DISA awards $750m contract for Defense Message System

The Defense Information Systems Agency awarded a $750 million contract today to Lockheed Martin Corp. to sustain and support the Defense Message System.

The indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract runs for one base year with nine one-year options and was awarded to Lockheed Martin's Integrated Systems and Solutions division of Gaithersburg, Md. The original DMS contract, valued at $1.6 billion and also awarded to Lockheed, expires April 30.

Under the sustainment contract, Lockheed will address fielding issues, perform system upgrades, conduct technology refreshes and ensure security layers are in place, according to Poul Jorgensen, DMS program manager for Lockheed.

'The Defense Message System was conceived to take a bunch of disparate e-mail across all the services and agencies and bring together some common platforms that would bring interoperability across the services in a secure and reliable matter,' Jorgensen added.

DMS is an organizational messaging system used by the services and Defense agencies to send e-mail messages at all classification levels. Through the system, users can send not only text messages, but also maps, drawings, video and spreadsheets. They can also access directory services.

DMS replaces AUTODIN, the 50-year-old bulk messaging system through which users shipped electronic memos via military message centers. AUTODIN operated at a much slower speed than DMS and could only support text messages.

'DMS will provide secure messaging service to the warfighter whether in garrison or deployed and to all other users in DOD and non-DOD activities,' said Cynthia Keal, DMS sustainment program manager, in a news release. 'It will reliably handle information of all classification levels'from unclassified through top secret including intelligence community compartments/categories.'

DMS reached full operational capability in February 2005 and entered the sustainment phase of its lifecycle in May 2005, according to the release. DMS currently supports more than 6 million military messages a month, Jorgensen said.

The Electronic System Center's Operations and Sustainment Systems Group, out of Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., will manage the contract for the Defense Department.

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