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Senator: Army abandons single-vendor strategy for next-gen radios

Nov. 15, 2013 - 02:49PM   |  
A soldier uses a Handheld, Manpack, Small Form Fit radio during a Network Integration Evaluation. (Army)
A soldier uses a Handheld, Manpack, Small Form Fit radio during a Network Integration Evaluation. (Army) ()
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The Army is changing its strategy for buying battlefield radios to allow for multiple contract awards rather than selecting a single vendor, according to a key senator.

The new acquisition strategy — expected to be finalized this month — will allow multiple vendors to compete for multiple military radio contracts, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a news release.

“The Army and the DoD has read me loud and clear: It is only fair for the Army to eliminate their single-vendor procurement process for these next-generation radios,” said Schumer, who took credit for pressing the Army to rethink its strategy.

The Army has not yet announced its new way ahead, and the service did not immediately provide comment.

While the Army had already announced it would allow any company to compete for work under the contract, the intent was to award a single contract. The Army was pursuing a single-vendor process for each of its Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS), Manpack and Rifleman versions, according to the news release.

Schumer said the new acquisition process will introduce a healthy competition in price, while playing up the fact that New York-based Harris RF can now compete for the contract on a “level playing field.”

General Dynamics C4 Systems, BAE Systems, Exelis and Thales are among the companies that will have a shot at competing for contracts.

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