Lockheed Martin has been awarded a contract by the US Marine Corps (USMC) to modernise and maintain its virtualised theatre battle management core system (TBMCS).
The TBMCS synchronises air mission planning for all arms of the military when integrated with joint services and coalition systems.
The $18m contract involves maintaining USMC's battle command system, which manages and supervises airborne platforms such as fighters, bombers, tankers, unmanned aerial vehicles and helicopters.
In addition to allowing marines to plan, direct and control theatre air operations, the TBMCS will allow the USMC to coordinate their activities with ground and air force elements.
Lockheed Martin Information Systems and Global Solutions C4ISR vice-president Dr Rob Smith said: "By automating the way air power is commanded and controlled, TBMCS provides a seamless information flow that shortens decision cycles.
"For nearly two decades, we have managed TBMCS. We'll leverage our years of technical experience to ensure that the system remains aligned to the marines' overall mission."
Lockheed will deliver updates for approximately 200 integrated software applications, ranging from major planning tools to smaller 'plug-in' applets used to monitor status of force.
The team will also maintain airspace deconfliction applications, which are aimed at supporting coordination of precision engagement fires.
Furthermore, the company will modernise the automated tools used by the USMC to generate, disseminate and execute the air tasking and airspace control orders.
TBMCS enables distributed battle management, which means that the joint community, including the USMC, navy, army and air force, can all contribute to the management of the air campaign.