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Palantir wins $800 million contract to build the U.S. Army’s next battlefield software system

Palantir just landed a landmark contract with the U.S. Army worth north of $800 million. The Washington Posts reports that the Silicon Valley data analytics company was tapped over traditional defense contractor Raytheon on the project, which tasks Palantir with delivering a comprehensive combat intelligence hardware and software suite to replace the Army’s outdated system, known as DCGS-A.
A year ago, the Army named Palantir and Raytheon as finalists to compete for the contract, which will totally overhaul the Army’s “system-of-systems” that provides comprehensive data to “to assist the commander’s visualization and understanding of the threat and other relevant aspects of the operational environment.”
While the DCGS-A contract marks Palantir’s only deal with the military big enough to have its own line item with Congress, the company does have existing military ties. The largest contract that Palantir has previously entered into with the Army was for $22,401,901, starting in 2015. The company also picked up a number of contracts with the Navy over the years, though none approaching the scale of the new potentially $800 million project. Palantir’s largest Navy contracts were for $23,750,000 and $35,804,181 in 2014 and 2017, respectively. The company’s largest previous military contract to date was $216,872,321 for software services for U.S. Special Operations Command. That contract was awarded in 2016 and is set to run through next year.
Palantir has seen massive recent success with the Department of Defense, but as BuzzFeed reported in 2017, the company has experienced some friction within its CIA and FBI relationships. In 2016, Palantir successfully won an unusual lawsuit against the Army for the right to bid on the massive DCGS replacement contract with its own commercial software. The lawsuit opened the doors for Palantir to vie to provide the government an off-the-shelf product to replace its bespoke $3 billion-plus intelligence system, which took a decade to build.
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