CSC nabs $171.4 M Volpe services pact

Computer Sciences Corp. last week captured a $171.4 million information systems services contract at the Transportation Department's Volpe National Transportation Systems Center.

In winning the deal CSC unseated incumbent Unisys Corp. which held the contract for 18 years. Also competing for the contract were Lockheed Martin Corp. and Hughes Technical Services Co. industry sources said. A Lockheed Martin spokeswoman confirmed the company's bid while Hughes officials could not be reached for comment.

Volpe is the hub of a number of DOT transportation and logistics systems development and integration projects. One key Volpe system CSC will support is the Federal Aviation Administration's Enhanced Traffic Management System (ETMS) which plots optimal aircraft routes based on air traffic density weather conditions and other factors. "This is a strategic system " said Stephen Kalish vice president of transportation systems at CSC's System Sciences Division. "In many ways it's part of the evolution toward free flight."

Free flight is a concept in which pilots or airlines would be allowed to choose the best route for a given flight. Kalish added that Volpe also maintains systems that house data on highway and air safety.Volpe officials could not be reached for comment.

A spokesman for Unisys said the company is "extremely disappointed that we were not selected." He said the company's DOT debriefing is slated for Oct. 2 and Unisys will not make a decision on whether to protest the award until after that time. The Lockheed Martin spokeswoman declined to comment on the award pending the company's debriefing.

CSC said the contract "transition process" is now under way and that the company is offering employment to Unisys personnel at Volpe Kalish said. He said CSC expects to employ about 300 people on the contract. The Unisys spokesman said the company would work toward a "smooth transition."

CSC has worked at Volpe in the past as a vendor on a multiple-award services contract. On a separate FAA contract CSC develops software for en route air traffic control.

CSC's subcontractors on the Volpe project include Battelle Memorial Institute Litton/PRC Inc. Systems Resources Corp. and System Technology Associates.

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