SAIC's Military Maneuver

WASHINGTON (07/19/2000) - Under a US$6.3 million Army contract awarded to Science Applications International Corp., information technologies first developed for hospitals, universities, businesses and schools would be used instead to command missile defense systems.

The contract, awarded July 18 by the Army Space and Missile Defense Command, supports the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization's Wide Bandwidth Information Infrastructure program. The Army wants to create a network for geographically distributed ground test facilities for the Theater High Altitude Area Defense and Navy Theater Wide Missile Defense.

SAIC will also focus on networking technologies to meet national security networking requirements for distributing imagery data for seeker and sensor algorithm developers for Project Hercules, a program tackling some of the tough algorithm issues associated with ballistic missile defense.

SAIC received the award "based on the information technology and wide bandwidth applications SAIC is integrating for the Hospitals, Universities, Businesses and Schools (HUBS) program," according to SAIC. HUBS has been supported by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the Education Department.

HUBS aims to establish the world's first "smart region" in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The region wants to create an environment that will foster business growth, create new job opportunities and develop telemedicine, health informatics and technology-based education programs.

To achieve those goals, SAIC is developing a suite of IT applications, including data fusion, data warehousing, data mining, distributed modeling and simulation, telemedicine, distance learning, and collaborative design and engineering. The HUBS project grew out of a working group established by Curt Weldon (R-Pa.), chairman of the House Military Research and Development Subcommittee, and Da Hsuan Feng of SAIC.

Although theater missile defense technologies may seem an odd adaptation for HUBS technologies, Weldon said they are a natural fit.

"The technical capabilities being developed and integrated for HUBS have direct applicability for the nation's defense systems," Weldon said in a written statement. "By finding solutions to the information technology challenges posed by creating the nation's first four-state smart region, HUBS is helping to improve our national security."

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