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Utica’s Black River Systems wins nearly $12 million contract from U.S. Air Force

By Journal Staff (


The Black River Systems building in Utica. (PHOTO CREDIT: BLACK RIVER SYSTEMS WEBSITE)

UTICA, N.Y. — Black River Systems Co. Inc. of Utica has been awarded an $11.97 million contract from the U.S. Air Force for Cognitive Algorithms for Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) Contested and Degraded Environments (CASCADE) software and hardware prototype.

The scope of this contract is to research “unique and innovative techniques and algorithms that provide the identification, collection, processing, and exploitation of electronic communication signals in a moderate to dense co-channel environment,” according to a June 3 contract announcement from the U.S. Department of Defense.

The pact also includes evaluation of technologies within the Open Architecture Technology Laboratory to validate the viability of developed capabilities for transition into the Air Force intelligence-surveillance reconnaissance enterprise. This effort will also encompass the development of hardware and software-prototype capabilities at the Rome Research Site and at the Stockbridge Experimentation and Test Facility for open-air calibration and testing to assess both SIGINT and cyber-systems and techniques. 

Work will be performed in Utica and is expected to be completed by June 3, 2025. The contract award was made through a competitive process, where Black River Systems beat out one other company for the contract. Fiscal 2021 research, development, test, and evaluation funds totaling $760,483 are being obligated at the time of award. The Air Force Research Laboratory in Rome is the contracting authority, per the announcement.

Black River Systems designs, develops, deploys, and analyzes radar, infrared, acoustic, and electronic-warfare sensing systems for the Department of Defense and prime contractors. The company has offices in Ohio, Minnesota, and California, in addition to its Utica headquarters.