So, where’s the Navy’s next generation network contract?

Service officials said, repeatedly, they would award the deal by the end of last year.

As I reported multiple times last year, the Navy said -- repeatedly -- that it would award a contract valued at about $5 billion for its Next-Generation Enterprise Network by the end of last month.

Here we are in the second week of January, and still no award. I’m waiting to hear from the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command in San Diego when it expects to make one.

Capt. Shawn Hendricks, manager of the Naval Enterprise Networks Program Office, which manages NGEN, told those attending an October 2011 industry briefing that he could not afford to miss the December 2012 award deadline in order to have NGEN to ready to go when the contract for the current network runs out in 2015.

"We don't want the lights to go out," Hendricks said at the time.

Warren Suss, president of Suss Consulting said he was not surprised at the delay in awarding the NGEN contract: “It’s a huge, complex deal that will require reviews at the highest levels in the Pentagon, which often involves follow-up rounds of analysis.”

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 deal through 2015.

The enterprise network will provide service to 400,000 desktop and laptop computers and 900,000 Navy and Marine end users in more than 2,500 locations, mostly within the United States.

Two industry teams bid on NGEN: HP partnered with AT&T, IBM, Lockheed Martin Corp. and Northrop Grumman; and Computer Sciences Corp. partnered with Harris, Dell, General Dynamics and Verizon.

Update: Ed Austin, a SPAWAR spokesman said that the command revised its award schedule last August for NGEN to the second quarter of fiscal 2013, which ends in March.