Military News

Friday, January 29, 2016

New contract vehicle opens doors for Battle Management programs

by Justin Oakes
66th Air Base Group Public Affairs


1/29/2016 - HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. -- Battle Management programs are now able to take an expedited approach to acquisition by tapping into a select pool of small and large businesses courtesy of a new contract vehicle called PEITSS.

On Jan. 27, 2016, the Air Force awarded a $538 million indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity PEITSS -- short for Platform Engineering and Integration for Tactical and Strategic Systems -- contract to five small businesses and one large business capable of procuring, integrating, fielding and supporting battle management and command and control systems.

Instead of programs undergoing the often long and tedious process of sending out requests for proposals followed by an individual source selection, they will be able to piggyback off the existing PEITSS IDIQ contract and RFPs from the awarded companies. The PEITSS awardees include BAE Systems, BCF Solutions, iGov Technologies, Pelatron, PeopleTec and Smartronix.

"What makes this contract unique is the pool of contractors poised to perform the work and the speed to award," said Don MacMillan, PEITSS program manager.

After several years of market research, MacMillan discovered that much of the work typically handled by large defense contractors could in fact be performed by smaller, more flexible companies. In general, the Battle Management Directorate places a heavy emphasis on small business participation, and according to MacMillan, the PEITSS contract will constitute a considerable percentage of this year's small business contracting total.

The principle advantage to the PEITSS contract is speed.

"There are fewer steps involved with an IDIQ, and it is a relatively easy process compared to most contracts," MacMillan said.

According to officials, program delivery orders can be awarded in as little as 18 weeks once the contracting officer receives a proposal package from a PEITSS company.

The PEITSS contract is the first of its kind and will span the next 10 years, with a five-year base contract and an option to extend the ordering period for another five years. 

Now that PEITSS is available for use, Battle Management program offices can begin executing delivery orders. And the first program to benefit from the new contract vehicle is Tactical Air Control Party-Modernization's Mobile Communications System, otherwise known as MCS.

On Jan. 28, MCS officials issued a delivery order valued at approximately $52.4 million to iGov Technologies. The order will produce an initial six MCS systems, followed by a full production option of 158 systems.

MCS will modify existing M1145 Humvee systems and provide joint terminal attack controllers critical voice, data and video communications. The system will allow JTACs to coordinate and control close-air support from the safety of an armored vehicle.

"It is the first TACP capability to be fielded using PEITSS, which allows the Air Force to deliver a system that Air Combat Command needs and also saves taxpayer dollars," said Maj. Ryan Marcotte, MCS program manager. "When MCS-type capabilities are needed on future TAC-P vehicles, such as the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle and Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, PEITSS will be the contract of choice."

With a $538 million ceiling and no restrictions on contractor teaming, the PEITSS contract allows Battle Management programs to incorporate new C2 capabilities on many different types of platforms. Options can vary from dismounted Airman to fixed vehicles to shelters and even airborne platforms.

"PEITSS provides a ready-made competitive contract vehicle to rapidly pull together and deliver no- or low-development solutions to all types of Battle Management customers," said Col. Michael Harm, Theater Battle Control Division senior materiel leader. "We expect to keep our awardees busy over the next several years."

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