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Navy seeks proposals for new network

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The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, known as SPAWAR, has issued a request for proposals for its Next-Generation Enterprise Network, estimated to cost between $7 billion and $10 billion over 10 years.

SPAWAR expects to award the contract in February 2013, two months later than originally planned, due to a more-than-four-month delay of its RFP release.

NGEN will replace the Navy Marine Corps Intranet, which HP Enterprise Services has operated since 2000 on a $10 billion contract that ran through 2010 and a $3.4 billion continuity-of-services contract set to expire at the end of 2015. The RFP said the Navy will start to transition users from NMCI to NGEN in early 2013.

The enterprise network will provide service to 400,000 desktop and laptop computers and 900,000 end users in more than 2,500 locations, mostly within the United States. NGEN, unlike NMCI, also will provide service to overseas users who currently fall under the Navy ONE-NET contract held by Computer Sciences Corp. ONE-NET serves Navy installations in Europe, Asia and the Mideast. SPAWAR awarded Northrop Grumman Corp. a $638 million contract in February to provide shipboard network service.

SPAWAR has broken up the NGEN contract into enterprise services -- including myriad software systems -- and transport services, such as base and local area networks and Wi-Fi systems. The command could award separate contracts for each piece or combine them into a single contract.

NGEN will have distinct Navy and Marine domains. The RFP said the Navy will structure its domain as a government-owned, contractor-operated network. With the exception of desktop computers, the Navy will provide NGEN infrastructure as government-furnished property. The Marine Corps has structured its NGEN domain as a government-owned, government-operated network and may acquire hardware, software and services off the transport and enterprise services contracts, the RFP said.

Navy Capt. Shawn Hendricks, Naval Enterprise Networks program manager, said the release of the RFP is a significant milestone. “It reflects critical insight from industry as we compete for the world's largest enterprise network,” he said. “The comments from our ongoing dialogue with industry were carefully reviewed and reflected in the government's position in the NGEN RFP."

HP Enterprise Services plans to bid on NGEN, as does a team led by CSC with General Dynamics Information Technology and Cisco; Lockheed Martin Corp. also may submit a proposal.

Bidders must respond to the massive RFP, which has 46 attachments totaling more than 37 megabytes of data, by July 18.

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