The U.S. Army has released a Sources Sought notice, inviting defense companies to try to improve the service’s existing network in the upcoming Network Integration Evaluation 14.1 this fall at Fort Bliss, Texas and White Sands Missile Range, N.M.
The purpose of the Sources Sought notice is to identify emerging capabilities to be evaluated against a set of entrance criteria for an opportunity to participate in NIE 14.1, according to an Army press release.
The Army’s System of Systems Integration Directorate is looking for solutions to capability gaps in “Brigade/Battalion Command Post (CP) Mobility and Scalability, Network Visualization on the Common Operational Picture (COP), Aerial layer Network Extension – Provide assured access for terrestrial network, Integrated Network Assurance – Network Access Control, Operational Energy – Energy sources with extended duration and power, Operational Energy – Monitor and manage system power, supply and demand, and Operational Energy – Reduce reliance on petroleum-based energy,” the release states.
The Army is seeking only those solutions that are at the representative model or prototype system stage and that have been tested in a relevant environment, according to the release.
“A highlight of NIE 14.1 will be the implementation of the common operating environment, while also looking beyond the network allowing the Army to assess non-networked Operational Energy systems,” said Col. Rob Carpenter, director of the SoSI. “Solutions being sought in NIE 14.1 will help inform Capability Sets and the NIE construct as it matures to a Joint environment in NIE 14.2.”
In December, the Army issued the first Request for Proposal (RFP) to support the NIE events.
The semi-annual NIE is helping shape “agile” capability integration by assessing soldier provided and technical operational test data to influence not only how the Army procures capability, but also how integrated network capability requirements are validated and refined, Army officials maintain. These evaluations also shape the ways the Army will field, train, sustain and continuously improve capability acquisition and life cycle management and provide a relevant operational test environment to meet mandatory program of record test requirements, officials say.