Air Force picks mission planning vendors

Air Force officials selected five companies last week to compete for contracts worth up to $2 billion for mission planning capabilities.

They awarded the indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity Mission Planning Enterprise Contracts on Nov. 5 to BAE Systems, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Tybrin. The contracts end in 2009, according to an Air Force statement.

The contracts "will eliminate stovepipes and duplicated efforts in the acquisition of mission planning systems. "With 23 contracts for mission planning work, it was difficult to ensure system interoperability. Under this new contract, we can make certain that our contractors will design interoperable systems using an enterprise approach to field capability quickly," said Pat Dagle, the Air Force's mission planning enterprise program lead, in the statement.

For example, Air Force officials will use the Mission Planning Enterprise Contracts to award orders to maintain existing systems and eventually move service platforms to the Joint Mission Planning System (JMPS).

"Under a single contract, it will be easier to lay out a mission planning roadmap that will address the Office of the Secretary of Defense-mandated migration from the current mission planning systems to JMPS, the next generation system," Dagle said.

Air Force officials started the solicitation in February. They completed its negotiations in September, according to the statement.

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