Argon ST to perform maintenance, training for Navy

Originally posted Oct. 25 at 4:15 p.m.; updated Oct. 31 at 9:05 p.m.

(UPDATED) Argon ST Inc. won a five-year, $9.9 million contract from the U.S. Navy to furnish specialized engineering support services for the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Dahlgren, Va.

Under the contract, the Fairfax-based company will perform field maintenance and training in support of C4ISR systems or platforms it has sold to the Navy in the past, said Keith Harmon, the company's vice president of operations support.

C4ISR stands for command, control, communications, computer, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems. It is a technical framework for the electronic transmission of vital information in battles.

The Navy typically issues task orders under an "indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity" contract structure when flexibility is required because the exact level or nature of the support is undetermined.

"As they better understand their scope of work, they issue task orders," Harmon said. "So they will [issue] a task order for each specific job or task they want us to do under the contract."

If one of its systems breaks down in the field, the company will send two or three of its employees who were involved in building and testing the platform to service it, Harmon said. The company also provides training for existing systems and upgrades.

"One of the biggest task orders we usually get under these types of contracts is training," Harmon said. Company officials declined to give specific examples because of the sensitive or classified nature of the work.

Argon will perform the work for the Naval Surface Warfare Center both in Fairfax and at Newington, and in the field when necessary. The Dahlgren Division of the Naval Surface Warfare Center researches and tests systems for the Navy and systems used in joint military operations.

Argon's current structure can be traced back to 2004 when Argon Engineering Associates Inc. merged with Newington, Va.-based Sensytech Inc. The latter company was formed earlier through the merger of Daedalus Enterprises with S.T. Research. The "ST" in the company's name reflects that history.

The company, which has about 720 employees and had revenue of $271.8 million in 2005, is focused on the "net-centric" and electronic warfare niches in the defense market. Argon produces a range of systems and sensors that are used in modern warfare, such as signal intelligence, electronic support measures, electronic warfare, imaging and acoustic systems.

About the Author

William Welsh is a freelance writer covering IT and defense technology.

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