Billion-pound MoD contract extended

The MoD defence fixed telecommunications system contract with BT has been extended by five years to July 2012, providing a timely boost to one of the largest UK IT services deals ‘the defence information infrastructure future project’ or DII(F).

Lord Bach, minister for defence procurement, announced the contract extension, calling it ‘critical’ to the successful deployment of the DII(F) project.’

‘The contract to deliver essential telecommunications services to the MOD and the UK armed forces is worth in excess of £1.5bn and will secure the continued delivery of essential telecommunications services, taking the total value of the DFTS contract to over £3bn’, a statement read.

Lord Bach said: ‘The extended contract will secure the continuation of voice, data and video telecommunications, which are vital to the daily operations of the department and the UK’s armed forces.

‘It will involve the introduction of new technology, producing benefits which contribute to operational effectiveness and the department’s future capabilities. It will provide substantial savings, in the order of £15m a year, and improve the ability of the department to ensure ongoing value for money.’

The MoD awarded the EDS-led consortium, ATLAS, the £2.3bn, 10-year, DII(F) project at the end of last month. EDS, along with Fujitsu, General Dynamics, EADS Defence, Security Systems and LogicaCMG, beat off competition from Radii, which included BT and Thales.

The DII(F) project aims to replace numerous individual information systems throughout the MoD with a single, more efficient information infrastructure. It should allow better communication between 340,000 military personnel and civil service staff, and will connect and support 150,000 desktop PCs, laptops and other devices.

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