Pentagon getting ready to onboard new vendors and applications for CJADC2 tech

The DOD is about to launch a "sprint," hold an industry day and conduct more Global Information Dominance Experiments.
U.S. and Canadian service members participate in the third series of Global Information Dominance Experiments (GIDE 3) at North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command Headquarters, July 8-16, 2021. (DoD photo)

The Department of Defense is set to make more moves in the coming months to bring new vendors and applications into its Combined Joint All-Domain Command and Control (CJADC2) architecture.

On Thursday, the Pentagon’s Chief Digital and AI Office announced a new initiative called Open Data and Applications Government-owned Interoperable Repositories. The initial set of procurements is focused on CJADC2, including the award of a $480 million contract to Palantir that was announced this week for its Maven Smart System, and a prototype other transaction agreement for the company to quickly and securely onboard third-party vendor and government capabilities into a government-owned, contractor-operated data environment.

The department is aiming to develop a “multi-vendor ecosystem with supporting business models that enables industry and government to integrate data platforms, development tools, services, and applications in a way that preserves government data ownership and industry intellectual property,” according to a release.

CJADC2 is a warfighting construct that aims to better connect the platforms, sensors and data streams of the U.S. military and key international partners under a more unified network. Defense officials intend to leverage AI to help commanders and other personnel make faster and better decisions and improve operational effectiveness and efficiency.


Beginning June 1, user access to the Maven Smart System is poised to greatly expand at five combatant commands. That same day, the department plans to launch a “sprint” to further lay the groundwork for onboarding new capabilities.

“We’re going to be doing a six-week sprint starting June 1 that has members of our IP cadre to help us on the intellectual property side, along with key experts in acquisition, contracting and requirements development. What we want to do is develop an agile requirements process that lets us take inputs in from the CoComs, map them to specific technical requirements that we looked at for industry, and then socialize them. What we want to do in that sprint is bake in the metrics for success that we can show to industry and then test in our side experiments, similar to what we did in the lead-up to the minimum viable capability [for CJADC2 that was announced a few months ago] and do that in a repeatable way,” a senior defense official told reporters Thursday during a background briefing.

Other transaction authority will be key to the Pentagon’s plans for rapidly bringing in promising technologies from industry.

“What that OT lets us do is essentially compete the applications outside of the Palantir ecosystem, identify the best developers for that application need for those warfighting requirements, and then direct those to be subcontracted into Palantir, protecting the IP of those third parties, and really taking advantage of the fact that the government owns the data, even though Palantir is operating the infrastructure,” the senior defense official said.

The department’s Global Information Dominance Experiments (GIDE), which allow the combatant commands to exercise CJADC2 capabilities, will serve as a testbed for vendors’ technologies to determine if they meet military requirements.


“We run those every 90 days. And we’re going to kick this off with an industry day in mid-July to transparently communicate to industry what our requirements are, how they can apply through the selection process, and what our criteria for assessment and selection will be going forward,” the official said. The Pentagon wants to see “where we can add to our capabilities to leverage the data that we have and that Palantir stack and build on the [CJADC2] minimum viable capability and the Maven Smart System application.”

The department envisions multiple types of applications and pathways for integrating them into the architecture.

“They can be applications that are fit for a particular urgent or emergent need that we want to build and deploy rapidly, but we may not want to sustain for years or decades. And those can be funded through the OT, delivered [and] fielded very quickly. And then think of them as attritable things that we can deprecate as we no longer need them. The second class is that set of applications that are … something we want to be enduringly available, and those can be transitioned into the IDIQ itself integrated with the Palantir stack,” the senior defense official told DefenseScoop during the briefing.

Jon Harper

Written by Jon Harper

Jon Harper is Managing Editor of DefenseScoop, the Scoop News Group’s online publication focused on the Pentagon and its pursuit of new capabilities. He leads an award-winning team of journalists in providing breaking news and in-depth analysis on military technology and the ways in which it is shaping how the Defense Department operates and modernizes. You can also follow him on X (the social media platform formerly known as Twitter) @Jon_Harper_

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