RFP released for intell upgrade

To consolidate multiple intelligence systems into one for worldwide access, the Air Force recently issued a request for proposals (RFP) to upgrade its Distributed Common Ground System (DCGS).

The DCGS consists of surface imagery, airborne signals intelligence and fixed intelligence ground systems capable of receiving, processing, storing, correlating and disseminating reconnaissance intelligence, according to Air Force officials.

The RFP released Jan. 31 is for what is being called the DCGS Block 10.2 Multi-Intelligence Core. The Air Force intends to consolidate the current system of four workstations into one multi-intelligence workstation, according to a spokesman for the Electronic Systems Center at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., which issued the request.

"The Air Force's vision/goal for DCGS is to evolve the current legacy systems through a block upgrade [phased] migration strategy — with spiral development acquisition — into a seamless, networked, distributed architecture ... while having a minimal impact to ongoing intelligence," the spokesman said.

Lockheed Martin Corp. and Raytheon Corp. announced Feb. 11 that they would be leading a vendor team pursuing the six-year, $161.9 million award.

John Nannen, vice president of remote systems in Raytheon's intelligence and information systems business unit, said the latest RFP's goal is to bring together the four, main digital ground system sites, as well as numerous remote sites worldwide, onto a common enterprise architecture so analysts can use the system's full capabilities regardless of their geographical location.

The four main DCGS Air Force base sites are Langley, Va.; Beale, Calif.; Osan, South Korea; and Ramstein, Germany. Numerous other sites are located nationwide and overseas, but many of them are classified, Nannen said.

DCGS is one of the Air Force's main intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) weapons systems and includes data feeds from the Predator and Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicles, as well as data from other DOD and national ISR assets, Nannen said. Today, the various systems are linked together whenever and wherever possible, but DCGS Block 10.2 will serve as the foundation for data from multiple intelligence sources to be collected and filtered into decision-making information for commanders worldwide, he said.

The Raytheon-Lockheed team also includes five subcontractors: Science Applications International Corp., General Dynamics Corp., BAE Systems' Integrated Defense Solutions Inc., Goodrich Corp. and L-3 Communications Inc.

Northrop Grumman Corp. also is leading a team, but a spokeswoman for that company's electronic systems business declined to name Northrop's partners.

Contractors must turn in past performance reports to the Air Force by March 3, followed by mission capability proposals on March 17. Cost/price reports are due after technical evaluations are completed. The anticipated contract award is due in June, according to the Air Force spokesman.

Once the contract is awarded, the winning contractors will test and analyze the enhanced DCGS in an experimental laboratory setting for about a year and then roll out the system throughout fiscal 2004 and 2005, beginning with the four main sites, said Michael LaRouche, director of DOD intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (ISR) systems for Lockheed's management and data systems.

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