transaction agreement awarded to Palantir and the Pentagon’s Open DIGAR initiative.

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