Army splits WIN-T work

It's official. General Dynamics Corp. will oversee development and installation of the Army's new Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T) system with help from Lockheed Martin Corp., the service's top information technology official confirmed.

Army officials recently sent contract letters to the two companies notifying them of the decision. The service still must send a letter to the Office of the Secretary of Defense, said Lt. Gen. Steve Boutelle, the Army's chief information officer/G-6. Boutelle spoke July 14 at a meeting of the Industry Advisory Council.

In a change of acquisition strategy, General Dynamics and Lockheed will work together to build WIN-T, which is designed to provide more mobile communications using several platforms and sensors. Army officials originally planned to choose one of the two companies to develop and install the $10 billion battlefield communications system for the future forces.

Boutelle said General Dynamics will lead the program and Lockheed will serve as the directed subcontractor. He hinted last month that the two companies would work together, with one leading the initiative.

An industry official working for one of the companies said last month that General Dynamics would serve as the prime contractor, but added that both companies may end up getting the same amount of money.

General Dynamics built the Army's current battlefield communications system, the Mobile Subscriber Equipment-Tri-Service Tactical Terminal. But that 1980s-era system, designed to fight Soviet forces in the mountainous environment of Western Europe, could not keep pace with the widespread operations in Iraq last year. As a result, U.S. and coalition forces relied on secure, commercial satellite communications purchased last minute at high prices.

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