Harris team wins $1.7 billion FAA telecom deal

Harris Corp. announced July 15 it has been awarded the 15-year, $1.7 billion contract to integrate and modernize the FAA's Telecommunications Infrastructure (FTI).

The FTI program is intended to improve operations functions at more than 5,000 FAA facilities nationwide while reducing operating costs, enhancing network security and improving telecommunications service performance, reliability and quality.

Harris of Melbourne, Fla., anticipates the total value of the FTI program will grow beyond the initial award. The maximum total value for the contract is estimated to be $3.5 billion by 2017.

Harris, acting as FTI systems integrator and prime contractor, is leading a team of top telecommunications companies consisting of BellSouth Corp., Atlanta; Qwest Communications International, Inc., Denver; SBC Communications Inc., San Antonio; Sprint Communications Inc., Westwood, Kan.; and Verizon Communications Inc., New York. In addition, Raytheon Co., Lexington, Mass., will provide onsite technical services and support for the FAA's facilities nationwide.

The losing bidders on the contract were teams led by Lockheed Martin Corp., Bethesda, Md., and WorldCom Inc., Clinton, Miss. WorldCom was the incumbent on the contract.

Under terms of the contract, the Harris team will consolidate the Leased Interfacility NAS Communications System, Data Multiplexing Network, Bandwidth Manager and the National Aviation Data Interchange Network into an integrated telecommunications infrastructure. The team will replace more than 35,000 circuits, upgrade switching and routing services, improve network monitoring and control, implement a state-of-the-art security system and provide network engineering services.

"We look forward to putting an FTI network into place that meets the FAA's unique telecommunications services and security requirements, and supports its critical role of managing the U.S. National Airspace System," said Phillip Farmer, chairman and chief executive officer of Harris.

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