Raytheon BBN has been awarded a contract to develop a collaborative gaming technology to refine complex air attack options for the US Air Force (USAF).

The estimated potential value of this three-year contract is approximately $25m.

The latest effort is a part of the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Fight Tonight programme.

It aims to support commanders to choose the most effective option for achieving any objective during an air attack scenario, using faster-than-real-time strategies.

Under the latest award, the team will develop a collaborative game that can evaluate and refine air attack options, allowing its operators to choose nine times faster than the existing methods.

The gameplay will further support users to visually identify the most suitable option that can achieve the commander’s intent, considering the uncertainty of the battlespace.

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The system combined with auto-exploration and artificial intelligence assistance technologies will reduce planning time from an average of 36 hours to four hours.

The layering technique will also allow the identification of grey space, which reflects all the things that the user has not considered, but may have a potential for closer examination while finalising the option.

Possible grey space things include unanticipated adversary tactics, adverse weather and communication interruptions.

Associated work will be performed by a Raytheon-led team, including Breakaway Games, Raytheon Missiles & Defense and Raytheon Intelligence & Space.

It will be carried out by the Raytheon BBN-led team in different locations, including Rome, New York; Cambridge, Massachusetts; and Hunt Valley, Maryland.

Raytheon BBN principal investigator John Myers said: “Today’s planning requires large teams of people to create a plan—often in a siloed manner—that is based on a likely scenario.

“But battlespace is dynamic, which leads to obsolete plans once an actual engagement is underway.”