1.) The way the original JTRS contract was written the contractor had almost complete control of the
2.) All JTRS Programmatic and Technical decisions were made in Washington and its environs.
3.) The JTRS Program Manager (PM) had the final say as to what tactical radio’s other than a JTRS radio could be bought by any government agency. So instead of having competition to lower the price you had a virtual monopoly (a government controlled monopoly) driving up the cost (to the disadvantaage of the government!?!?!?!?). In extreme emergencies, which did occur in wartime, you had to apply for a waiver to the JTRS PM office to allow competition to JTRS. Then you had to get money to the JTRS PMO to buy the radio’s.
4.) In the 1990’s CECOM developed the SINCGARS second source radio (SSSR) which lowered the price of the SINCGARS radio approximately from $19,000.00 dollars a copy to around $3,000.00 dollars a copy over a (~) 400,000 unit quantity which resulted in approximately $6,400,000,000.00 (Six Billion Four Hundred Million) in savings to the government.
5.) The SSSR was developed under an architecture which had a microcontroller calling up different functions embedded in ASIC’s (Application Specific Integrated Circuits) which made it very flexible because within limits the microcontroller could tweak the output of (and input to) the ASIC’s. This greatly reduced the program development cycle. Which had a domino effect on some other
8.) One version of JTRS is still alive at least on paper. The HMS (Handheld, Man-pack,
and Sensor) version but I believe they bought very few of them.
9.) The radio’s that SOCOM bought were bought under SOCOM’s own money (via
congressional mandate) for their unique operational requirement.
10.) SOCOM only buys the best. Their quantities are low and therefore their prices are high. It's problamatic if the economies would directly scale to the general force and we may be back to what the situation was before SSSR.
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