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Army awards contracts to build sophisticated supply chain network

The Army announced on Thursday that it awarded contracts worth more than $418 million to manage what will become the "most sophisticated supply chain system" network the Defense Department has created, a winning bidder said.

Five companies received awards for the Automatic Identification Technology IV system, which covers the supply of hardware such as bar code printers and scanners and Wi-Fi gear to network a range of AIT systems, including radio frequency identification systems. Intermec held the AIT-III contract, which expired in July.

The contract includes future requirements for vendors to provide other technologies to support Defense Department efforts to track supplies automatically, including satellite and cellular communications to relay data and provide position information and smart labels, which are combined bar code labels and RFID transponders.

The Army product manager for Joint Automatic Identification Technologies said it anticipated using the AIT-IV contract to integrate RFID systems into the supply chain.

Receiving awards were CDO Technologies Inc., GTSI Inc., Northrop Grumman Information Technology, Intermec Technologies Corp. and Lowry Holding Co.

The winning suppliers also will provide systems engineering and software development services. Don Ertel, vice president of CDO Technologies' systems and technology solutions division, said the contract is "the cornerstone of the most sophisticated supply chain systems DoD has ever undertaken."

Alphonso Wofford, president and chief executive officer of CDO, said Defense would use AIT-IV to support the complex logistics operation to remove military equipment from Iraq as forces leave the country during the next several years.

NATO countries, the Coast Guard and other civilian agencies also will be able to order off the AIT-IV contract.

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