Palantir wins $800 million Army contract for battlefield intelligence system

The U.S. Army has chosen Palantir Technologies to deploy a complex, new battlefield intelligence system for soldiers.

According to Army documents seen by The Washington Post, the contract, which is potentially worth $800 million, grants the Peter Thiel-founded company the right to build the next phase of the Distributed Common Ground System (DCGS-A, for Army), which allows users to analyze a range of information about enemy movements and terrain, and create real-time reports.

The selection of Palantir is the latest phase of an ongoing competition between Palantir and Raytheon, which were both chosen by the Army in March 2018 for a 10-year, multiple-award contract to transform the Army's intelligence network.

Although Raytheon is "disappointed" with the Army's choice on this initial delivery order, the company will continue to compete for future delivery orders and work with the Army to meet their intelligence needs, Chris Johnson, a spokesperson for Raytheon, told Fox News.

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The Post reports that Raytheon and Palantir were allowed to test their unique software before an audience of soldiers, who critiqued both presentations. Afterward, the two companies refined their offerings a bit more.

“The Army changed its approach to acquisition,” Doug Philippone, a former Army Ranger who leads Palantir’s defense business, told the Post.

He explained that the company was confident it could win if it were allowed to adjust its technology after getting feedback, adding that soldiers even parachuted out of airplanes with reinforced laptops containing Palantir’s software during the testing phase.

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"Palantir Defense allows warfighters to interact with all of their data from all of their systems from a single point of access, in unprecedented ways," the tech company says on its site. "No matter where the data is being accessed, Palantir Defense’s global knowledge management capabilities track every read, write, and edit, preserving the accumulated knowledge of the battle space."