Three firms receive Milsatcom study contracts

Three firms have won separate Air Force contracts, under which they will determine the requirements for a communications network for military, intelligence and space agencies.

Lockheed Martin Corp. of Bethesda, Md., Northrop Grumman Corp. of Los Angeles and Raytheon Co. of Waltham, Mass., each won contracts worth $3 million over six months, with options that could increase their value to $9 million.

The Air Force plans to award one prime contractor a subsequent development contract.

The contractors will develop requirements for the Transformational Communications Milsatcom network, which will be based on a single, overarching communications architecture. The network will transform the way the Pentagon conducts military operations, according to Northrop Grumman officials.

The TCM program is a communications overhaul driven by increasing bandwidth demands. The network will allow seamless information sharing among command, control, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance users. TCM will also link Department of Defense, civilian and intelligence community communications networks to provide war fighters with on-demand communications services, according to Northrop Grumman officials.

The award is "an opportunity to define the requirements to remove bandwidth constraints across defense, civilian and intelligence community operations," said Barry Rhine, president of Defense Mission Systems for Northrop Grumman's Reston, Va., Mission Systems unit.

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