DARPA officials this week outlined the agency’s new “Plan X” cyber initiative to more than 350 cyber researchers, software engineers, and human-machine interface experts. Plan X, announced in May, is the first DARPA program that aims to create “revolutionary technologies” for understanding, planning, and managing Defense Department cyber missions in real-time, large-scale, and dynamic network environments, states the agency’s Oct. 17 release. Under Plan X, DARPA will conduct novel research on the cyber domain. Plan X is “explicitly not funding” research in cyber vulnerability analysis or new cyber weapons, states the release. Insights from this week’s discussions with the industry experts will help DARPA finalize its approach to the program, said Dan Roelker, a DARPA program manager. The agency anticipates issuing a Plan X broad agency announcement for industry within the next month.
The F-35 Joint Program Office has officially announced plans to issue multiple sole-source contracts to Pratt & Whitney to upgrade the fighter’s F135 engine—a widely expected move after Pentagon officials indicated they would do so earlier this year instead of developing an entirely new engine.