MoD parades £1.5bn networking deal

Extends voice, data and video network deal with BT by another five years

Extends voice, data and video network deal with BT by another five years

The Ministry of Defence has signed a five-year, £1.5bn contract extension which will see BT providing voice, data and video networking to the armed forces until 2012.

The Defence Fixed Telecommunications System (DFTS) contract with BT will now run until July 2012, bringing the total spending on the deal to over £3bn.

Extending the contract will see improvements in technology involving the introduction of a new digital core network, the MoD said.

It will also provide stable wide area network services which the MoD said will be critical to the successful deployment of the Defence Information Infrastructure Future (DII(F)) project.

Neil Rogers, president of BT global solutions told silicon.com that the new network with a high-capacity flexible core will be built over the next two years to cope with the “high bandwidth required for the distributed computing of DII.”

The first part of the £4bn DII outsourcing contract was awarded to the EDS-led Atlas consortium last month. Features of that contract include replacing disparate legacy systems and systems interoperability across all the armed forces.

Minister for Defence Procurement Lord Bach said the extended DFTS contract will secure the continuation of networks which are vital to the daily operations of the MoD and the 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," he said.

"The extended contract will also contribute to the Defence Modernisation Programme by maintaining stable wide area network telecommunication services, which will be critical to the successful deployment of the DII(F) project," he added.