Navy seeks to refresh 400,000 end-user devices under new contract

The Department of the Navy took a major step forward Tuesday in its desire to break up the 18-year-old Navy Marine Corps Intranet (NMCI) effort and consolidate existing networks.

The DoN released the first of two major request for proposals under the Next Generation Enterprise Network (N-GEN) Recompete program. The RFP is to replace and support more than 400,000 pieces of IT hardware across 600,000 users.

Under this contract, which is the smaller of the two RFPs, which some estimate could be worth more than $3.5 billion, the Navy will buy everything from laptops to desktops to tablets to 2-in-1 detachable, ultra-small desktops to  thin or zero client devices. The service says a  single device may support multiple users and their associated accounts.

Deltek estimates the end-user hardware contract to be worth more than $250 million over nine years. The Navy expects this to be a single award, indefinite quantity indefinite delivery (IDIQ) with firm-fixed price  and cost reimbursement type contract.

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The requirements are for both the unclassified non-secured Internet protocol network router (NIPRNet) and classified secret Internet protocol network router (SIPRNet) networks.

“In acquiring end user hardware-as-a-service (EUHWaaS) the government is only acquiring the service of using an EUHW device. This is not a purchase, and titles for all EUHWaaS devices remain with the contractor,” the solicitation states. “EUHWaaS includes the provisioning, storage of spares, configuration, testing, integration, installation, operation, maintenance, EOL disposal of NIPRNet and SIPRNet EUHW, and internal storage device removal and destruction requirements identified in [the] hardware device return and disposal [section of the RFP].”

Proposals are due Nov. 19.

Perspecta is the incumbent under the NMCI/NGEN effort after buying and merging with the initial winners Electronic Data Systems and Hewlett-Packard Enterprise Services. EDS won the initial contract in 2000 , which was worth more than $6 billion. Since 2000, NCMI and NGEN have ballooned to more than $10 billion.

The Navy early in September gave Perspecta a one-year, $787.3 million extension to run NMCI

Mac Curtis, president and CEO of Perspecta said in an emailed statement to the press, “Now that the NGEN-R competition is officially underway, Perspecta is ready to earn its position to lead the transition and modernization of the Department of the Navy’s largest IT network. Only Perspecta can accelerate the Navy and Marine Corps to IT modernization, getting there faster and more efficiently without missing a beat on operating the network.”

The Navy is planning to break the current NMCI contract to manage its government-owned, contractor-operated network into two separate awards. Along with the IT hardware RFP, the DoN will issue a solicitation called service management integration and transport (SMIT) to manage most of NMCI’s backbone, including a wide array of services that range from wide area networking and helpdesk services to architecture management and cyber defense.

In July, the Navy said it plans to set an Oct. 1 deadline for proposals on that contract, and to award it by the second quarter of 2019.

The Navy says both of these NMCI upgrades are long overdue  and will make some foundation changes to the network architecture, something that hasn’t deviated much since the network — now among the world’s largest intranets —was first conceived two decades ago.