Navy selects Sigma Defense to support unmanned system software integration as 'autonomy baseline manager'

By Nick Wilson / February 28, 2024 at 10:07 AM

The Navy this week selected technology company Sigma Defense to serve as its "autonomy baseline manager," a role that will help guide the integration of software for autonomous systems across the service, according to a Feb. 26 Pentagon contract announcement.

The $19 million award goes to SOLUTE, a subsidiary of Sigma Defense, which is expected to complete work in February 2025 for this initial one-year base period. The total contract value could reach $59 million with work stretching into 2029 if four additional option years are exercised.

As the autonomy baseline manager, or ABM, the company will support the Navy’s unmanned maritime systems office (PMS 406), performing “oversight and management of autonomous systems development and the associated central software repository for unmanned autonomy artifacts, processes and procedures,” the notice states.

Sigma Defense was one of two companies to bid for the contract, the Pentagon notice states. In a separate company announcement, Sigma Defense describes its new role as supporting the Navy’s development of a network of unmanned platforms by integrating the autonomy software employed by these systems.

“Leveraging its extensive expertise in DevSecOps, Sigma Defense will deliver tools and processes to manage pipelines and integrate autonomous capabilities among unmanned vehicles (UxVs),” the company announcement states. “Specifically, Sigma Defense will employ DevSecOps and agile methodologies using the Rapid Autonomy Integration Lab (RAIL) process, which includes a software factory for continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) of software to UxVs.”

In 2021, Inside Defense reported that the ABM role would be established in conjunction with the Navy’s Rapid Autonomy Integration Lab efforts to help advance the development of a network of autonomous platforms. The Navy hosted two ABM industry days in 2021 before releasing a preselection in September 2022 and an official solicitation in January 2023.

“The Sigma Defense mission is to autonomously connect people, systems and data, and we accomplish that through the development and delivery of software via a proven DevSecOps platform,” said Sigma Defense CEO Matt Jones in a statement included in the company’s release. “Providing integration services for autonomy software for unmanned vehicles under the Autonomy Baseline Manager (ABM) contract is further delivering on our commitment of ensuring decision dominance for NAVSEA.”