Army prepares to award WIN-T to two contractors

The Army is expected to award a prime contract in the next few days under its Warfighter Information Network-Tactical program, sources say.

Since last September, General Dynamics Corp. and Lockheed Martin Corp. have been modeling and simulating prototype WIN-T systems. They are currently competing under the existing contract.

The Army is expected to pick General Dynamics as its prime contractor under WIN-T and Lockheed Martin as its principal subcontractor, according to three sources.

The paperwork is set to be signed any day now. The contracting team will then build the WIN-T system during the system design and development phase.

The schedule came after Army officials asked the Defense Department to let it speed up contracting for the $10 billion battlefield network project. The original schedule called for a contract award in late 2005.

The service wants to pick up the pace to bolster combat capabilities, especially in Iraq.

Through WIN-T, the Army plans to build a high-speed, high-capacity infrastructure for wired and wireless voice, data, video and imagery communications for soldiers on the battlefield. WIN-T will be the backbone of the Army's Future Combat Systems initiative to connect weapons and transport systems via a single network.

Army brass hope to have capabilities such as voice over IP when the 3rd Infantry Division returns to Iraq later this year.

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