Northrop Grumman inks defense video-teleconferencing deal

Look out, Big Brother. The U.S. military has a new way of keeping an eye on its troops ? and its enemies.

The country's military commanders soon will be using new video-teleconferencing hubs for networks that support the Defense Department's missions and operations worldwide as a critical command and control tool. The hubs will provide information on the location and status of troops as well as enemy fighters so the commanders can plan and manage military operations.

Northrop Grumman Corp. will supply the hubs under a one-year, $51 million task order from the Defense Information Systems Agency. The task order was awarded under the Encore I contract, a seven-year, $2.5 billion, indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract issued to nine vendors in March 2002.

Under the Defense Information Systems Network Video Services II task order, Northrop Grumman's Mission Systems sector will upgrade DISA's integrated services digital network system with Internet protocol-based capabilities. The new integrated and secure netcentric system will provide real-time video and audio-conferencing services to DISA and users of the global information grid-bandwidth expansion network.

Northrop Grumman will receive an additional contract option to complete the transition from the current service to the new system.

The defense contractor's teammates on the task order include Northrop Grumman Information Technology, Cisco Systems Inc., AT&T Corp., FC Business Systems Inc., CritiCom Inc., Netconn Solutions, Parsons Corp. and Radvision Inc. The companies will perform the work in Falls Church, Va., and various worldwide locations.

Based in Reston, Va., Northrop Grumman Mission Systems integrates complex mission-enabling systems and services for the defense, intelligence and civil government markets. Its parent company, headquartered in Los Angeles, employs more than 125,000 workers and had 2004 revenue of about $29.9 billion. The company is No. 2 on Washington Technology's 2005 Top 100 list of federal prime contractors.

Roseanne Gerin is a staff writer for Government Computer News' sister publication, Washington Technology.

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