WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Defense picked Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Oracle for a consquential cloud computing deal worth as much as $9 billion, more than one year after it abandoned a similar effort known as JEDI.
The indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity selections for the Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability, or JWCC, were made public Wednesday in a list of contracts published by the Pentagon. All four companies were initially invited to compete for the deal in 2021.
The cloud capability is meant to link the military’s most remote edge with its farthest headquarters, bridging unclassified, secret and top-secret classifications. No such ability now exists, officials say.
JWCC is seen as the successor to the Pentagon’s failed Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure endeavor, or JEDI, which was awarded to Microsoft alone and was ultimately ditched in July 2021. The cancellation came amid a feud between Amazon and the Trump administration, which the company accused of tainting the $10 billion contest.
Awards for JWCC were previously expected in April, but that timeline was deemed unrealistic amid what Pentagon Chief Information Officer John Sherman said was a heftier-than-expected workload. Sherman in March said additional due diligence was required before closing, and later told Congress that implementing JWCC was a top priority.
The Defense Department is trying to institute JWCC as pressure builds to more effectively process and pass information to forces across land, air, sea, space and cyber, a notion known as Joint All-Domain Command and Control, or JADC2.
The JWCC was previously said to comprise a three-year base with one-year options. A competition for a future multi-cloud environment is expected to follow.
Courtney Albon contributed to this report.
Colin Demarest is a reporter at C4ISRNET, where he covers military networks, cyber and IT. Colin previously covered the Department of Energy and its National Nuclear Security Administration — namely Cold War cleanup and nuclear weapons development — for a daily newspaper in South Carolina. Colin is also an award-winning photographer.