Mission gone awry. The B-2 bomber’s mission
planning system is so slow, it is hurting the Air Force’s ability to strike targets
quickly, the General Accounting Office said last month.

The GAO report, B-2 Bomber: Additional Costs to Correct Deficiencies and Make
Improvements, said the Air Force Mission Support System malfunctioned frequently, was
inflexible, too complex and time-consuming for quick targeting. Lockheed Martin Corp. is
developing AFMSS to support all Air Force combat aircraft.

Lockheed hopes to produce a mission-planning system that can provide specific B-2
mission plans within eight hours. But Air Force operators at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo.,
told the GAO that AFMSS’ developmental version had so many failures that it took 60
hours to plan conventional missions and 192 hours to plan a nuclear strike.

Master agreement. The Navy and Novell Inc. have established the
service’s first-ever enterprisewide licensing agreement.

Novell signed the papers in January but didn’t announce it until last month.
Products covered under the agreement include the NetWare intelligent network server,
GroupWise e-mail, ManageWise network management solution, BorderManager network services
and Novell Directory Services for Microsoft Windows NT.

The Navy is negotiating with other vendors, including Lotus Development Corp.,
Microsoft Corp. and Sun Microsystems Inc. to consolidate existing licensing agreements

Force XXI ATM. The Army’s Communications-Electronics Command at
Fort Monmouth, N.J., awarded GTE Government Systems Corp. of Taunton, Mass., a $20 million
modification to a firm-fixed price contract to incorporate an asynchronous transfer mode
upgrade into the first digitized division.

The ATM is designed to improve data throughput of circuit switch networks. The work, to
be done in Taunton, should be finished by 2000, when the Army hopes to field its first
digital division.

Army gives back. The General Services Board of Contract Appeals has
awarded Sun $1.2 million as a result of the company’s successful protest of two Army
contracts for Unix workstations and peripherals.

Army workstation contracts were awarded to Digital Equipment Corp. and Hewlett-Packard
Co. in May 1996. But Sun protested the awards, alleging multiple errors in technical
compliance and proposal evaluations. The GSBCA ruled in favor of Sun. The Army, however,
decided to use existing contracts rather than conduct a new competition.

Sun then filed a motion to recover its protest and proposal costs. Based on an Army
audit of Sun’s expenses, both the service and Sun requested that the GSBCA award Sun
$500,000 in protest costs and $700,000 in proposal preparation costs.

—Gregory Slabodkin
[email protected]


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