Slaughter: Effort to Open Army Radio Program to Competition Succeeds; Harris Wins Multi-Billion Dollar 10-Year Contract
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (D, NY-25) announced that her years-long fight to open up the Army’s multi-billion dollar Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) to competition has resulted in a $3.8 billion, 10-year contract to Rochester-based radio manufacturer Harris Corporation and one other radio company. Slaughter led the effort in Congress to end the use of single source, no bid radio contracts that wasted billions in taxpayer money, all while delivering radio products inferior to those available from other providers.
"We demanded a fair playing field, wouldn’t take no for an answer, and now the more than 2,000 Harris employees that go to work in my district each and every day will know that their future is bright," said Congresswoman Slaughter. "By opening up Army radio procurement to competition, we have ensured that the men and women of the military get the most innovative communications gear at the best possible price. I couldn't be more proud of the hard work and promising future this win represents for our region."
Slaughter led the fight to secure a new 2014 acquisition strategy to implement a multi-vendor contracting process to keep prices low and encourage vendor innovation in the marketplace. Slaughter feverishly lobbied the Secretary of Defense and other Defense officials to secure the policy change. Attached is a letter from May 2013 to Army Assistant Secretary Heidi Shyu calling for the new policy. In addition to directly calling on the Department to change their policy, Slaughter used legislation to help bring about the change.
In 2011, Slaughter wrote a provision that was inserted into the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that withheld 30 percent of the funding for the JTRS program until the Secretary of the Army certified that radios acquired by the program were selected through full and open competition. In 2012, during consideration of the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act, Slaughter led the effort to defeat an amendment in the Rules Committee that would have prevented Harris from competing for the contract.
The contract awarded to Harris and Thales is worth $3,885,119,045. Each company's radios will go through operational testing and then compete for ongoing delivery orders through 2025. Harris Corporation employs more than 2,000 in the 25th Congressional District. More information about the award can be viewed here.
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