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COMTECH KEEPS TRUCKING

25 Oct 04. Joe Gentile of Comtech Mobile Datacom Corp. (CMDC), the US vehicle tracking specialist, gave BATTLESPACE Editor, Julian Nettlefold an update on the company’s current programs. CDMC has contracted with the U.S. Army to implement the Army’s Movement Tracking System (MTS). The contract calls for up to a maximum of $418m of mobile terminals, computers and peripherals, and communications systems and services to be supplied over an 8-year period, subject to annual governmental funding, with quantities and delivery dates indefinite. The Company anticipates first year funding to approximate $10 million. The contract requires for its inception the satisfactory demonstration of the system, which is expected to occur this summer. The Company noted that other governmental departments and agencies are able to participate in this contract along with the U.S. Army.

The MTS program is a key element in the Army’s intensified effort to improve total asset visibility and logistic efficiency. Comtech’s system is intended to provide the Army, on a global basis, with secure, high-speed message transmission for this purpose.

Gentile told BATTLESPACE, “We have a strong team on this project which includes SCI Systems of Huntsville, Alabama, for the production of equipment; Anteon Corp. of Fairfax, Virginia for logistics support, field installation and maintenance, and systems development; PGI of Hauppauge, New York, for ruggedized computers; and Comsat Corporation for satellite access to international regions.”

Since the award of this contract, COMTECH has fielded 7000 systems worldwide for the US Army worth $160m, the goal being 4000 Control Stations and 34000 tactical wheeled vehicles.

In addition to the vehicle systems, Comtech has developed the Gen-2 Transceiver Module for applications in the Commander’s Digital Assistant being bid by a number of companies including Raytheon, GD, Northrop Grumman, L-3 and DRS for the PEO Soldier program, part of Land Warrior.

The Gen-2 module represents the next generation beyond the ECS in small size, low power devices for use by the dismounted soldier or for weight-restrictive environments.

Gentile told BATTLESPACE that the company is keen to bid its systems to international customers. The system was initially fielded in small quantities by NATO but the company is facing stiff competition from French and German suppliers with a contract award expected in the near term for a new batch of systems; unconfirmed reports suggest that the French may have won a recent requirement which CO)MTECH did not bid..

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