The US military is about to ink one of its biggest deals in modern times, with the tech giant Amazon. The company is the leading contender for a $10 billion contract for creating cloud computing systems for the military.
The deal which concerns Amazon's JEDI cloud computing systems, has been called "one of the most lucrative defence contracts ever" by TechReview.com.
The fact that the tech giant is about to get such a huge contract has definitely raised some eyebrows – other contractors have alleged that the bidding process was biased in the favour of the company.
Other tech giants were also in the running for the system including Microsoft, Oracle and IBM. Because of the concerns, the process is currently on hold. A contention for putting the contract on hold is also the worsening relationship between US President Donald Trump and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
Bezos also owns The Washington Post, which Trump has repeatedly called out for publishing articles against his presidency.
While cloud computing systems don't sound as fancy as high-end jets and weapons systems, they are an essential component of military communications, especially in satellite communications and surveillance. Cloud computing seems to be a safer option as it seems less prone to hacking than hardware based systems, although one error can sometimes disable the whole system.
Amazon is in the running, because even though it is known for its online shopping portal, a more significant part of its business is the Amazon Web Services, which brought in $25 billion last year.
JEDI which stands for Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure Program includes off-site data centres, IT systems and web-based applications.
It is an unconventional contract to say the least, but what remains to be seen is what terms are set for the contract. Will Amazon be bound by the US government or will it be able to share this technology with other countries?
If indications from US military purchase can be put into purview, the technology will remain under the thumb of the US government, once the contract is inked.