B-152162, OCT. 9, 1963

B-152162: Oct 9, 1963

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BIDS WERE OPENED ON JUNE 20. 7 BIDS WERE RECEIVED. THE LOW BID IS FROM AMERICAN SCIENTIFIC CORPORATION AT $874. 500 WHILE YOUR FIRM IS THE FIFTH LOW BIDDER AT $1. WE ARE ADVISED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY THAT: "THE AN/UCC-1 IS ESSENTIALLY A TRANSISTORIZED. ARE PLACED IN THE ENCLOSURE IN VARIOUS COMBINATIONS OF TRANSMIT OR RECEIVE MODULES OR BOTH TO MEET CERTAIN COMMUNICATION REQUIREMENTS FROM SHIP-TO-SHIP AND SHIP-TO-SHORE. TWO ENCLOSURES EACH WITH EIGHT MODULES IS NECESSARY. "THE AN/UCC-1 (XN1 AND XN2) WERE DEVELOPED BY STELMA UNDER CONTRACT NOBSR -72766. FOUR XN1 MODELS WERE BUILT AND DELIVERED TO THE GOVERNMENT FOR FLEET EVALUATION. THESE WERE NOT OF MODULAR CONSTRUCTION AND WERE DETERMINED TO BE TOO LARGE FOR SHIPBOARD APPLICATION.

B-152162, OCT. 9, 1963

TO STELMA, INCORPORATED:

WE REFER TO YOUR LETTERS OF SEPTEMBER 25, SEPTEMBER 24 AND JULY 30, 1963, PROTESTING THE AWARD OF A CONTRACT UNDER INVITATION FOR BIDS NO. 600-881- 63-S, ISSUED ON MAY 17, 1963, BY THE U.S. NAVY PURCHASING OFFICE, WASHINGTON 25, D.C.

THE INVITATION CALLS FOR 144 EACH MODEL AN/UCC-1 TELEGRAPH TERMINAL PRODUCTION EQUIPMENTS, ONE PREPRODUCTION EQUIPMENT, TECHNICAL DATA, TECHNICAL PROFESSIONAL SERVICES FOR INSTALLATION, TESTING, CHECK-OUT AND TRAINING, AND OPTION FOR STOCK REPAIR PARTS. BIDS WERE OPENED ON JUNE 20, 1963, AND 7 BIDS WERE RECEIVED. THE LOW BID IS FROM AMERICAN SCIENTIFIC CORPORATION AT $874,500 WHILE YOUR FIRM IS THE FIFTH LOW BIDDER AT $1,282,395.34.

WE ARE ADVISED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY THAT:

"THE AN/UCC-1 IS ESSENTIALLY A TRANSISTORIZED, SOLID STATE DEVICE FOR COMMUNICATION BY RADIO USING 16 AUDIO TONES IN A THREE KILOCYCLE BANDWIDTH BETWEEN TWO OR MORE TELETYPEWRITERS. THE AN/UCC-1 CALLED FOR BY THE INSTANT INVITATION CONSISTS OF AN ENCLOSURE, USUALLY MOUNTED IN A STANDARD 19 INCH RACK, INTO WHICH AS MANY AS EIGHT TRANSMIT OR RECEIVE MODULES MAY BE PLUGGED. THE ENCLOSURE ALSO CONTAINS A POWER CONTROL UNIT AND CIRCUITRY. EACH TRANSMIT AND RECEIVE MODULE CONTAINS A PRINTED CIRCUIT (P.C.) CARD WHICH MAY EASILY BE REPLACED IN THE EVENT OF DETERIORATION OR DEFECT. THESE PLUG-IN MODULES, EACH REPRESENTING ONE OF THE 16 AVAILABLE TONES, ARE PLACED IN THE ENCLOSURE IN VARIOUS COMBINATIONS OF TRANSMIT OR RECEIVE MODULES OR BOTH TO MEET CERTAIN COMMUNICATION REQUIREMENTS FROM SHIP-TO-SHIP AND SHIP-TO-SHORE. THUS TO UTILIZE ALL 16 TONES, TWO ENCLOSURES EACH WITH EIGHT MODULES IS NECESSARY.

"THE AN/UCC-1 (XN1 AND XN2) WERE DEVELOPED BY STELMA UNDER CONTRACT NOBSR -72766, DATED 14 MARCH 1958, AS SUCCESSORS TO EARLIER VACUUM TUBE VERSIONS. THE XN DESIGNATION MEANS AN EXPERIMENTAL NAVY MODEL OR EQUIPMENT. FOUR XN1 MODELS WERE BUILT AND DELIVERED TO THE GOVERNMENT FOR FLEET EVALUATION. THESE WERE NOT OF MODULAR CONSTRUCTION AND WERE DETERMINED TO BE TOO LARGE FOR SHIPBOARD APPLICATION. CONSEQUENTLY, THE XN2 WAS DESIGNED AND DEVELOPED IN THE MODULAR CONCEPT AND A REDUCED SIZE, AND TWO XN2 MODELS WERE BUILT AND FURNISHED TO THE GOVERNMENT. THESE LATER WERE FOUND ACCEPTABLE FOR FLEET USE AFTER SERVICE TESTING. CONTRACT NOBSR-87077 WAS THEN NEGOTIATED WITH STELMA FOR FIVE EQUIPMENTS IDENTICAL TO THE XN2 VERSION DEVELOPED UNDER NOBSR-72766 FOR USE IN THE ADVENT SATELITE PROGRAM. IN OCTOBER 1962 CONTRACT NOBSR-89096 WAS AWARDED TO STELMA COVERING 19 XN2 EQUIPMENTS WHICH ARE CURRENTLY BEING DELIVERED.

