WT Business Beat

By Nick Wakeman

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Nick Wakeman

General Dynamics continues fight for $876M Army DCGS-A contract

The fight for the contract to field the next iteration of the Distributed Common Group System - Army for intelligence data sharing isn’t over yet.

Here's the backdrop: the Army awarded a contract earlier this month to Palantir and incumbent Raytheon for what is called DCGS-A Increment 1, Capability Drop 1. That followed a court battle between Palantir and the Army about the use of commercial software for DCGS. Palantir and Raytheon were to battle for task orders under the $876 million contract.

But General Dynamics has now filed a protest that claims it would have been named a winner as well if the evaluations were conducted correctly.

Eight companies in total bid on the contract, so potentially there are some other disappointed bidders who could come forward. We’ll of course track that.

The size and specs of this contract makes it an important target for defense IT contractors but it also has been a crusade of sorts for Palantir.

It is a crusade they took to court just to win the right to bid on the project.

The original solicitation was looking for companies that could build a custom system that battlefield commanders could use to share intelligence data.

Palantir argued that it had a commercially-available product that could do the job. But because of the way the solicitation was written, Palantir knew it wasn’t qualified to bid.

The company then took the Army to court and argued that the Army’s approach violated legislation, which said the government needed to use a commercial solution if one existed.

The courts eventually put an injunction on the Army to stop them from making an award. And the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act required the Army to use a commercial product.

A reworked solicitation allowed Palantir to compete with its product and Raytheon also led its bid with its own FoXTEN commercial product.

General Dynamics' mission systems business filed its protest March 23. A decision is due July 2. The company declined to comment.

Because of the protest, Raytheon and Palantir will have to stop work on the first task order called “Test-Fix-Text phase with Soldier involvement.” That task order was to evaluate the best solution for tactical maneuver units.

The Army wants better technology on the battlefield such as ruggedized laptops and servers and an ability for the system to work in areas with very limited bandwidth. It is looking for better tools for intelligence gathering, processing and sharing.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Mar 23, 2018 at 9:44 AM

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