Ross Wilkers


2020 ends with flurry of contract activity

Save for the holidays, government agencies were open for business and made some significant contract awards in the week between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

Here are some of the more significant ones that took place during the waning days of 2020.

A successful defense

We told you all Monday about Vectrus’ pair of acquisitions in its push to become more of a go-to provider of converged infrastructure solutions to government agencies.

In the midst of that, Vectrus also learned Dec. 29 that it won the recompete of its contract to continue supporting Army communications in Southwest Asia and Central Asia. Vectrus fended off four other bids for the five-year, $882.5 million contract known as OMDAC-SWACA (Operations, Maintenance and Defense of Army Communications in Southwest Asia and Central Asia).

This comes in the same year that Vectrus began the transition to the Army’s new LOGCAP V global logistics contract, albeit slowly given COVID-19. LOGCAP was the company’s largest recompete prior to OMDAC-SWACA.

Moving forward, somewhat

On New Year’s Eve, SpaceX won a $150.5 million contract to launch two data transport and missile tracking satellites for the Space Development Agency.

Launch number one is scheduled to take place in September 2022. Those two satellites are slated to be part of what will eventually be a 28-satellite constellation known as “Tranche 0” no later than March 31, 2023.

SpaceX and L3Harris Technologies were chosen in August to build that tranche of satellites to become part of the future National Defense Space Architecture to fuse data from multiple tracking systems.

The build part will have to wait slightly longer after SDA decided in late December it would re-evaluate those two companies bids, plus those of protesters Raytheon and Airbus’ U.S. subsidiary.

Two successful defenses and one newcomer

The State Department on Dec. 21 handed out three awards for the next iteration of its main contract for overseas consular services to support visa processing and other functions at U.S. embassies and consulates.

CGI Federal and General Dynamics (through the CSRA acquisition) kept their incumbencies for the potential 10-year, $3.3 billion Global Support Services vehicle that also will see PAE join the program as a newcomer.

It is unknown how many total bids there were, according to the award notices.

Second chances paying off

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services did not have to go completely back to the drawing board for its $2 billion Provider Enrollment and Oversight contract vehicle originally awarded to 14 companies in August 2020.

But after four disappointed bidders protested their exclusion, CMS did at least agree to re-examine those proposals and those protests were dismissed.

Three of those protesters were chosen in the second round announced Dec. 23 -- Arch Systems, Chages Health Information Technology LLC and Visual Connections LLC. A fourth protester in Softrams was not selected in that partial corrective action and could still protest, pending the debrief from CMS.

One more to the party

The Air Force's $400 million Skyborg program is eyed toward technologies for future unmanned aerial vehicles that use artificial intelligence in manned-unmanned teaming.

On Dec. 21, Voly Defense Solutions became the 14th company to join the Skyborg effort and will compete for delivery orders to prototype a modular air platform with software payloads and a core autonomy system to support those teaming functions.

An initial block of four awardees was unveiled in July of last year for the vehicles themselves, while the second group of 13 firms selected in September will focus on the autonomy technologies.

About the Author

Ross Wilkers is a senior staff writer for Washington Technology. He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter: @rosswilkers. Also connect with him on LinkedIn.

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