White Papers are due Feb. 3 in response to an Army Sources Sought notice seeking interested industry and government sources with mature solutions to enhance existing network systems capabilities to participate in the Network Integration Evaluation (NIE) 13.1 event.

The NIE is scheduled to occur in October-November 2012 at Fort Bliss, Texas and White Sands Missile Range (WSMR), N.M.

The NIE is a series of semi-annual evaluations designed to further integrate and mature the Army’s tactical network, and accelerate and improve the way network technologies are delivered to soldiers, the service said in a statement through the System of Systems Integration Directorate (SoSI).

The purpose of the Sources Sought notice is to identify emerging capabilities to be evaluated against a set of entrance criteria for an opportunity to participate in NIE 13.1.

This Sources Sought wants narrowly focused solutions for specifically identified gaps in the current and evolving networked equipment solution set, the statement said.

The identified gaps are: Multi-Channel Tactical Radio; Mission Command on the Move (MCOTM); Low-Cost-Low-SWaP Tactical Cross Domain Solution; Joint Participation Capability (US & Allies); Aviation Extension; Small Form Factor, Modular Transit Case SATCOM Terminal and Baseband; Mission Command In-Garrison Training; and Improved Operational Energy.

The Army wants only those solutions that address the eight specific identified gaps that are at the representative model or prototype system stage and that have been tested in a relevant environment.

Functional requirements for these gaps are listed in the Sources Sought notice on the Federal Business Opportunities website.

“This Sources Sought notice seeks candidates against a specific set of gaps, rather than the broader areas of specific interest released in the previous two notices,” said Erin Deronghe, division chief of portfolio integration management, SoSI Directorate. “In the first two NIEs, the Army established a network baseline and is now building upon it–these specific gaps will seek mature material solutions to enhance that baseline. In addition, we are soliciting industry for more non-networked solutions to contribute to more rapid acquisition and fielding of the best of these key technologies to the warfighter.”

SoSI Director Col. Dan Hughes said: "By employing the NIE and agile process, we are providing industry the network framework and architectural concept to develop their systems and capabilities. This new acquisition approach is an aggressive effort seeking mature technology from both large and small industry partners to fill hardware and software need.”