BAE Systems has been awarded a $3.2m contract to work on the first phase of the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA) Communications in Contested Environments (C2E) programme.
The C2E aims to combat the rapid evolution of technological threats posed by US adversaries through the development of a new framework of reliable, jam-resistant networked communications.
Under terms of the contract, the company will develop a new open system architecture (OSA), designed to enable new and more effective communications platforms to support allied forces in highly contested environments.
BAE Systems business development director Michael Beltrani said: "With our role in the C2E programme, we're not only addressing technological threats that we anticipate our adversaries will use tomorrow, we're looking decades into the future and building a system that can adapt and flex to support a high level of change and advancement in the years ahead.
"We have more than 25 years of proven, fielded experience in networked communications, Link 16 in particular, that will be a significant strength in this effort."
The OSA will be required to support ongoing, evolutionary technology upgrades to match application demands and changing adversary threats.
Even though the current military communications architectures provide rugged, reliable services, they lack the flexibility to expand and adapt to demands for increased or different performance.
The C2E programme intends to tap into the same vision and ingenuity that has led to remarkable advancements in the US commercial communications industry and use similar capabilities to protect military communications.
Apart from the new OSA, the programme is expected to seek innovative ideas in two additional technical domains, the first of which is a heterogeneous networking capability to enhance pervasive services while accommodating legacy platform capabilities.
DARPA also anticipates an environment that facilitates the incorporation of third-party technology and the rapid refresh of capability.