The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems a contract for its National Cyber Range (NCR) program, which will provide an environment to develop, field and test new concepts and technologies to protect the United States against growing cyber threats. This first-phase award of $2 million is for the preliminary design and system engineering plans for the NCR. General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems is a business unit of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD).

DARPA’s National Cyber Range program is part of the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative (CNCI), a major government-wide effort to strengthen the nation’s defenses against electronic attack. The NCR is a test bed consisting of computers and computer systems on which various cyber scenarios and systems can be evaluated to provide a comprehensive, unbiased assessment of the security of information and automated control systems. At the conclusion of the initial phase, DARPA will make decisions regarding future plans, which could include a second phase with a critical design review and a third phase to develop the full-scale National Cyber Range and start conducting tests.

During this first phase, General Dynamics will lead a team of academic institutions and small and large industry leaders to deliver detailed engineering plans that outline its approach for developing a national cyber range.

“The General Dynamics approach will enable DARPA to run multiple tests at various classification levels on the same range simultaneously,” said Jim Jaeger, director of cyber systems for General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems.

Jaeger continued, “We will move away from the current paradigm of resource- and time-intensive range operations to an agile, scalable, persistent program. With existing cyber ranges, too much time is spent configuring and reconfiguring the range for each test. General Dynamics will automate the test planning and resourcing function and enable the range to be operated from a single, interactive and user-defined interface.”

“The National Cyber Range will enable multiple experiments designed to produce unbiased, qualitative and quantitative assessments of information assurance and protection,” said DARPA Program Manager Dr. Michael VanPutte. “Ultimately, the NCR will provide fully automated range and test management suites to test and validate leap-ahead cyber research technologies and systems providing vision for new research directions for the nation.”

DARPA ( is the central research and development organization for the Department of Defense dedicated to sponsoring revolutionary, high-payoff research and development that maintains the technological superiority of the U.S. military.

General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems designs, develops, manufactures, integrates, operates and maintains mission systems for defense, space, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, homeland security and homeland defense customers. Headquartered in Fairfax, Va., the company specializes in ground systems; imagery processing; mission payloads; space vehicles; maritime subsurface, surface and airborne mission systems; and tasking, collection, processing, exploitation and dissemination programs for national intelligence.

General Dynamics, headquartered in Falls Church, Va., employs approximately 92,300 people worldwide. The company is a market leader in business aviation; land and expeditionary combat systems, armaments and munitions; shipbuilding and marine systems; and information systems and technologies. More information about the company is available on the Internet at