Thursday, September 9, 2010

UPDATE: L-3’s SpecialOps Support Contracts

This post is an update to a post I initially made back on May 5th, which can be found here.

Aug 25/10: L-3 Global Communications Solutions, Inc. in Victor, NY receives a 5-year, indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract worth up to $170 million, for the Special Operations Forces Deployable Node-Lite (SDN-L). 

Satellite communication is critical to special forces teams, who are always looking for better performance. Working with the USSOCOM) Research, Development and Acquisition Center, L-3 will integrate, configure, test and support this effort to give special forces more bandwidth/data throughput and enhanced security, within a smaller overall size and weight. L-3 GCS will use its Panther Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT), and has worked for the past 2 years to reduce the VSAT terminal to the point that it can offer megabit per-second connectivity that fits into a field pack. The Panther X-Band VSAT passed MIL-STD-810F testing in March 2010.

The company plans to begin shipping military tested and cerfitied Ku-band, Ka-band and X-band manpacks, data kits and power systems to USSOCOM in 2010, with additional units delivered throughout the life of the contract. Work will be performed in Victor, NY, and the ordering period will end in August 2015. 

USSOCOM manages the contract (H92222-10-D-1006). See FBO SDN-Lv3 2008 solicitation | FBO SDN-L 2010 solicitation | L-3 GCS release | Defense Systems.

July 27/10: In an earnings report, L-3 CEO Michael Strianese says that: 

“Finally, we expect to execute an agreement with the Air Force today, under which the Air Force will lift the suspension of L-3’s Special Support Programs Division. The Air Force will also agree not to suspend Integrated Systems.”

The condition is that L-3 sign a 3-year agreement with the USAF concerning mandatory ethics training for employees and officers. The barbs are sharper. L-3 will pay the USAF $60,000 to reimburse it for investigation-related costs. It will not protest the June 21/10 SOFSA re-award to Lockheed Martin, will cooperate in the transition, and L-3 SSPD cannot perform IT work for the government during this 3 year agreement unless it is directly related to the SOFSA contract. L-3 Q2 2010 Earnings release [PDF] | Full L-3/USAF administrative agreement [PDF] | DoD Buzz.

June 9/10: Relationship rupture. L-3 serves notice that:

”...Special Support Programs Division (L-3 SSPD, formerly known as L-3 Joint Operations Group (JOG)) has been temporarily suspended from receiving any new contracts or orders from U.S. Federal Government agencies, including under its Special Operations Forces Support Activity (SOFSA) contract.

The notice of temporary suspension was received from the Office of the Deputy General Counsel of the U.S. Air Force on June 4, 2010 and relates to an on-going governmental investigation of L-3 SSPD concerning the alleged inappropriate use of an e-mail system by L-3 SSPD employees. L-3 SSPD is continuing to perform on outstanding orders under its existing contracts, including the SOFSA contract. The temporary suspension will remain in effect until lifted at the discretion of the Air Force.

The Air Force has also notified L-3 that it is considering whether a suspension of L-3 Communications Integrated Systems L.P., as the parent of L-3 SSPD, is also warranted.”

L-3 SSPD managed the network, and allegedly copied, stored, and viewed sent emails in an attempt to discover whether its employees had shared its information with another contractor. US SOCOM reportedly began to monitor communications among L-3 employees after a tip from a rival contractor. The USAF is also investigating whether L-3 employees without appropriate security clearances were brought in to work on sensitive projects, and might expand the probe to the entire L-3 company. The Atlantic | DoD Buzz | Bloomberg | Reuters | Washington Technology | Wall St. Journal (subscriber-only).

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