The Dept. of the Navy has awarded a unit of Lockheed Martin a $9M, three-year contract to develop a system to “process” news forums, blogs social media and other online data in order gauge sentiment and analyze the information.

The pact is between the Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific and Lockheed Martin Information Systems and Global Solutions and is an expansion of existing Lockheed technology called WISDOM focused on web data.

According to a procurement notice, the effort will “mature the state of the art in social media collection, analysis and predictive modeling,” and conduct experiments with military operations in the Philippines analyzing violent extremism, among other tenets.

The project was not put out for bids as the Navy says no other source is currently capable of providing the required technology and bidding would delay for as many as 18 months. IBM was among a handful of vendors expressing interest in the assignment when the Navy asked for input.

The WISDOM system was developed over four years by LM and enhanced by the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency under a $27M contract with an outside vendor, LM Advanced Technology Laboratories.

The Navy said the system is being used in the U.S. Southern Command and Pacific Command.