Defense Department Briefs

The Air Force's Electronic Systems Center has picked the companies it considers best
qualified to bid on the $300 million Integrated Maintenance Data System (IMDS). They are
Andersen Consulting, Loral Federal Systems Group, Lockheed Martin Corp. and TRW Inc.


ESC evaluated statements of qualification submitted by vendors and interviewed
executives from 17 companies interested in bidding on IMDS. Those companies not tapped as
the most competitive based on initial ratings still can bid.


The four chosen companies will help ESC draft a request for proposals.


Reporters were barred last month from the first Defense Information Infrastructure
Common Operating Environment Developers Conference at Mitre Corp., but then so were 600
industry representatives. Lt. Gen. Al Edmonds, director of the Defense Information Systems
Agency, said the would-be attendees were turned away because of space limitations. The
conference offered the first under-the-hood look at DISA's COE concept, which has been
likened to a Windows environment for the military Unix world [GCN, March 4, Page
14].


When it comes to the sticky megacenter outsourcing issue, Edmonds has decided to do as
Pilate did. Answering a question at a recent Armed Forces Communications and Electronics
Association, Edmonds said several studies on the feasibility of letting the vendors run
DISA's megacenters are now in the hands of senior Pentagon brass.


Edmonds, added that he does not intend to "waste a lot of energy on something that
[I] don't have any control of.'' He also denied that he and Emmett Paige Jr., the
assistant secretary of Defense for command, control, communications and intelligence, are
at loggerheads on the issue.


"Frankly, I've taken DISA out of the decision process, because I want people to be
objective,'' he said.


Microsoft Corp. included a new application programming interface, known as CryptoAPI,
in the beta version of Windows NT 4.O Workstation released last month. The API is designed
to make it easier for developers to build call functions for scrambling files and
attaching digital signatures in NT applications that want to use third-party software and
hardware encryption products.


Industry sources said the API should make life easier for programmers who are trying to
make the National Security Agency's Fortezza card work with Microsoft apps.


Contrary to a recent item in this column, the Army is not the only service to have
issued a detailed technical architecture for systems developers. The Marine Corps
Technical Architecture appeared last September, according to reliable sources at Marines
Corps Headquarters. For a copy of the document, which includes descriptions of the
service's common hardware suite and common software applications, call Lt. Col. Fred
Lindner at 703-784-4569.


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