Boeing-SAIC team picked for Army tank program

A team led by Boeing Co. and Science Applications International Corp. has been awarded the Army's $154 million Future Combat Systems contract to develop next generation tanks, the companies announced March 7.

This contract will encompass a two-year concept and technology demonstration phase in which the team will build prototypes of unmanned combat tanks and other mobile armored vehicles with networked communications capabilities.

If successful, the agreement may lead to work worth $4 billion over the next five years as working units are rolled out.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, working with the Army, is the contracting agency.

The team of Chicago-based Boeing and San Diego-based SAIC beat out a team led by Eagle Enterprise Inc., a unit of General Dynamics Corp., Fall Church, Va. That team included Northrop Grumman Corp., Los Angeles; Raytheon Co., Lexington, Mass.; United Defense Industries Inc., Arlington, Va.; and ITT Industries Inc., White Plains, N.Y.

"The customer said it wasn't looking for a traditional prime contractor, but rather a partner. We took an 'honest broker' approach that as the [lead systems integrator], we would look across all of industry, not just our team, to find the best solution for each part of the program," said Jim Albaugh, president and chief executive officer of Boeing Space and Communications.

About the Author

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.

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