Next phase of Army's TITAN AI program pits Palantir against Raytheon

By Tony Bertuca / June 29, 2022 at 12:33 PM

The Army has awarded contracts to Palantir and Raytheon Technologies to develop prototypes for the service's Tactical Intelligence Targeting Access Node, a military battlefield system intended to leverage artificial intelligence like never before.

The Army’s Program Executive Office for Intelligence for Electronic Warfare and Sensors has announced each company will receive $36 million to build TITAN prototypes over the next 14 months, after which the service will select one contractor to produce the final system.

The Army intends the TITAN system, which will be a key component of the service’s contribution to the Pentagon’s battlefield Joint All-Domain Command and Control concept, to be integrated on ground vehicles, like the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle.

The Army has requested $58 million for the TITAN program in fiscal 2023.

“Now more than ever, the nation’s warriors and allies are being asked to make more decisions, at a faster speed, with more available data,” Aki Jain, president of Palantir USG, said in a statement. “TITAN is the crucial combination of the Defense Industry’s best technology from both emerging and enduring DOD partners, and we’re proud to serve as a non-traditional prime contractor for this effort.”

The Raytheon team is led by its intelligence and space unit.

“Our team is prepared to deliver a mature solution on time to help Army commanders make decisions faster and ultimately, operationalize joint warfighting capabilities to support the JADC2 vision,” said Scott McGleish, executive director of space and C2 Systems at Raytheon Intelligence & Space. “Our team has the mission know-how to develop and deploy this system efficiently and affordably, with flexibility to upgrade over time.”

Meanwhile, a senior engineer from Palantir, who spoke to reporters about the sensitive nature of the company’s offering on the condition of anonymity, said Palantir views itself as a non-traditional competitor going up against a larger prime contractor.

“Having a more modular, flexible approach that’s centered around how the software is going to be delivering the basic weapon capability here -- I think it makes it so a company that is primarily a software company is well-suited to actually deliver on that technology promise here,” the engineer said. “We tried to make this platform as digitally capable as possible.”

Additionally, the engineer said, Palantir has learned from solider feedback gathered during different experimental events.

“We’re really excited about the direction of the program,” the engineer said. “We’re going to be developing and delivering an actual prototype vehicle to the Army to collect soldier feedback and have it involved in exercises.”

Raytheon, meanwhile, said in a statement it intends to “pull from decades of experience gleaned from work in support of the intelligence community, system integration, communications design and effectors.”

“RI&S in collaboration with the Raytheon Technologies business units, is contributing a multidomain footprint of capabilities in secure communications, advanced sensors, software solutions and smart effectors to enable DOD’s JADC2 architecture,” Raytheon said.