Boeing’s [BA] engineering and manufacturing development contract for Brigade Combat Team Modernization (BCTM) will come “to an orderly close,” as directed by the Army Acquisition Executive.
The EMD contract ends two years early–it would have ended in 2013 had the program gone forward. The initial contract was potentially valued at $3.2 billion when it was awarded in 2009.
A July 29 Army Acquisition Decision Memorandum (ADM), obtained by Defense Daily, said: “The PEOs will ensure that all hardware software and data developed and produced is captured and preserved for potential use in subsequent efforts to support the Army’s modernization plan.”
“While we are obviously disappointed by the Army’s decision we continue to explore new opportunities to support Army modernization efforts including the Ground Tactical Network market,” Matthew Billingsley, a Boeing spokesman, told Defense Daily. “Additionally, we look forward to completing delivery of the first high-bandwidth secure mobile tactical network to the Army in the very near future.”
The network falls under the Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) contract of February 2010 to produce the first brigade set of capabilities. A Defense Department Acquisition Decision Memorandum said the Army could go ahead with two additional brigade sets of the iRobot small-unattended ground vehicle (SUGV) and network sets. Discussions continue on whether these sets could be rolled into the LRIP contract.
“This network is the only one that can run the Wideband Networking Waveform,” Billingsley said. “It is also the only one that meets current Army throughput, quality of service, speed of service and information assurance requirements. It also features the introduction of the first cross-domain (guard) solution for tactical operations. By allowing soldiers to access both classified and unclassified information at a smaller unit level, this capability enables greater information sharing, collaboration and more rapid decision-making.”
The ADM also directed the termination of the Common Mobility Platform since it “does not meet an immediate operational requirement for the soldier.” The Autonomous Navigation System (ANS) review concluded that further investment “cannot be justified.”
The Army Acquisition Executive directs all efforts of CMP and ANS end no later than Sept. 30. For ANS, the desired outcome is also “to ensure the capture of all data that could potentially be used on other efforts in the future.”
The iRobot [IRBT] 320 SUGV EMD effort under the Boeing EMD contract also ends Sept. 30. The ADM directs the program executive office Ground Combat System to pursue “the most cost effective contractual arrangement in order to continue the development of product improvements for the SUGV for FY12 and beyond.”
“This notification is consistent with our expectations,” said Robert Moses, president of iRobot’s Government and Industrial Robots division, in a statement. “The SUGV robot has proven its worth as a man-portable, rugged and easy-to-use robot. Warfighters are using it to perform a wide variety of missions due to its success on the battlefield. Given current budget pressures, the Department of Defense is pursuing more cost-effective contractual arrangements.
Moses said iRobot continues to discuss with the Army ways to reduce costs for the development and acquisition of SUGVs in 2011 and 2012.
Termination costs for the EMD contract will be funded from the FY ’11 System of Systems Engineering and Program Management funding under PEO Integration, the ADM said.
Additionally, “the FY 11 and FY12 UGV funding line…will be used to pay “special termination costs and other costs related to ending the Boeing EMD contract” no later than Sept. 30. That same funding line will also support the “initiation and execution of a new SUGV EMD contract” based on the PEO, GCS spending plan.
“It is premature to discuss termination costs at this time, Billingsley said. "A number of related terminations from the FCS program and the BCTM effort are still ongoing,” Billingsley said. "Until they are concluded we prefer not to speculate on the outcome.”