Lockheed Secures Bid for Military Radio System
By Dana Hedgpeth
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, March 29, 2008; Page D02
Lockheed Martin of Bethesda yesterday landed two major contracts worth a total of $1.3 billion, including one to overhaul the military's radio system so that all the service branches can communicate with each other.
The world's largest defense company beat out Boeing to get the $766.2 million Pentagon contract to design and build a new radio system that will connect aircraft, ships, submarines and ground stations.
The Defense Department's program, called the Joint Tactical Radio System , is a major step toward replacing the older radio systems the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine troops now use, allowing them to have one system that can transmit video, conversations and other data.
JTRS accomplishes the above goals through highly flexible, mostly software based, radios. Obviously developing a single, interoperable, full-featured communications system for the entire US military is a rather ambitious undertaking, and this program has been around for quite some time. In 2005, there were serious doubts about its feasability. Obviously, many meetings took place, and in 2007 a Request for Proposals was made for an early phase called the Airborne and Maritime/Fixed Station Joint Tactical Radio System.
Today, the announcement was made that Lockheed won. This contract is worth $766.1 million. Depending on what happens, it could ultimately be a lot more. Presumably the usual defense radio vendors will supply equipment and expertise.