Miltope wins $80M Army deal

Miltope Corp. has captured an estimated $80 million contract to supply up to 10,000 portable computers to the Army's Test, Measurement and Diagnostic Equipment activity.

TMDE's Soldier's Portable On-line Repair Tool (SPORT) pact will provide the Army with mobile maintenance systems. The SPORT machines will be used to conduct diagnostics on weapons systems and to display electronic technical manuals.

SPORT, an indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract with a five-year ordering period, consists of two main components: a portable computer called a Controller/Diagnostic Aid (CDA) and a specialized docking station called an Instrumentation Expansion Chassis (IEC). Miltope's CDA is a 100 MHz Pentium portable with a built-in 4x CD-ROM drive, 32M of RAM, a 720M hard drive and a Type III PC Card. The IEC provides for three additional card slots.

The CDA portable runs Microsoft Corp.'s Windows 95 and weighs in at just 9 pounds, according to Leah Stephens, an electronics engineer with TMDE, allowing the machine to be used in such cramped conditions as tank turrets and aircraft cockpits. In comparison, the portables TMDE has been purchasing through the Army's Lightweight Computer Unit contract, held by Science Applications International Corp., weigh 28 pounds, according to Stephens.

"We think that's the major advantage [of SPORT] over LCU," she said.

Another key purpose of the SPORT equipment will be to display electronic documentation and interactive electronic technical manuals (IETMs), Stephens said.

Miltope will develop an IETM for the SPORT program, she added. IETMs enable technicians to navigate technical manuals through hypertext links.

Big Win

Jim Matthews, Miltope's chief financial officer, said he believes SPORT represents the biggest win for the company since the Army's Common Hardware/Software contract, awarded in 1988.

The Army received 12 proposals for the SPORT contract. Other bidders included SAIC and Telos Corp., according to industry sources. A spokeswoman for Telos said the company was "very disappointed."

The company has yet to have its post-award debriefing, she said.

A spokeswoman for SAIC declined to comment.

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