THE WASHINGTON POST – The Army will turn to Palantir Technologies to piece together thousands of complex data sets containing information on United States (US) soldiers and the expansive military arsenal that supports them, the Defence Department announced on Friday.
The deal promises to significantly deepen the Silicon Valley-based analytics company’s ties to the Pentagon. The initial USD110 million contract is part of a four-year, USD440 million programme called Vantage, formerly known as Army Leader Dashboard.
It is the second time in the past year that Palantir has won a front seat on a defence programme of record, which has a dedicated line of funding from Congress. In March, it became the primary contractor for a separate Army program called Distributed Common Ground System, which is focussed on battlefield intelligence.
Doug Philippone, a former Army Ranger who leads the company’s DC operation, said the project will allow military agencies to harness their data to make better strategic decisions.
“Data integration is Palantir’s core business and we’re proud to help the Army make better use of their own data,” Philippone said in an email. “We look forward to continuing to grow our partnership with the men and women of the US Army and will do everything we can to ensure this technology makes them more successful.”
Palantir was co-founded by Peter Thiel (pic below), a billionaire technology investor who has at times been an adviser to the Trump administration. Unlike many of its Silicon Valley peers, it has made its name serving the needs of the national security establishment. For more than a decade, it has helped US spy agencies make sense of the torrents of complex intelligence data they collect.
Over time, it expanded throughout the commercial business world while building a data analytics platform called Foundry, which organisations of all types use to analyse their own data.