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U.S. Navy in $9.5m contract for SIMBA blockchain messaging

navy jet aircraft carrier

Yesterday, blockchain firm SIMBA Chain announced it was awarded a $9.5 million contract by the Naval Air Warfare Center to deploy a secure blockchain-based messaging and transaction platform. 

The U.S. Navy awarded the five-year Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase III contract to SIMBA after previous collaborations with SIMBA Chain. The award is one of the largest for blockchain.

In earlier work, SIMBA created a model decentralized messaging and transaction platform based on Department of Defense (DoD) requirements and tested a working prototype. Now, it will focus on commercialization and full-scale implementation of the platform. 

Secure communications are at the core of carrying out any military action, and the DoD has been exploring blockchain and other technologies to ensure messages originate from the right place and have not been tampered with. SIMBA offers a cloud-based smart contract as a service platform, which will be used by NAVWAR, the Navy’s command and control system. 

The project involves a customized distributed ledger technology (DLT) for applications ranging from secure messaging and researching supply chain and logistics to financial transactions. The goal is to enable better communication among partners for both ships at sea and aircraft. Ultimately it enables data sharing as well as provenance details about the origins of the information.

“This is a win not just for SIMBA and our partners, but also for the DoD, which has pursued with single-minded focus, a solution to conduct sensitive, mission-critical operations in a manner that is immutable and non-refutable. We plan to deliver a ‘bulletproof’ platform that meets all objectives,” said Joel Neidig, CEO of SIMBA Chain. 

SIMBA Chain has a long-standing relationship with U.S. defense departments. It was founded in 2017 after DARPA awarded a grant to the computing department of the University of Notre Dame and Indiana Technology and Manufacturing Companies (ITAMCO). 

Last year, the U.S. Air Force contracted SIMBA to develop an aircraft parts manufacturing traceability blockchain. It helped to verify 3D printing data for parts built on the battlefield. This is after the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) tested SIMBA’s solution in early 2019. 

Last month, SIMBA announced it raised $1.5 million in seed funding from Notre Dame’s Pit Road Fund, Elevate Ventures, First Source Capital, and individual angel investors.

Meanwhile, the Department of Defense has ongoing blockchain projects to prevent chip tampering. The USAF is working with Xage for securing its IoT and other military devices. 

Yesterday, Ledger Insights reported another contract by the USAF to the blockchain firm Fluree, for developing a command and control communications systems.