Air Force’s Critical War Software Will Be Three Years Late And Twice The Price

Sgt. Marie Brown/Air Force photo

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The Air Force’s new update of its critical war system overhaul will be at least three years late, and is expected to cost more than twice the initial projected cost, Bloomberg News reports.

A “Critical Change Report” sent to Congress earlier in November reveals that the development of the Air Operations Centers (AOC) weapons system will cost $371 million more than projected. The development phase was supposed to be finished July 2016, but now the end date is set for December 2019, at which the Department of Defense will decide whether or no they want to implement the new system.

The Air Force “underestimated the complexity of integrating numerous third-party” systems into one streamlined platform, the report says. The current AOC is a collection of 43 integrated software programs.

The AOC coordinates antiterrorism, humanitarian and combat missions around the globe. The system overhaul, which is being led by Northrup Grumman and called AOC 10.2, is supposed to be better automated, more user-friendly, and integrated with fifth-generation fighter jets like the F-35.

The new system, designed by Northrup Grumman, is designed to take “raw data into actionable information that is used to direct battlefield activities,” the report says. Updating the system is a national security priority in order “to address today’s evolving cyber environment,” improve operations, and keep up with “accelerating technological advancements.”

“While there have been some challenges,” the Air Force and Northrup Grumman “have forged a strong partnership that is working together to address the issues,” Randy Belote, a spokesperson for Northrup Grumman, told Bloomberg News in an e-mail. “Northrop Grumman is dedicated to ensuring that the AOC 10.2 successfully provides for the security of the system including against future threats it will face.”

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