recommended reading

Lockheed Clinches $82.5 Million Sole-Source Cyber Range Deal

John Amis/AP

A defensewide system that simulates hacks is reliant on Lockheed Martin's trade secrets and expertise, Pentagon officials said in a redacted justification for awarding an $82.5 million to develop and manage the so-called cyber range. 

In May, officials said they were awarding Lockheed a $14 million, 5-year contract to operate and sustain the National Cyber Range. 

ManTech in 2012 lost a bid for the contract, according to Pentagon officials, because only Lockheed had the necessary institutional knowledge and computer programs.

“ManTech does not have the expertise” to support the system’s capabilities, “nor do they, or the government, own the source code,” said Army officials, who awarded the contract to Lockheed on May 23. 

The contract justification, which was released Friday, was signed in early 2013. The work period cited in the document is June 2013 through May 2018.  

The project would be delayed by a year and eight months, if the government awarded the work to another company, officials said in the document. Taking on a new contractor also would duplicate costs, they said. The exact amount of duplicative costs is redacted. 
Killing the program would interrupt the government’s counterterrorism and cyber offensive activities, Army officials said. 

“The disruption of current operations will impact ongoing efforts addressing cyberattacks on U.S. weapon and military systems supporting the global war on terrorism and countering cyber terrorism activities," the justification states. "Failure to meet current and planned operations will impact fielding schedules for critical capabilities, disrupt mission rehearsal for planned operations, and increase risk to combatant and component commanders’ military operations.”

Ending the program not only would heighten national security risks but also cost the government billions of dollars. It would be an “expense of not less than $3B,” because testing technology and training troops before deploying new cyber tools saves that much money, officials said. 

It takes 10 to 20 times longer to test new cyber technologies without the range. The system also is valuable in “improving confidence in the real-world performance of these tools, a vital feature considering the extremely dynamic and evolving real-world cyber threat,” officials said.

Lockheed's tasks will include research and engineering, creating range technologies, testing cyber systems, training and supporting development.

Department cyber specialists consulted with other vendors, in addition to searching government and commercial databases for services, before determining "there is no acquisition alternative for the [national cyber range] at this time,” the justification states. Lockheed, “as the initial developer,” is the “only source that possesses recent knowledge, experience and unique capabilities necessary to meet current requirements.”

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats


Close [ x ] More from Nextgov

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Modernizing IT for Mission Success

    Surveying Federal and Defense Leaders on Priorities and Challenges at the Tactical Edge

  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

  • Effective Ransomware Response

    This whitepaper provides an overview and understanding of ransomware and how to successfully combat it.

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.