Justice picks General Dynamics, Lockheed for wireless work

The Justice Department has selected General Dynamics and Lockheed Martin to compete on the design of a wireless network that will serve 80,000 users in law enforcement agencies nationwide, according to a statement released today.

The Integrated Wireless Network (IWN) is a joint effort by the Justice, Homeland Security and Treasury departments to create a secure and reliable wireless network spanning 2,500 sites that include cities, highways, land and coastal borders, and ports of entry.

The system will provide secure and reliable wireless communications for voice, data and multimedia, according to the statement. It will serve federal law enforcement, homeland security and first responders, as well as state, local and tribal partners.

"By providing near-instant communication availability and system response, highly reliable communications, and physical and encryption security features that minimize interception of sensitive communications, IWN will make law enforcement and protective operations more effective, efficient and safe," said Vance Hitch, Justice's chief information officer, in the statement.

Phase 1 of the award competition resulted in five potential bidders: AT&T, Boeing, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin and Motorola. In Phase 2, government officials awarded indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contracts for the nationwide network.

General Dynamics and Lockheed Martin will now participate in the third and final phase, which is the design competition for the actual system, a Justice spokeswoman said.

Each company will create designs and plans for implementation and pricing in a specific geographic area of the country. The finalists will also submit designs and implementation plans for the entire IWN system, according to a Justice document outlining the procurement schedule.

Justice has awarded each firm an IDIQ contract with a five-year base period and two five-year option periods, the spokeswoman said.

Justice anticipates that the final value of the IWN contract will be $3 billion over the 15-year period, the spokeswoman said. The actual value will depend on available funds and the government's needs, she added.

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