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Release No: 483-96
August 09, 1996


The Department of Defense announced today the last in a series of contract actions to establish a DoD-wide, integrated high performance computer infrastructure of more than 100 defense laboratories, tests centers, university and industrial sites. E- Systems Inc., Dallas,Texas, was awarded a contract with a projected total value of nearly $169 million to develop and manage a computer center at the Army Research Laboratory, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Aberdeen, Md.

Similar centers, announced earlier this year, will be at the Aeronautical Systems Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio; Corps of Engineers Waterways Experiment Station, Vicksburg, Miss.; and Naval Oceanographic Office, Stennis Space Center, Miss. Together, these four centers will form the nucleus of the DoD's High Performance Computing Modernization program.

The $2 billion modernization program supports the high-end computational needs of the defense research, development, test and evaluation community. First, the four centers will provide multiple large-scale computer systems and staff to support continuous upgrades and user needs. A second component of the program will be twelve smaller distributed centers managed and operated by individual user organizations. The third component will be a high-speed, high bandwidth network, the Defense Research and Engineering Network, connecting these centers to other selected users.

When the four centers become fully operational, the HPCM program will have significantly increased the computing and communications capabilities of the DoDs 4,000 computational RDT&E scientists and engineers. Another benefit of the HPCM program will be the reduced cost, risk and time involved in development and procurement of future defense systems, according to Anita Jones, director, defense research and engineering.

On an historical note, this year, the U.S. celebrates the 50th anniversary of the delivery of the first modern digital computer, the ENIAC, to the Army Ballistic Research Laboratory (now Army Research Laboratory). The new center's computer capability will deliver over one hundred million times the power of that first computer.

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