By Rachel S. Cohen, Air Force Magazine

About four dozen companies are gearing up for a technology competition unlike most in the Pentagon as they vie for spots in the Air Force’s Advanced Battle Management System. ABMS is the Air Force’s multibillion-dollar vision for a massive network of data-processing software, cloud storage, communications hardware, and other tools to connect the force more efficiently. After about two years of planning in earnest, the service is now bringing in a broad collection of defense contractors and commercial companies to fight for a place on that team. Conversations with the competitors offer a clearer picture of how the network might come together with artificial intelligence algorithms, data visualization interfaces, far-reaching radios, and more.