Air Force’s Platform One deepens ties with industry in new agreement with Lockheed

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The Air Force’s DevSecOps environment Platform One has inked an agreement with Lockheed Martin to collaborate on software-factory activities, deepening the platform’s ties to industry.

The Basic Ordering Agreement (BOA) allows for future task orders and contracts between the two to get signed much faster than the traditional acquisition process allows. The work Lockheed anticipates doing is transitioning other defense customers’ systems to the Platform One environment and “hardening” the security of the platform.

“Collaboration with industry is key to the success of Platform One and other advanced cloud and software efforts, and we look forward to working with the Defense Industrial Base to improve the way we deliver fast, secure and high-quality code to warfighters,” the Air Force’s Chief Software Office Nicolas Chaillan said in a release.

A BOA is not a contract itself, but can allow for more easily issued task orders or contracts for products and services that are hard to quantify, like code, according to government guidelines. It can shrink the time to issue future contracts from months to days, senior software engineer and Lockheed Martin Space senior fellow, Robin Yeman, said in an interview.

“This allows us to rapidly get on contract for capability they need to deliver,” she said.

Platform One has been signaling its desire to deepen its ties with industry. It recently published a request for information for a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA). That’s a research partnership between the government and nongovernment entities that allows for the private sector to commercialize government-created technology while contributing to further research.

Platform One’s DevSecOps uses containerization and the associated Kubernetes technology to automate code deployment in a secure way. The idea is to make the process so secure the products themselves can be trusted. It’s a process Yeman called “revolutionary,” especially in government where security is paramount but agility has been lagging.

“It is treating IT like a mission,” she said.

With this BOA, Lockheed also benefits by getting to apply Platform One’s DevSecOps to its own software factory.

“Software is at the heart of every system we deliver, and we understand the DoD’s urgent need for faster deliveries, more powerful mission capabilities, and open-source, open-architecture foundations for software,” Yvonne Hodge, senior vice president of Enterprise Business Transformation at Lockheed Martin, said in a release. “Platform One is a truly innovative approach that is propelling the DoD’s DevSecOps evolution, and the collaboration with industry has helped us build infrastructure and capabilities that are well-aligned to the DoD’s vision.”

Platform One is the environment on which all the code for the Air Force’s Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS) is being created. ABMS and other initiatives that aim to link sensors to shooters via an internet-like capability for weapons, all will rely heavily on software and the security of Platform One.

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Air Force, Nicolas Chaillan, Platform One