Defence's one-stop intelligence data interface goes live

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Defence's one-stop intelligence data interface goes live

Leidos-led project achieves final operating capability.

A long-awaited intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) integration capability from Leidos has gone live at the Department of Defence, providing analysts with a single user interface search for data across multiple datasets.

The Wagardi mission system – the first tranche of Joint Project 2096 Phase 1 – reached final operational capability (FOC) last month and is now in the process of being introduced into service by Defence.

The integration allows staff to search for and assimilate ISR information across multiple databases using a single user interface, for faster and better-informed decision making.

The capability arrives at the department almost seven years after Defence approached the market for a system integrator to deliver the project.

Leidos was appointed prime SI on the project in February 2019, a role that involved delivering infrastructure on the Defence secret network (DSN) to store, manage and process large volumes of ISR data.

The project was initially approved for $500 million, but in September 2020, when the project reached initial operating capability (IOC), the cost of the project was revised to $450 million.

In a statement, Defence industry minister Pat Conroy said the “landmark” Wagardi capability would benefit Defence personnel by “making it easier to access, discover and collaborate on ISR information”.

The word Wagardi means dilly bag in the language of the Larrakia people, the traditional owners of the Darwin region. It was selected because the capability allows users to access ISR information from a number of sources in one location.

“The Wagardi capability is step change in the ease with which ISR information is able to be accessed and utilised,” Conroy said.

“Achieving this milestone allows Defence to put this capability in the hands of a broad range of personnel who rely on quick and reliable access to the vast amounts of information produced by Australian and allied Defence capabilities.”

Following the delivery of the interface, Defence has also announced that Leidos will continue as the prime SI for the next two tranches of JP 2096 Phase 1 at a cost of $95 million.

“Having Leidos, together with other Australian providers, deliver the final two tranches of the joint project will ensure approximately $95 million is spent in Australia,” he said.

Tranche two will see Defence extend the search and discovery functionality delivered by the interface to deployed users, while tranche three will “focus on the integration of data from selected allied, coalition and whole-of-government data stores”.

Leidos Australia CEO Paul Chase said the company was proud to have worked with the Defence chief information officer group to deliver tranche one.

“The Tranche one mission system was implemented using Leidos’ software factory principles and methodologies, integrating with CIOG processes to deliver a highly secure, performant and scalable solution,” he said.

“Leidos looks forward to continue working with Defence to support and enhance the Wagardi capability, ensuring it keeps up with the huge volumes of ISR data coming from new platforms.”

As the ISR project continues, Defence is also ramping up work on the first phase of its $515 million OneDefence data program in partnership with KPMG.

KPMG was named the preferred SI for the project, codenamed ICT 2284, in April to allow Defence to better manage data as a strategic warfighting asset.

Updated at 2:08pm to include Leidos Australia statement

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