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U.S. Air Force adds vendors to huge computer deal after protest

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Air Force has added eight companies to a contract valued at up to $6.9 billion for computer equipment and software, doubling the number of companies able to bid for separate work orders, the Pentagon said on Monday.

The change came after a protest filed with the Government Accountability Office by some of the companies that had lost out in the initial contract announcement, dated April 19, according to the Pentagon's daily digest of major contracts.

After re-evaluating proposals following the protests, the Air Force said it decided to add potential suppliers to the Network Centric Solutions-2 (NETCENTS-2) contract rather than reopen the bidding or amend the terms of the competition.

The competition was aimed at procuring commercially available products such as servers, networking equipment and biometric hardware to support the Internet Protocol Network.

On Monday, the Air Force announced that eight additional companies were eligible to receive work orders for netcentric equipment under what is know as the firm-fixed-price, multiple-award, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity (ID/IQ) contract.

Those companies were immix Technology Inc; M2 Technology; Blue Tech, Inc; Unicom Government Inc; Global Technology Resources, Inc; Micro Tech; Red River Computer Co; and Integration Technologies Group.

They join the eight companies included in the initial contract award, dated April 19: General Dynamics Corp ; Ace Technology Partners LLC; CDW Government LLC; CounterTrade Products Inc; FedStore Corp; Intelligent Decisions Inc; Iron Bow Technologies LLC; and World Wide Technology Inc.

Under the contract, any of the companies can be tapped over the next six years to provide commercially available off-the-shelf products to support the Internet Protocol Network, including software, multimedia, and storage equipment.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal-Esa; Editing by Ken Wills)

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