Northrop Overseeing Launch of Unified Platform Coding Center

A Northrop Grumman spokesperson said the company is leading the effort to establish a new coding center that will help field the Unified Platform for US Cyber Command. DOD graphic.

Northrop Grumman is taking the lead on standing up a new coding center dubbed “LevelUp” that will help field the secretive Unified Platform for US Cyber Command, a company spokeswoman said Monday.

The company announced April 18 it was one of five contractors that each received $24 million at the end of February to offer cyber enterprise services for Unified Platform, which is envisioned to be a common platform from which the military can conduct offensive and defensive cyber operations. The Air Force has not said which companies received the funds, although Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, and Booz Allen Hamilton have also showed interest in the Unified Platform program.

Under the services contract, Northrop, which is also the Unified Platform systems coordinator, is tasked with launching LevelUp. The company says it will nominate capabilities to be added into the “continuous integration/continuous development” pipeline based on its internal research and what it learns from other cyber contracts.

“Northrop Grumman will work with its own developers, as well as with those of the five other companies selected, to enhance multiple cyber platforms with a provision of services in the areas of command-and-control, planning, generation, execution, assessment, reporting, and visualization,” a Northrop spokeswoman said Monday.

Northrop declined to provide a timeline for releasing newly created parts of the system. Iterative software prototyping efforts for Unified Platform are expected to run through the end of fiscal 2021.

Although Air Force budget documents say the total cost of Unified Platform is still evolving, LevelUp is solely funded by research and development dollars, compared to other coding teams that dip into both procurement and R&D funds, according to Air Force spokeswoman Capt. Cara Bousie.