Six firms chosen for satellite work

Originally posted Sept. 5 at 12:20 p.m. and updated Sept. 11 at 12:46 p.m.

(UPDATED) The Army has chosen six companies to compete for work under its five-year, $5 billion World-Wide Satellite Systems contract.

The winners include two large businesses ? Boeing Co. and General Dynamics Corp. ? and four small businesses: DataPath Inc. of Duluth, Ga.; D&SCI of Eatontown, N.J.; Globecomm Systems Inc. of Hauppauge, N.Y.; and TeleCommunications Systems Inc. of Annapolis, Md.

Under the contract, each company will offer turnkey commercial satellite terminals and the systems it takes to run those terminals, including hardware, software, services and data. The services range from operations to logistics support.

Depending on user requirements, the systems will operate on any military or commercial satellite in the C, Ku, X and Ka bands. The terminal types include:
  • Combat Support Service Very Small Aperture Terminals (CSS VSATs)
  • Fixed-station satellite terminals
  • Flyaway VSATS
  • Military-certified satellite terminals
  • Prime mover/trailer-mounted satellite terminals and
  • Deployable satellite Earth terminals

Defense and civilian agencies can order from the contract. Army officials said the contract's products and services will support federal communications missions, including disaster relief and homeland security initiatives.

Kevin Carroll, the Army's program executive officer for enterprise information systems, said federal purchasers don't need a background in satellite communications or need to be acquisition experts to reap the benefits of the contract vehicle.

"We've already come across potential customers who don't have the technical expertise or the acquisition expertise, so we'll assist them," added Scott A. Mathews, a project leader for the World-Wide Satellite Systems contract. "We've developed a streamlined delivery order process ? to help customers convert their validated requirements into a request for a task execution plan, which the contracting officer will forward to each of the six vendors."

The contract was developed under a partnership of Project Manager, Defense Communications and Army Transmission Systems and the Project Manager, Warfighter Information Network-Tactical.

Dawn S. Onley is a staff writer for Washington Technology's sister publication, Government Computer News.

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