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The US Air Force needs to rapidly and efficiently field enhanced war-fighting capability in order to maintain technological advantage in highly contested and consistently changing environments. One of the challenges faced by the AF is avionics cybersecurity. 

The US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) has been leading the Agile and Resilient Platform Architectures program to develop and integrate next-generation avionics cybersecurity tools and new system architectures. Solutions developed under the ARPA program will be applied to a wide range of associated platforms that operate within diverse, contested environments.

The AFRL has recently awarded contracts to Booz Allen Hamilton and Ball Aerospace to research advanced cybersecurity and digital engineering to protect aircraft electronic systems against digital threats.

The indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contracts to try to shield those avionics systems from cyberattacks are worth up to $200 million each over five years. The companies’ research will include cyber assessment and testing tools, cyber-hardening technologies, resilient cyber protections, and open-system architectures, as reported by defensenews.com.