Northrop Grumman secures DARPA Gamebreaker programme contract

13 August 2020 (Last Updated August 13th, 2020 13:45)

Northrop Grumman has secured a new contract to support US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Strategic Technology Office’s (STO) Gamebreaker programme.

Northrop Grumman secures DARPA Gamebreaker programme contract
Northrop Grumman is applying artificial intelligence to real-time wargames to break complex models and enhance military strategy. Credit: Slitherine Software.

Northrop Grumman has secured a new contract to support US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Strategic Technology Office’s (STO) Gamebreaker programme.

The programme is designed to develop artificial intelligence (AI) technologies and apply it on existing real-time strategy games to determine the tactics and parameters that can destabilise it.

Through this programme, the US seeks to develop new military strategies to achieve an advantage over an adversary in future conflicts.

Under the contract, Northrop Grumman will work to develop technology to enhance flexible planning, optimisation and discovery in products that operate dynamic environments.

Northrop Grumman intelligent mission capabilities and advanced technology laboratory director Susan Wilson said: “Using AI to exploit engagement models can help to enable intelligent systems that could in turn enhance military strategy.

“We are exploring how we may be able to use this methodology in the future.”

Northrop Grumman’s Gamebreaker team will include Hazardous Software and Slitherine Software’s Matrix Games.

Together, the team will leverage AI techniques to develop models and break balance within a highly complex simulator environment called ‘Command: Modern Operations’.

Hazardous Software CEO Christopher Hazard said: “Hazardous Software Inc (HSI) is excited to continue our partnership with Northrop Grumman.

“Building upon our 13 years of history modelling dynamic adversarial scenarios and leveraging the Diveplane machine learning platform, HSI’s approach to Gamebreaker complements Northrop Grumman’s longstanding experience and technology capabilities.”

Slitherine Software CEO Iain McNeil said: “Command Professional Edition is the only wargame being analysed by DARPA in the Gamebreaker programme.

“We are very interested to see how the AI behaves and if it manages to identify loopholes that need assessment, or it comes up with innovative strategies that are applicable to the real world.”

Headquartered in Virginia, Northrop Grumman is an aerospace and defence technology company.

The company employs around 90,000 people to deliver advanced systems, products and services to space, aeronautics, defence and cyberspace verticals.

Last month, Northrop Grumman signed an agreement to use Epirus’ electromagnetic pulse (EMP) weapon system in its Counter-Unmanned Aerial System (C-UAS) systems-of-systems solution offering.