IWN moves to second phase

General Dynamics, Lockheed will vie for $3B wireless contract

The Justice Department has selected General Dynamics and Lockheed Martin to compete on the design of a wireless network that will serve 80,000 users in law enforcement agencies nationwide, according to a statement released June 9.

The Integrated Wireless Network (IWN) is a joint effort by the Justice, Homeland Security and Treasury departments to create a wireless network spanning 2,500 sites that include cities, highways, land and coastal borders, and ports of entry.

Justice awarded the two companies indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contracts under which they will create designs and plans for implementation and pricing in a specific geographic area of the country and for the IWN system as a whole. Based on their performance, Justice will select one of the two firms to be the IWN integrator, according to a document outlining the procurement schedule.

IWN will provide secure and reliable wireless communications for voice, data and multimedia, according to the statement. It will serve federal law enforcement, homeland security and first responders, as well as state, local and tribal partners.

“By providing near-instant communication availability and system response, highly reliable communications, and physical and encryption security features that minimize interception of sensitive communications, IWN will make law enforcement and protective operations more effective, efficient and safe,” said Vance Hitch, Justice’s chief information officer, in the statement.

The announcement came as a surprise to experts in homeland security and law enforcement technology, who have been waiting for significant progress on the program since early 2003.

“It was a long time coming,” said Harlin McEwin, chairman of the International Association of Chiefs of Police’s Communications and Technology Committee. “I stopped paying attention to it because it kept dragging on and on and on.”

Ray Bjorklund, senior vice president and chief knowledge officer at Federal Sources, praised Justice’s choice of companies. “General Dynamics and Lockheed Martin have a lot of experience in large, complex communications systems that can be technology- and brand-agnostic,” he said.

In Phase 1 of the award competition, Justice weeded through proposals and whittled the field down to five potential bidders: AT&T, Boeing, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin and Motorola. Motorola has a large market share in state and local first responder communications, Bjorklund said, but Justice wants IWN contractors to develop nonproprietary systems.

Each firm’s IDIQ contract has a five-year base period and two five-year option periods, but only the winning company is expected to continue through the entire term, a Justice spokeswoman said.

The Fed 100

Read the profiles of all this year's winners.

Featured

  • Then-presidential candidate Donald Trump at a 2016 campaign event. Image: Shutterstock

    'Buy American' order puts procurement in the spotlight

    Some IT contractors are worried that the "buy American" executive order from President Trump could squeeze key innovators out of the market.

  • OMB chief Mick Mulvaney, shown here in as a member of Congress in 2013. (Photo credit Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

    White House taps old policies for new government makeover

    New guidance from OMB advises agencies to use shared services, GWACs and federal schedules for acquisition, and to leverage IT wherever possible in restructuring plans.

  • Shutterstock image (by Everett Historical): aerial of the Pentagon.

    What DOD's next CIO will have to deal with

    It could be months before the Defense Department has a new CIO, and he or she will face a host of organizational and operational challenges from Day One

  • USAF Gen. John Hyten

    General: Cyber Command needs new platform before NSA split

    U.S. Cyber Command should be elevated to a full combatant command as soon as possible, the head of Strategic Command told Congress, but it cannot be separated from the NSA until it has its own cyber platform.

  • Image from Shutterstock.

    DLA goes virtual

    The Defense Logistics Agency is in the midst of an ambitious campaign to eliminate its IT infrastructure and transition to using exclusively shared, hosted and virtual services.

  • Fed 100 logo

    The 2017 Federal 100

    The women and men who make up this year's Fed 100 are proof positive of what one person can make possibile in federal IT. Read on to learn more about each and every winner's accomplishments.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group