Air Force seeks commercial SD-WAN capabilities for ABMS effort

By Shelley K. Mesch / January 6, 2023 at 10:54 AM

The Air Force is seeking information about existing commercial capabilities to build out the communications network for its Advanced Battle Management System, according to a Friday post from the service.

To improve connectivity and speed up data processing and dissemination, the Air Force is looking for capabilities that can turn any platform in any domain into a communications node, according to the post. These capabilities, called software-defined wide-area network or SD-WAN, would form part of the network used for the service’s contribution to Joint All Domain Command and Control.

The Air Force recognizes that SD-WAN capabilities are available for acquisition, but there has not been a comprehensive study of how existing commercial solutions would fit service operational requirements, according to the post.

The Air Force is interested in capabilities that have increased data rates, reduced latency, anti-jam abilities, low probability of intercept or detection, scalability and the ability to integrate dissimilar users, the post states.

SD-WAN would offer a communications alternative when battle managers are faced with denied, degraded, intermittent and latent network conditions, according to the post, creating a more resilient communications architecture.

Interested original equipment manufacturers are called on to provide an initial white paper submission, details on how their SD-WAN products can meet Air Force objectives and a rough-order-of-magnitude on the associated equipment and licensing costs.

Select vendors will then receive a request for proposals and chosen vendors from that pool will be funded to take part in a test event, according to the post.

White paper submissions are due Monday, Feb. 6. Contract awards are expected by late May.