NSA to award contracts for secure mobile devices by month's end

The National Security Agency is expected to award indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contracts to General Dynamics and L-3 Communications this month for the delivery of mobile, handheld devices intended for unclassified and classified voice and data traffic, an agency spokeswoman said.

Agency officials awarded contracts to General Dynamics C4 Systems and L-3 Communications to develop the devices under NSA’s Secure Mobile Environment Portable Electronic Device (SME PED) program in 2005.

NSA officials have yet to issue the requisite security certifications for both companies’ products before making them available to customers in the Defense Department and elsewhere in the government.

Agency spokeswoman Andrea Martino declined to say when the devices might be certified, saying the schedule for the process is fluid.

General Dynamics officials said June 8 they will ship their product to NSA for certification in August, but start production after the contract award later this month.

Questions remain about the status of L-3’s device. Company officials are tight-lipped about their progress, citing a highly competitive environment. Several government sources said the company’s device might not achieve NSA certification until after the fall.

Martino said unit prices for the SME PEDs are still being negotiated. As for monthly wireless costs, “the vendors are having discussions with carriers to create a ‘one-stop-shop’ for the SME PED under the [General Services Administration’s] Networx contract,” she said.

Featured

  • Cybersecurity

    DHS floats 'collective defense' model for cybersecurity

    Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen wants her department to have a more direct role in defending the private sector and critical infrastructure entities from cyberthreats.

  • Defense
    Defense Secretary James Mattis testifies at an April 12 hearing of the House Armed Services Committee.

    Mattis: Cloud deal not tailored for Amazon

    On Capitol Hill, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis sought to quell "rumors" that the Pentagon's planned single-award cloud acquisition was designed with Amazon Web Services in mind.

  • Census
    shutterstock image

    2020 Census to include citizenship question

    The Department of Commerce is breaking with recent practice and restoring a question about respondent citizenship last used in 1950, despite being urged not to by former Census directors and outside experts.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.