Military Embedded Systems

U.S. Air Force contract offers an expedited process to battle-management programs


February 02, 2016

Mariana Iriarte

Technology Editor

Military Embedded Systems

U.S. Air Force contract offers an expedited process to battle-management programs
Photo by U.S. Air Force

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. U.S. Air Force officials have selected five small businesses and one large business to procure, integrate, field, and support battle-management and command and control (C2) systems under the Platform Engineering and Integration for Tactical and Strategic Systems (PEITSS) contract vehicle. The indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract’s estimated ceiling value is $538 million.

Don McMillan, PEITSS program manager, discovered through market research that smaller companies could handle a lot of the work. BAE Systems, BCF Solutions, iGov Technologies, Pelatron, PeopleTec, and Smartronix are the companies that can piggyback off the existing PEITSS contract.

It will span the next 10 years, with a five-year base contract and an option to extend the ordering period for another five years. Officials say that the main advantage of the PEITSS contract is speed.

The Battle Management Directorate places an emphasis on small business participation and the PEITSS contract will constitute a considerable percentage of this year's small business contracting total, says McMillan.

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

Companies can be selected for program delivery orders in as little as 18 weeks once the contracting officer receives a proposal package from a PEITSS company, officials say.

Tactical Air Control Party-Modernization's Mobile Communications System (MCS) is the first to benefit from this contract vehicle, as Battle Management program offices can now begin executing delivery orders. MCS officials issued a delivery order on January 28 to IGov Technologies for an estimated $52.4 million, where they will provide an initial six MCS systems and have a full production option for 158 systems.

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

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, officials say. Options can vary from dismounted Airman to shelters and even airborne platforms.

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