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RTX To Improve DoD Supply Chain Resilience

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RTX’s Raytheon BBN Technologies unit will develop a solution to predict shocks in supply networks.

RTX will help the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) address systemic risk in the procurement and delivery of supplies under an $8 million Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) contract. The work will be performed by the company’s Raytheon BBN Technologies unit, and will be the first global supply chain stress test framework created for this purpose.

Under the Resilient Supply-and-Demand Networks (RSDN) contract, Raytheon BBN will develop a robust modeling and simulation tool that uses historical and behavioral survey data to predict the impact of and develop mitigations for shocks to supply demand networks.

“DARPA has emphasized that supply demand networks are potential sources of strategic surprise for the DoD,” said John Santini, Raytheon BBN principal investigator for the effort. “Vulnerabilities stem from the fact that they are open, complex, evolving systems whose dynamics are at the mercy of both external and internal factors—often driven by locally focused decisions. These decisions often place a priority on cost, timeliness and efficiency with little consideration being made to resiliency.”

Raytheon BBN’s simulator will:

  • Use data on supplies of pharmaceuticals, military metals and military food to implement simulations in realistic environments.
  • Combine state-of-the-art economic macro-models of supply demand networks with microeconomic and process models Raytheon BBN has previously developed to model individual decisions and supply chain operations.
  • Leverage recent advances in artificial intelligence and dynamical systems analysis to use these simulation models to discover and mitigate stressors not previously considered.

DARPA will evaluate the simulator’s success by comparing its predictions against historical scenarios and using subject matter experts to evaluate the plausibility of its predictions and recommendations.

The Raytheon BBN-led team includes The Ohio State University, Clarkson University and the University of Southern California. Work on DARPA RSDN will be completed in Cambridge, Massachusetts; Middletown, Rhode Island; Rosslyn, Virginia; Columbus, Ohio; Potsdam, New York; and Los Angeles, California.  

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