NIMA extends imagery contract

The National Imagery and Mapping Agency recently awarded Harris Corp. a potential 10-year, $750 million contract to supply geospatial and imagery-derived products for the Global Geospatial Intelligence (GGI) program.

The GGI program includes analysis and visual representation of security-related activities on Earth's surface. NIMA provides the geospatial intelligence, which comes from commercial and government sources, to policy-makers, military decision-makers and warfighters. The imagery also is tailored to support civilian federal agencies and international organizations.

Under the contract, Harris will supply NIMA with myriad products and services supporting GGI, including:

* Mapping and charting production services.

* Surveying services.

* Production management.

Harris is providing NIMA with similar products and services under the agency's Omnibus geospatial information and imagery analysis program. GGI is the next-generation follow-on to that program, according to the company, which announced the new indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity production contract in a release today. The contract was awarded Jan. 14 and work began Feb. 4.

The deal with Harris is the latest in a series of big-money contracts that NIMA has awarded to commercial satellite imagery providers and processors. Last month, NIMA awarded DigitalGlobe Inc. a $72 million award and Space Imaging Inc. a $120 million deal. Dan Hinchberger, a contracting officer at NIMA, said each deal's initial amount is the minimum guarantee over three years, but each contract has a ceiling of $500 million over five years.

The contracts, collectively known as Clearview, require commercial data providers to deliver high-resolution satellite imagery to NIMA.

Fiscal 2003 represents the first time that NIMA is getting "serious money" for purchasing commercial satellite imagery, according to NIMA's director, retired Air Force Lt. Gen. James Clapper.

Clapper said the agency's increasing reliance on commercial imagery should not come as a surprise because fiscal 2003 also represents the first year that contractors outnumber government employees at NIMA. Clapper spearheaded that movement since assuming leadership of the agency in the summer of 2001, and he said it is a trend that will continue as NIMA receives more funding.

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