Space Force Plans Late FY24 Award for “Digital Bloodhound” to Sniff Out Cyber Attacks

This week’s posted was centered on learning more about “Digital Bloodhound”, which is aimed at improving detection of cyber threats to space ground systems. Back in Oct. 2022, Lt. Gen. Stephen Whiting, commander of Space Operations Command said “but we don’t yet have the same tools or intuitive understanding to say, based on the threat we’re seeing, have we done enough?” he said. “How much is enough in a resource-constrained environment? Where would I put my next dollar in this environment to help bolster that security? I don’t want to act like we don’t have any of those tools, but it’s not the same comprehensive understanding we have for physical security.” Whiting would appear to suggest that he’s concerned about the vulnerability of Space Force’s assets to cyber attacks, mostly due to the unknown threat environment.

Less than a week later, the agency announced that “A request for proposals (RFP) will be issued in January, he said, and a “single award” will be granted under the One Acquisition for Single Integrated Services (OASIS) Small Business contracting vehicle run by the US General Services Administration.” Col. Ed Byrne, SSC/SZ deputy, said that the Digital Bloodhound program “includes software development and hardware fielding to support the national security of critical ground systems.” This RFP was delayed for quite some time but the article from April 2023 confirmed that only a series of Industry Days have / were taking place, but that “The office [Space Systems Command] expects to release a formal request for proposals (RFP) in the third quarter of the year (July 1 to September 30), and an award is “expected in 4QFY23.”

The service is seeking “$76 million in its fiscal 2024 budget request for the program, up from $28 million in FY23”. In addition, the Space Force has asked for an additional $43 million in its FY24 “unfunded priorities” list to top up the Defense Cyber Operations–Space (DCO-S) program.

Though not much is known about the “Digital Bloodhound”, what is known is that the contract will include the developing and deploying the USSF DCO-S tool suite for the foreseeable future, including surge capabilities for future threats. Some of these tools include Manticore, which is a suite of software tools that identify cyber vulnerabilities, along with Kraken, a software that throws up real-time cyber defenses against ongoing attacks.


Upon further research, a Request for Information (RFI) was sent out on July 20th concerning Digital Bloodhound. USSF SSC Cyber Operations division is “seeking information in support of market research to determine if there are interested sources that are capable of meeting the requirements. Small businesses are encouraged to respond. For planning purposes, contract award is projected 2QFY2023 with a 7-year ordering period.”


Space Force issues Cyber Operations Digital Bloodhound RFI