M/A-COM, Inc., M/A-COM Awarded $11 Million Land Mobile Radio Communications Contract from the Army for the National Capitol Region

The National Capital Region to be the Home of the First DoD P25 Trunked IP Communication System, Providing Secure Base Communications and NetworkFirst Interoperability with First Responders

LOWELL, Mass., Sept. 23 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — M/A-COM, Inc., a business unit of Tyco Electronics and leading manufacturer of IP-based public safety communication systems, today announced the signing of a $11 million contract awarded by the U.S. Army's CECOM BRS (Base Radio Systems) to deploy and link critical communications to more than 5,000 Army base personnel in and around the National Capitol Region (NCR), including greater D.C., Maryland and Virginia with connectivity up to Fort Hamilton, NY. The contract is anticipated to exceed $16 million with the addition of training, life-cycle maintenance and options. Deployed by the Army's DOIM (Department of Information Management) for Department of Defense (DoD) users, M/A-COM's P25IP Trunked IP Communications System, in combination with its NetworkFirst Interoperability System, will be the first deployment of its kind in the nation's armed forces.

The contract is a “turnkey”, completely integrated, Land Mobile Radio system that will link 10 Army installations in the NCR region, including Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC), Fort Hamilton, the Pentagon, Fort Myer, Fort McNair and Fort Belvoir, and in addition, will include site preparation, equipment, implementation, testing and maintenance of the system. The system also will include the following installations/sites, Fort A.P. Hill, Fort Detrick, Fort Meade, Raven Rock and the Germantown RF site located outside the National Capital Region in Maryland and Virginia. General Dynamics Wireless Services, a unit of GD Network Systems, is M/A-COM's subcontractor for site preparation work, site management, equipment installation, and life cycle maintenance.

In addition, this IP-based network solution will facilitate interoperable communications, via its NetworkFirst system with approximately 60 civilian public safety agencies located in both the National Capital Region and in suburban Maryland and Virginia. These agencies are currently communicating on different frequencies and have disparate radio systems throughout the NCR.

“M/A-COM's advanced system will provide critical interoperable communications for Army personnel based in the NCR and will leverage COTS (Commercial Off The Shelf) servers, routers and PCs to provide reduced total ownership cost,” said Kevin Fleming, Director, Federal Sales.

The new system, called P25IP, combines the P25 air link standard with the power of IP packet technology in a trunked voice and data communications system. The M/A-COM system will dramatically improve the existing communications capabilities, providing a more secure and highly reliable and interoperable digital communication system.

The digital system supports P25 trunking standard features and DES encryption for secure communications. This system will operate using DoD UHF spectrum in the 380-399.9 MHz frequency range. Additionally, the system meets the NTIA Narrowband mandate and the guidelines set forth in the Deputy Secretary of Defense's Policy Letter for LMR Systems and the Army Plan for Narrowband Systems Operating in the Land Mobile Radio Spectrum. M/A-COM's system employs fault-tolerant P25IP technology that supports current operational requirements, in addition to addressing future growth, scalability, and interoperability.

“M/A-COM is extremely pleased to work with the Army-DOIM, a vital IT organization within the DoD community, to provide a secure and highly reliable advanced communications system,” said John Vaughan, vice president, M/A-COM Wireless Systems. “M/A-COM is proud to partner with the National Capital Region DOIM and BRS to complete this critical initiative, which is vital to the Army as well as Homeland Security. Our NetworkFirst interoperability solution will be rapidly deployed to provide crossband multi-vendor interoperability between Army users and State and local public safety agencies.”

“Although many companies provide just P25 portable radios, the Federal and DoD community now have a choice for full turnkey P25 trunked networks that meet the Narrowband mandate. This is the first P25 system that truly leverages the power of IP technology,” said Jay Herther, federal market manager, M/A-COM.

The NCR system is slated for completion in early 2005.