February 20, 2013. David Pugliese - Defence Watch
An industry day for the Integrated Soldier System Project (ISSP) will be held on March 5 in Gatineau, Que.
Public Works says the day will provide a forum for industry to discuss the upcoming Request for Proposal for the ISSP.
The morning will be devoted to a half-day plenary session where government officials will provide an overview of the upcoming ISSP procurement. In the afternoon, there will be a question and answer session to “address any
comments and/or concerns with the NEW RFP and associated processes,” according to Public Works (I wonder if anyone will ask for a detailed explanation on why exactly the project was derailed/rebooted earlier this year?).
The $316 million Integrated Soldier System Project or ISSP was set to announce in December the winning firm that had been selected for the first phase of the program.
A number of bids were disqualified because the equipment did not meet requirements but a number lost out simply because the documentation and paperwork provided by companies was not complete or was unclear.
ISSP would provide equipment not only to allow troops to track each other as they move throughout the battlefield, but feed communications and targeting information into their helmets or to a small personal data device they would each carry.
Potential bidders will be provided with a draft Request for Proposal for the next ISSP bid solicitation.
The interesting part will be the new milestones for the program, particularly contract award and delivery.
The Integrated Soldier System Project received initial approval from Defence Minister Peter MacKay in 2008 and was later sent to Treasury Board for funding approval. The project was to unfold over the next 10 years with various changes in the gear being brought in as technology improved.
DND doesn’t talk about the project these days (maybe because of embarrassment about what happened).
But asked about the project in 2008, the Defence Department issued an e-mail stating that the Integrated Soldier System will significantly enhance the capabilities of the troops. “The project will allow the CF soldier to operate in coalition operations with advanced situational awareness, increased target acquisition and lethality so that mission success can be achieved,” the e-mail said.