The Royal Navy is on the hunt, not for enemy submarines in this instance, but for a technology supplier to provide a data integration platform in return for a bounty of £50m.
The British naval warfare force said it needed the new platform to help it share data with "military, maritime and industry partners," according to a contract notice published this week.
It said the 475-year-old institution requires a "partner to provide digital upskilling and a data integration platform that will operationalise and enhance existing RN digital capability on a secure, accredited, multi-classification, interoperable platform that enables the sharing of data among military, maritime and industry partners using open standards so that users can use analytics and visualisations to improve decision making capability."
The competition is in fact a "call-off" through an existing Crown Commercial Service framework for back-office software awarded in April to a gang of 30 suppliers with a total potential value of £1.2bn. Only companies on that framework are able to vie for this Royal Navy contract.
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Worthy of note is that famed US spy-tech vendor Palantir, founded by Trump backer Peter Thiel, has won a place on that framework, although that does not mean it is necessarily in line for the Royal Navy job – yet.
The total budget for the new Royal Navy data platform is £50m. It is set to last three years with the option to extend for a further two years. Bids should be in by 18 August while the contract is expected to be awarded by 21 October.
The Navy has been busy on the IT procurement front in recent months. In March, it awarded low-code software specialist Pegasystems a £9.5m contract jointly with the Army. It said it was building a no-code/low-code "applicant support tool" with reporting analytics to help with the hiring of personnel.
In December 2020 it awarded Capita a £1bn, 12-year deal to provide training services for the Royal Navy and Marines. The oft-criticised outsourcing business is expected to use its "expertise" in "transformation, learning and the delivery of complex, technology enabled defence projects" to update all training courses and deploy analytics to monitor training methods, among other things. ®