General Dynamics to tackle Justice's national wireless project

General Dynamics C4 Systems has won a 15-year, multibillion dollar contract from the Justice Department to provide interoperable wireless communications services as part of its Integrated Wireless Network program.

The network will provide consolidated communications among the federal, state and local levels of government and law enforcement.

The contract award is the result of a three-phase contract competition. The third phase concluded in August 2006, when the department had two prospective companies ? General Dynamics Corp. and Lockheed Martin Corp. ? submit implementation plans to cover a specific area of the country.

General Dynamics' team includes IBM Corp., M/A-Com, Nortel Government Solutions and Verizon Wireless.

Vance Hitch, chief information officer at Justice, said the IWN program will provide the "flexibility to evolve and account for changes in the wireless technology industry and operational requirements of partner agencies."

Those partners include the Homeland Security and Treasury departments. Although Justice awarded the contract, other agencies will be able to make use of General Dynamics' system through the contract.

Company officials said its team is up to the task. "We understand the critical nature of this assignment and look forward to continuing to work with the Department of Justice and other federal agencies in implementing wireless communications services as part of the Integrated Wireless Network program," said Chris Marzilli, president of General Dynamics C4 Systems.

General Dynamics C4 Systems is a unit of General Dynamics of Falls Church, Va. The parent company has about 81,000 employees and had annual sales of $24.1 billion in 2006.

General Dynamics ranks No. 4 on Washington Technology's 2006 Top 100 list of the largest federal IT contractors.

William Welsh, deputy editor for Washington Technology, contributed to this report.

Wade-Hahn Chan writes for Federal Computer Week, an 1105 Government Information Group publication.

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