BAE Systems has secured a contract from the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to advance software development for semi-autonomous, multi-domain mission planning.

The $6.5m Phase II contract has been awarded as part of the Adapting Cross-Domain Kill-Webs (ACK) programme.

Under Phase I, BAE Systems’ FAST Labs research and development organisation created software in partnership with Carnegie Mellon University and Uncharted Software.

This software is called the multi-domain adaptive request service (MARS).

The company noted that the MARS software’s ability was successfully demonstrated during a live exercise.

The software updated a plan with hundreds of missions by analysing real-time information feeds to identify options for planned tasking and re-tasking against new targets.

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It took only fractions of a second for each target added.

Under Phase II, BAE Systems will continue to advance the software, extending the capabilities designed to help operators make informed decisions.

The company will identify available assets across domains and then evaluate the costs and benefits of using those assets during mission tasks.

Overall, the Phase II contract aims to demonstrate the techniques in a full scale and ‘operationally realistic’ scenario.

BAE Systems autonomy, controls and estimation group product line director Chris Eisenbies said: “Autonomy is a critical enabler for multi-domain mission planning.

“The Phase II award will focus on advancing the software designed for military operators to leverage battlespace resources from across various domains, including space, air, land and sea, for more effective, efficient missions.”

The company will perform the work related to the ACK programme at its facilities in Burlington, Massachusetts; and Arlington, Virginia, both in the US.

In April, BAE Systems secured a contract from DARPA to develop machine learning analytics. This is a new Cloud-based model being developed for the US Government that would seek to provide an automated service.