Army Adopts ‘Buy Less More Often’ for Networking Gear

February 12, 2012

The Army is taking a new approach to purchasing networking equipment meant to electronically connect soldiers on the battlefield: buying in smaller quantities and testing gear before acquiring it.

The approach represents a marked departure from the large, developmental programs contractors are used to, but service officials say they're holding regular meetings with industry officials and seeking to involve them earlier in the acquisition process. 

"We're really moving to a scenario where we're better buyers," said Col. Dan Hughes, an Army acquisition official. "We're going to buy less more often."

The Army spent years trying to build a network that would give soldiers better visibility into what was happening to soldiers and equipment on the battlefield as part of a multibillion-dollar program known as Future Combat Systems. That program was mostly dismantled, and the Army is taking what it calls an "agile process" approach to buying new systems that build its networking capability. 

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