The $12.7 billion contract to build two-channel HMS Manpack radios for the Army was split Friday among Harris Corp. [HRS], General Dynamics C4 Systems [GD] and Rockwell Collins [COL], the Army said late Friday.
The three companies will share the maximum $12.7 billion in indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contracts to build Manpack radios, the second of three elements of the Army’s Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS). The companies were the only ones to submit proposals for the program.
Each manufacturer will deliver a certain number of radios based on the initial contract award that will immediately enter government integration testing to make sure they satisfy the Army technical specifications for the system. A series of customer and operational testing will follow.
Once operational testing of the radios is completed, the three companies will compete for further delivery orders under the initial IDIQ contract. Operational testing of the Manpack radio is expected to take place in early 2017.
The Army already has purchased 5,326 AN/PRC-155 Manpack radios, the fielding of which has been hampered by delays in testing. Manpack was designed to run multiple waveforms including legacy systems like SINCGARS and the soldier radio waveform, the channel on which individual soldiers’ rifleman radios operate.
Harris is currently building Rifleman Radios under a separate IDIQ contract shared with Thales, which did not pursue Manpack.
Thales and Harris are under contract to produce about 150,000 rifleman radios. JTRS, which also includes airborne and vehicle-mounted radios, is designed to tap commercial technologies for military use and will be re-competed every five years to in an effort to find the most capability and the best price for the government.