The US Army has released a 'sources sought request' for advanced solutions from interested industry and government vendors to help support its operational energy capabilities gap and also participate in the next network integration evaluation (NIE) exercise, dubbed NIE 13.2.
Processed through the System of Systems Integration (SoSI) directorate, the document has requested established capability solutions to lower the use of operational energy by mounted and dismounted soldiers, simultaneously enhancing efficiency.
The NIE 13.2, to be conducted in May 2013, is expected to focus on strengthening the network baseline that will serve as the foundation of 'Capability Set 14', the army's second integrated set of network capability, scheduled for deployment from 2014.
The exercise will be held at Fort Bliss in Texas and White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.
Brigadier general Dan Hughes, SoSI director, said that the energy field was being recognised by the army as a foundation of the military's modernisation.
"As the NIE expands in scale to a capabilities integration evaluation, we are evaluating capabilities on a wider scope that goes beyond simply the network and right now energy solutions are at the front of the list," Hughes added.
"NIE 13.2 is an important stepping stone on road to the CIE, and we continue to reach out to our industry partners to bring in their best and most innovative solutions."
Considering the non-networked nature of operational energy, the army has lowered evaluation requirements for candidate systems, providing vendors with an opportunity to take part in NIE 13.2 with the same timeline.
Solutions capable of meeting the specific identified gap, and which are currently at the representative model or prototype system stage and already completed testing in a relevant environment, are only sought by the army for the programme.
The NIE is a series of semi-annual exercises aimed at further integrating and advancing the army's tactical network, in addition to accelerating and improving the way networked and non-networked technologies are provided to the soldiers.