Cyber Defense

DARPA hires Raytheon to work on Plan X cyber warfare platform

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has awarded a $9.8 million contract to Raytheon as a part of its Plan X program, which is designed to plan for, conduct and assess cyber warfare in the same way that kinetic warfare is analyzed. Raytheon’s research and development will be contracted to enable scaling and execution of cyber operations for the Defense Department.

First announced in 2011, Plan X has connected cyber communities of interest from the commercial technology industry, user-experience experts, the defense industry and academia to create DOD’s foundational cyber warfare program, according to DARPA. While explicitly not funding research and development efforts in cyber warfare, the program seeks to create technologies for managing, planning and understanding cyber missions in dynamic network environments.

“The program covers largely unchartered territory as we attempt to formalize cyber mission command and control for the DOD,” Dan Roelker, DARPA program manager, said at the initial Proposers’ Day workshop in October 2012.

According to the Washington Post, one goal of Plan X is to create a program that will completely map out cyberspace and update itself as the Internet grows, giving commanders the ability to identify and attack targets. Another goal is the development of an operating system that is capable of both surviving counterattacks and launching its own offensives.

"When supporting our customers' missions, we can help assess the results of launching missiles or any weapons in other domains — land, air, sea or space," Jack Harrington, vice president of Cybersecurity and Special Missions for Raytheon Intelligence, Information and Services, said in an announcement by the company. "Raytheon is working to provide the same mission confidence to the cyber domain through our work with DARPA's Plan X."

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