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RTX wins $8M DARPA contract to improve Department of Defense supply chain resilience

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) awarded an $8 million contract to address systemic risk surrounding procurement and delivery of supplies to aerospace and defense company RTX and its Raytheon BBN Technologies unit this week. 

“DARPA has emphasized that supply demand networks are potential sources of strategic surprise for the DoD,” John Santini, Raytheon BBN principal investigator for the effort, said. “Vulnerabilities stem from the fact that they are open, complex, evolving systems whose dynamics are at the mercy of both external and internal factors—often driven by locally focused decisions. These decisions often place a priority on cost, timeliness and efficiency with little consideration being made to resiliency.”

Raytheon will develop a simulator capable of impact modeling and the prediction of, and subsequently mitigations for, shocks to supply demand networks on a global level. It would be the first stress test of its kind, and based on historical and behavioral survey data. Data will include supplies of pharmaceuticals, military metals and military food, while models will consist of both macroeconomic looks at supply demand networks and microeconomic and process models for individual decisions and supply chain operations. 

On top of this, the system will turn to AI and dynamical systems analysis for these simulation models to consider and address stressors previously missed or left out. 

Raytheon’s work will include team members from The Ohio State University, Clarkson University and the University of Southern California.

Chris Galford

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