The U.S. Army, through the Systems of Systems Integration (SoSI) Directorate, announced that it is seeking additional industry sources with mature solutions to enhance existing network systems capabilities to participate in the Network Integration Evaluation (NIE) 12.2 event, scheduled to occur in April/May 2012 at Fort Bliss, Texas and the adjacent White Sands Missile Range (WSMR), N.M. The NIE is a series of semi-annual evaluations designed to integrate and mature the Army's tactical network.
The purpose of this second Sources Sought notice is to solicit additional candidate Systems Under Evaluation (SUEs) against a narrow set of specific, identified gaps in the current and evolving networked equipment solution set. These gaps are: a Multichannel Radio; a Low-Cost-Low-SWaP Tactical Cross Domain Solution; a Small Form Factor, Modular Transit Case Based Company Command Post; a Tactical Router; and Improved Operational Energy. Functional requirements for these gaps are listed in paragraph two of the Sources Sought on the Federal Business Opportunities website.
Candidates that responded to the May 27, 2011 Industry Sources Sought or Aug. 4, 2011 Government Tech Call Memo do not need to respond again unless new or updated information can be provided to meet the gaps described in this solicitation. The deadline for white paper submissions is Oct. 31, 2011.
The Army is seeking solutions that address specific network capabilities that are at the representative model or prototype system stage and that have been tested in a relevant environment. According to Col. John Wendel, military deputy to the director of System of Systems Integration, "By employing the agile process we are providing industry with the Army's capability gaps, allowing them a chance to compete regularly in the NIE process. This will greatly shorten the procurement cycle."
The Army developed a holistic network strategy that fundamentally changes how the Network will be acquired, tested and deployed. In the past, the Army fielded network systems independently and on their own acquisition timelines, which often did not allow for the integration of the latest high-tech network solutions or interoperability among systems. The Army's new approach is to deploy network capabilities that are integrated from the Tactical Operations Center to the Soldier; and will be fielded in two-year increments, closely linked to how brigades train, equip and deploy. This provides a means to integrate the latest in networked technology and get it to deploying forces quickly. To support this strategy, network acquisition efforts will facilitate rapid implementation of commercial and government technologies to establish a network baseline, and then incrementally build from that baseline using the most relevant technologies. The Sources Sought notification is the first step to bringing new industry solutions into this process in order to enhance network capability.
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