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MoD in £270m splurge on extra HQ computer terminals

Heads into the 'Above Secret environment'

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The UK MoD has added a further 3,300 network terminals to its massive Defence Information Infrastructure (Future) - or DII(F) - project*. These new machines will be specifically intended for command of military operations from frontline headquarters nodes.

Under DII(F) the MoD has a £2.3bn contract with a consortium of companies - dubbed ATLAS - including EDS (as Prime Contractor), Fujitsu, EADS, General Dynamics, and LogicaCMG. ATLAS has now delivered over 10,000 UADs (user access devices) in total, and the MoD says "the programme has now moved into a phase of high volume roll-out... Ultimately, it will provide around 300,000 user accounts on approximately 150,000 terminals across about 2,000 MoD sites worldwide".

The initial Increment 1 of DII(F) was mainly intended to handle ordinary information classed not higher than Secret at fixed locations. Increment 2, now coming through the pipeline, is for deployed locations and "services to the Above Secret environment".

(For a quick digest of UK military secrecy classifications, see here.)

The MoD announced this week that the DII(F) contract has just been amended to incorporate a £270m "2b" increment for the delivery of a further 3,300 terminals, of which 1,900 will be deployable to headquarters on the ground and on board Royal Navy ships. This works out at almost £82,000 per machine, though of course this figure includes integration, networking, security etc etc.

Bob Quick, the MoD's project manager, said: "This is a first step in enhancing deployable capability to forces deployed to theatres such as Iraq and Afghanistan."

The extra machines will replace various older bits of kit which "are approaching obsolescence and have been identified as a risk to successful operations". ®

*Presumably at some point to become DII(Present) and then perhaps DII(Past).

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