Department Of Defense Forks Out $2.9 Million For A Military App Store [Report]


The United States Department of Defense has awarded a $2.9 million contract to build a private military-based app store for use on its networks. The firm Digital Management, based in Maryland, has been given 12 months to develop a “mobile device management system and mobile application store” that can handle the Pentagon’s incredibly high security requirements.

Ever since smartphones were introduced into the business world a few years ago, high-security government agencies have been gradually opening their doors for them, and the Defence Department is no exception. It recently approved devices running BlackBerry 10, iOS, and Samsung’s Knox platform for use on secure military networks in May, and has also run pilot programs with the intention of securing wireless network access for devices.

Part of Digital Management’s job will involve creating a system that makes it a lot easier for multiple platforms to work together since the new app store will be ported to Android, iOS and Blackberry 10. The Department of Defence has typically been in favor of Blackberry devices, but that’s gradually changing, especially as Android and iOS devices move out of the initial pilot programs and new clearer security procedures are developed and put into place.. The military is also looking specifically to app ecosystems as a way of boosting its capabilities.

Recently contractors have developed new systems which turn the iPad into a military reconnaissance tool and both the Army and Navy have sponsored app contests to improve the tools available for training, communication and threat analysis.

Back in 2012, the Defense Department published the plans for its own internal app store, which would provide everything from a security certification platform to a reliable distribution system. In the official announcement, Air Force LT. Gen. Ronnie D. Hawkins Jr. said that a platform would enable the military to “manage devices and the applications that our warfighters use while ensuring our networks and information are secure and protected.”

The full announcement can be seen below:

Bethesda, Md., firm was awarded a contract yesterday for the Defense Department’s mobile device management system and mobile application store, Defense Information Systems Agency officials said.

The establishment of the mobile device management system and mobile app store is the next major step forward in DOD’s process for building a multivendor environment, supporting a diverse selection of devices and operating systems, DISA officials said.

DISA’s Defense Information Technology Contracting Organization awarded a firm, fixed-price contract to Digital Management Inc. for an initial award amount of $2.9 million, with four six-month option periods for a total lifecycle amount of nearly $16 million. The base period of performance for this contract is July 9, 2013, to July 8, 2014.

The mobile device management system and mobile app store form the keystone for the Department of Defense Mobility Implementation Plan as it sets the stage for the digital ecosystem that will operate and assure the mobile devices that connect with DOD networks, officials said.

“DISA is proud to lead the DOD mobility effort, because we see mobility is one of the disruptive technologies that we are bringing to bear,” said Air Force Lt. Gen. Ronnie D. Hawkins Jr., DISA director. “It gives us the ability to move information wherever we need it and put the information in the hands of the warfighter, wherever he or she might be. With the mobile device management system and mobile application store, we will be able to manage devices and the applications that our warfighters use while ensuring our networks and information are secure and protected.

The solicitation for this contract was issued as a full and open competition, DISA officials said.

Once the Department of Defense’s year-long contract with Digital Management is up in July 2014, the government agency will have to option to renew it for 4 more 6-month periods, totalling approximately $16 million.