The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has issued an accelerated tender for new air movements software on the grounds of 'extreme urgency,' and has only given suppliers ten days to bid for the contract.
This is very rare for government contracts. The MoD has said that there is 'operational urgency' associated with the requirements and that the software is needed quickly to 'avoid a critical capability gap'.
An online notice says that suppliers are being called upon to replace the outgoing legacy MoD passenger air movements software, which is currently used to manage the transit of all military personnel across the global MoD air domain.
It states that "this forms an essential operational enabler within the military Logistics Chain where the RAF Air Transport Fleet moves a significant volume of passengers using both military and charter aircraft".
The current solution is deployed at both UK and overseas fixed locations and can also be used in a mobile role when required.
The notice continues: "A current in-service and proven commercial airline passenger Commercial-Off The-Shelf (COTS) solution is required to provide the MoD with the continued ability to conduct passenger management, reservation and booking processing and aircraft despatch.
"During the anticipated eight to ten year in-service life, the COTS solution must deliver a sustainable, low network bandwidth and satisfy safe operation of the air transport fleet in all operational and climatic environments and be fully compliant with MoD, UK and International regulatory and legislative requirements, especially those which involve safety."
The MoD is expecting the chosen supplier to provide a detailed and transferable training package for all associated job roles and a clear procedure for user data migration from the legacy system to the replacement solution.
They will also be expected to provide in-service support to the user-base and engage on appropriate service level agreements.
The department has said that due to the 'urgent timescales' required, only companies which currently supply a commercial passenger application that is presently in service with major airlines will qualify to receive and invitation to tender.
The Ministry of Defence was not contactable at time of publication.
Suppliers interested in engaging with the department have until the 22nd of this month to submit their details.