Big-player teams offer bids for defense radio design

Competition is heating up for the next phase of the Defense Department's Joint Tactical Radio System: Teams led by Lockheed Martin Corp. and Boeing Co. have submitted proposals to design JTRS Air Force and Navy radios.

The Defense Department is expected to choose two companies in June to begin preliminary design of the radios, which must fit in a variety of form factors, said Alex Lopez, director of Boeing's JTRS program.

The 15-month Airborne and Maritime Fixed Station Joint Tactical Radio System development contract will be worth around $54 million [See http://www.gcn.com/vol1_no1/daily-updates/24952-1.html]

The preliminary design work, however, is only a precursor to more lucrative contracts to build and deliver radios based on the concepts that are approved.

The Defense Department estimated that contract will be worth between $500 million and $1 billion, according to Lockheed Martin. DOD wants to select a systems development contractor late next year.

Lockheed Martin's subcontractors include BAE Systems PLC of Farnborough, U.K., General Dynamics Corp., Northrop Grumman Corp. and Raytheon Co.

Boeing's subcontractors include BBN Technologies of Cambridge, Mass.; Harris Corp. of Melbourne, Fla.; L-3 Communications Corp. of New York; Milcom Systems Corp. of Virginia Beach, Va.; Northrop Grumman; and Rockwell Collins Inc. of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

The $5.7 billion JTRS program is a defensewide effort to bring all military radio systems under a single interoperable architecture. In June 2003 Boeing won the integrator contract to deliver the first cluster of JTRS radios to the Army.

About the Author

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

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