The U.S. Court of Federal Claims in Washington
, D.C. has granted the Stratos protest of a five-year U.S. Navy SPAWAR (Space and Naval Warfare) Inmarsat lease
contract award to Comsat. The court ruled the contract awarded this past June was legally invalid, and required the U.S. Navy to retender its request for proposal for the five-year $111.9 million contract. The Court directed the Navy to conclude the recompetition by January 28, 2000.
Stratos won phase one of the SPAWAR contract in August of 1998, and provided full-time Inmarsat-B 64 Kbps service to all deployed vessels in support of the Chief of Naval Operations' Information Technology for the 21st Century (IT-21) Project through July, 1999.
IT-21 provides for the rapid exchange of information between Naval as well as Joint forces. The five-year SPAWAR contract calls for more than 200 deployed Navy ships
to use Inmarsat-B leased service as part of the Navy's Network Centric Warfare Strategy, a blueprint for creating a well-informed and geographically dispersed force. Stratos' Inmarsat-B HSD leased channel services provide Automated Digital Network System (ADNS) data, voice and fax services in multiplexed encrypted circuits.