‘An information advantage against adversaries’ – MoD signs £16.6m deal for battlefield apps
Department picks PA Consulting for 18-month deal
Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire/PA Images
The Ministry of Defence has signed a multimillion-pound deal to support the development of software applications to be deployed on the battlefield.
The PREDA (Platform for Rapid Exploitation of Digital Applications) programme was first announced in March 2019 by then defence secretary Gavin Williamson. The £30m scheme is intended to expedite the development of apps to be used by members of the Armed Forces serving on the front line or operating in “extreme environments”.
The aim is to enable apps to be developed in response to command objectives and made available to military personnel “in a matter of days”.
The focus of the programme – which was originally slated to launch in full by the end of 2019 – is “initially expected to provide tools to support decision making and command and control, the initiative could be rolled out to other disciplines, such as cyber defence, logistics and medical support”.
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Newly published procurement information reveals that the MoD has now picked a commercial partner to support delivery of the scheme, with PA Consulting awarded a £16.6m deal. The contract, which was awarded following a competitive process run through the Technology Services 2 framework, came into effect on 3 September and runs until 31 March 2023.
The tech consultancy will provide an underlying IT architecture that delivers “subscriptions, training, support and laboratory services”.
The firm will also deliver integration, compliance and testing services, and provide the programme with a range of staff, including “multi-skilled DevOps teams, platform operations teams, [and an] application support team”.
“The DevOps team will deliver warfighting capability to the users,” the contract-award notice said. “PREDA is a pan-defence capability that will deliver quality robust, secure and standardised applications and information services quickly to the users at value for money, and able to be federated across TLBs (top level budgets).”
It added: “PREDA aims to gain an information advantage against adversaries through the ability to develop applications and information services at pace by exploiting the technologies, people, and processes used in modern application development and support.”
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