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December 23, 2008

USCG awards $12 million AIS data exchange contract

The U.S. Coast Guard's Acquisition Directorate has awarded Northrop Grumman Space & Mission Systems Corp. a $12 million contract to deliver the core Nationwide Automatic Identification System data exchange capability.

Northrop Grumman will provide the necessary shore-side communications, network and processing capability to ensure the effective exchange of Automatic Identification System information between AIS-equipped vessels, aircraft, aids to navigation and shore stations within all major U.S. ports, waterways and coastal zones as well as from AIS-equipped vessels bound for the U.S.

The core data exchange capability consists of all the system components and functionality, including AIS receive and transmit messaging, data processing, data storage and retrieval and system monitoring, on a limited geographic scale.

AIS is an internationally adopted communication system to provide for autonomous, continuous exchange of vessel positions and other navigational safety related information.

"The Nationwide AIS project is already making critical contributions to maritime safety and security at our nation's highest priority ports and coastal zones," said Rear Adm. Gary T. Blore, assistant commandant for acquisitions. "This contract will allow the Coast Guard to fully leverage the inherent features of AIS by adding transmit capabilities to our nationwide system, which will provide a considerable enhancement to safety of navigation and the marine transportation system."

The Coast Guard says that it solicited for this work under a full and open competition, following a disciplined process to award the contract from what describes as "a robust pool of offerors." It says that Northrop Grumman was selected because it offered the best value of technical capability, management approach and price.


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