Military radio competition heats up as lawmakers intervene

The introduction of a bipartisan amendment to the House Armed Services Committee's defense authorization markup May 15 that sought to bar the Army and Navy from procuring tactical radio systems that depend on proprietary waveforms caused a short-lived dustup between the top competitors involved in the potentially lucrative procurement of Joint Tactical Radio System technologies and the lawmakers that represent the districts where they are located, reports Defense News.

Introduced by Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa) and co-sponsored by Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) the amendment, which was withdrawn the following day, would have barred the Army and Navy from procuring tactical radio systems “that depend on proprietary waveforms and have not been or are not procured through full and open competition," the story said.

The language appeared to disqualify Harris’ Falcon III 117G radio, which runs the company’s proprietary Adaptive Wideband Networking Waveform, and is vying for more business for the system with the Army, the story cites industry insiders as saying. By disqualifying Harris, the language in the amendment seemed to favor General Dynamics, Harris’ chief competitor for Army radio business, the story said.

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