From NextGov: Congress endorsed the Army's plans to incrementally test and field combat communications systems, and provided $298.8 million in funds for the service's network integration evaluation project for FY 2012 in a multiagency appropriations bill.

The conference report accompanying the appropriations bill said, "the conferees congratulate the Army on the success of the newly implemented Network Integration Evaluations, which ensure new equipment is interoperable, effective and adds benefit to deployed troops."

The report noted that the 2011 evaluations, which were conducted in June and November at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., "revealed that a handful of programs would not be effective if deployed. The evaluations are causing the Army to reevaluate, restructure and even terminate several programs that began years ago with established requirements."

The June evaluation of the decade-old, multibillion-dollar Ground Mobile Radio under development by Boeing Co. led to the termination of that project in October. Also in June, troops panned the Nett Warrior computer system as too heavy and cumbersome, which led the Army to field a 2-pound system during the November trials.

The Army in September awarded Harris Corp. a $66 million contract to equip eight combat brigades with its AN/PRC-117G radio, which it tested at the November evaluation. Harris also is expected to bid on the Ground Mobile Radio contract.