The Pentagon has split a $9 billion cloud-computing services deal between Google, Oracle, Amazon and Microsoft, a year after an earlier contract was canceled amid allegations of political interference by former US President Donald’s administration Trump’s impaired and legally deadlocked challenges.
The Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability follows the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (Jedi), which aimed to build a large shared commercial cloud for the entire Department of Defense. While the Trump administration wanted to concentrate the cloud computing program under one provider, Joe Biden’s administration chose to split it into multiple groups, as many private sector companies do.
According to a Pentagon statement, the project is expected to be completed by June 2028. The Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability “provides the DoD with the ability to acquire commercial cloud capabilities and services directly from commercial cloud service providers at mission velocity at all classification levels,” the Pentagon said.
The DoD initially awarded the contract to Microsoft in October 2018, but legal objections delayed implementation. Last summer, the Pentagon canceled the original Jedi contract, saying it was no longer meeting its requirements due to changing requirements and industry improvements, and that it would seek suggestions from more companies.
Amazon had accused Trump of pressuring the Pentagon to “prank” its founder Jeff Bezos and award the contract to his rival because of the former president’s personal animus. Oracle had claimed the single-vendor deal was unfair, while Google withdrew its offer in 2018 after employees complained about working with the DoD.
Last November, the Department of Defense issued formal requests to Amazon, Google, Oracle and Microsoft to replace the ill-fated Jedi project. The companies did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Wednesday.
The $9 billion deal spans six years. Big tech groups have been competing for the contract, hoping it could lead to decades of work in a fast-growing sector.