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DOD Issues RFP for Active RFID

The new request for proposal will enable the military to purchase active RFID technology from more than just a single vendor.
By Mary Catherine O'Connor
Aug 26, 2008Nearly two years after it issued a request for information (RFI) from vendors equipped to provide active RFID equipment operating at 433.92 MHz and compliant with the ISO 18000-7 standard (see DOD Seeks New Active-Tag Suppliers), the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) has issued a request for proposal (RFP) for the technology. Vendors have until Sept. 3 to respond.

The winning vendors will be able to sell products and services to the DOD under a three-year contract, dubbed RFID III. Language used in the RFP, however, suggests the contract could be utilized by any government agency: "Orders may be placed by any authorized Contracting Officer or purchase card holder supporting the Department of Defense, the United States Coast Guard (CG), North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Coalition Partners, other Foreign Military Sales (FMS), and other Federal agencies."

According to the documentation, there is a maximum dollar amount of $428,664,432.00 allowable for the total of all contracts awarded against the RFP. This would be the aggregate of the hardware, software and services solicited from the selected vendors over the life of the contract.

The U.S. Army's Product Manager Joint-Automatic Identification Technology division, responsible for procuring active RFID technology for the Army, has issued both of the earlier active RFID contacts—RFID I and RFID II—which were awarded solely to Savi Technologies, a vendor based in Mountain View, Calif.

The Army has employed Savi's active tags, interrogators and software to track the whereabouts of materiel in transit, in order to support the needs of deployed war-fighters. The military branch began utilizing active RFID in the mid-1990s to replace inefficient manual systems for tracking supplies.

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