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ManTech International to Support Army MRAP Fleet

One of the advantages an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) can have over its competitors is the ability to win contracts to provide maintenance, support and spare parts for the the systems it sells the military. These kind of contracts may continue for years after completion of deliveries and generate billions in revenue for the company. The military though does have the option of pursuing other ways of doing this either using its organic depots and support facilities or paying a third party to do this kind of support. If those are chosen then the OEM may be out a great deal of contracts.

Over the last five or so years the U.S. Army and other services have invested billions in a fleet of Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles primarily used to move soldiers around Iraq and Afghanistan. The mine and IED threat have been very severe leading to the acquisition of these large, non-tactical transport vehicles. Because this was a rapid acquisition many different vehicles were bought from multiple suppliers leading to special efforts to integrate them at a tactical level and establish a training and support system.

Perhaps because of this mix of multiple systems and models as well as the fact that the MRAP fleet primarily stays in Iraq and Afghanistan as there is no real use for them in the U.S. other then training that the Army has contracted with a third party company to perform sustainment and maintenance. This has mainly been ManTech International (MANT).

In a continuation of this support the company was just awarded another contract worth $488 million for the initial eleven month period if all options are exercised.

The size of the contract indicates how much work is involved as well as the fact that much of it will take place in forward locations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The contract deals with assessment of battle damage and fatigue to the systems as well as their rapid repair.

Although the U.S. is struggling with its future doctrine as to how to integrate the MRAP into their tactical organizations and operations it still remains a key piece of equipment supporting current operations. Contracts such as this in turn are critical to making sure the fleet is available and effective to support current operations.

Photo from The National Guard’s flickr photostream.

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U.S. Army to Pay ManTech for Cell Coverage in Afghanistan

Many parts of the revolution in civil communications and Information Technology (IT) that has occurred over the last twenty years has a military application. People forget that it was the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) that paid for the creation of the internet and the basis of modern email systems. The U.S. has invested in things such as the tactical internet to aid in distributing information across their networks. There are even military iPhone and iPad applications.

Now the U.S. Army is contracting with ManTech (MANT) to install nationwide cell phone coverage in Afghanistan to support operations by that service and U.S. allies and other government agencies. The value of the deal is about $68 million.

The system is called the Expeditionary Cellular Communications Service (ECCS) and consists of fixed and mobile towers as well as support services. One other aspect of the system is that it most likely will be easy to turn over to the Afghan government upon the departure of the U.S. forces for use as a basic communication infrastructure.

The establishment of this system will also relieve pressure on more traditional communication means such as satellite radios by transferring some of the load of non-tactical or operational communications. This seems like a worthwhile investment in U.S. capabilities.

Photo from Jeff Kubina’s flickr photostream.

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