The Pentagon has awarded Electronic Data Systems a contract to develop and install a survivable IT and communications infrastructure capable of withstanding a terrorist attack on a scale similar to, or greater than, the attacks of 11 September, 2001.
The two-year, $258m deal falls under the auspices of the US Department of Defense's Command Communications Survivability Program (CSSP). The CSSP upgrade is designed to ensure the survivability, redundancy, recoverability and security of Defense Department IT infrastructure. It covers networks, data storage, and voice and messaging systems at the Pentagon and various other US military facilities.
The CCSP program was created in the wake of the 2001 terrorist attack on the Pentagon, which crippled some of the Defense Department's most important IT and communications systems.
Although the Pentagon was able to communicate orders to deployed military forces on 11 September and the days that followed, the attack severely damaged the US Navy's Telecommunications Operations Center, sensitive chief of naval operations offices and help desk operations within the US Army's Information Management Support Center.
In addition, the National Military Command Center, where senior defence officials monitor global security developments, was filled with thick smoke as a result of the explosion caused by burning jet fuel.
EDS said it would employ an integrated product team approach, using proven systems engineering methodology and input from more than a dozen subcontractors. This approach delivers a "low-risk" implementation and offers maximum flexibility to take advantage of new and emerging technologies.
The project partners include Verizon Federal, Northrop Grumman Information Technology, Raytheon and Computer Sciences.