"ALL THE XN2 EQUIPMENTS ARE SUBSTANTIALLY THE SAME AND ALL WERE MANUFACTURED TO SPECIFICATIONS THAT ARE SUBSTANTIALLY, BUT NOT IN ALL RESPECTS, THE SAME AS MILITARY SPECIFICATION MIL-C-23361 (SHIPS) DATED 16 JULY 1962 (HEREINAFTER CALLED THE BASIC SPECIFICATION). THE INSTANT INVITATION CALLS FOR EQUIPMENTS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE BASIC SPECIFICATION AS MODIFIED BY ADDENDUM 1 DATED 10 APRIL 1963. NO AN/UCC-1 EQUIPMENT INCLUDING THE XN2 EQUIPMENTS SUPPLIED BY STELMA HAS BEEN BUILT OR CONTRACTED FOR WHICH HAS THE CHANGES AND IMPROVEMENTS REQUIRED BY ADDENDUM 1. AS SHOWN ON PAGE 31 OF THE INVITATION, THE GOVERNMENT IS TO FURNISH THE XN2 MODEL OF THE AN/UCC-1 AND A COPY OF THE TECHNICAL MANUAL, NAVSHIPS 94348, TO THE CONTRACTOR.'

IT IS THE VIEW OF THE NAVY THAT THE FURNISHING OF AN XN2 MODEL AND TECHNICAL MANUAL TO A NEW SUPPLIER (AS PER PAGE NO. 31 OF THE INVITATION), WILL ENABLE THAT SUPPLIER TO FOLLOW THE PREVIOUS DEVELOPMENT AND DESIGN WORK TO A SUFFICIENT DEGREE TO PRODUCE THE REQUIRED ITEM, WITH THE IMPROVEMENTS RESULTING FROM SPECIFICATION CHANGES.

YOU CONTEND THAT THE TERMS OF THIS INVITATION AND THE ASSOCIATED SPECIFICATION (MILITARY SPECIFICATION MIL-C-23361 (SHIPS) DATED JULY 16, 1962, AS AMENDED) ARE SUFFICIENTLY DEFECTIVE TO MISLEAD BIDDERS AND CAUSE THE SUBMISSION OF NONRESPONSIVE BIDS. YOU NOTE THAT THE ASSOCIATED SPECIFICATION INCORPORATES MILITARY SPECIFICATION MIL-C 16400 (NAVY) DATED JUNE 15, 1962, AS AMENDED, ENTITLED "ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT, NAVAL SHIP AND SHORE: GENERAL SPECIFICATION.' PARAGRAPH 3.4.4 OF THE LATTER SPECIFICATION PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

"3.4.4 INTERCHANGEABILITY.--- FOR LIKE EQUIPMENTS, ALL ESSENTIAL PARTS, INCLUDING REMOVABLE UNITS, REPAIR PARTS, AND OTHER ITEMS, SHALL BE INTERCHANGEABLE PHYSICALLY AND ELECTRICALLY WITH CORRESPONDING ITEMS OR PARTS WITHOUT DRILLING, FILING, OR THE USE OF UNDUE FORCE.' YOU POINT OUT THAT THE INVITATION DOES NOT CONTAIN ANY FOLLOW-UP CLAUSE CONCERNING "INTERCHANGEABILITY," AS YOU EXPECTED WOULD BE THE CASE FOR THE REVISED MODEL. YOU SAY THAT THE SUBJECT INVITATION DOES NOT REQUIRE THE CONTRACTOR TO SUPPLY A UNIT WHICH WILL HAVE PLUG-IN MODULES AND PRINTED CIRCUIT CARDS INTERCHANGEABLE WITH THE AN/UCC-1 EQUIPMENT IN THE FIELD AND PRESENTLY BEING SHIPPED, NOR DOES IT LIMIT THE SIZE OF THE EQUIPMENT. (YOU FEEL THAT A CONTRACTOR MAY SUPPLY A UNIT THAT IS NON-INTERCHANGEABLE AND TAKES UP THREE TIMES THE SPACE.)

YOU REPORT THAT WHEN THIS INVITATION WAS ISSUED, YOUR ENGINEER VISITED THE NAVY OFFICE WHERE THE MODEL OF THE UNIT WAS ON DISPLAY, AND YOUR ENGINEER ASKED MR. WILLIAM KENNEDY OF THE NAVY,"THE COGNIZANT ENGINEER ON THE UCC-1 DURING THE PAST THREE YEARS," IF INTERCHANGEABILITY WAS REQUIRED; MR. KENNEDY REPLIED THAT THE NAVY REQUIRED AND SPECIFIED INTERCHANGEABILITY ON THIS PROCUREMENT, AND THAT THE REQUIREMENT WAS COVERED BY PAR. 3.4.4 OF MIL-E-16400. YOU FURTHER REPORT THAT MR. KENNEDY TOLD YOUR ENGINEER THAT OTHER BIDDERS WERE BEING GIVEN THE SAME INFORMATION. YOU STATE THAT BASED ON THE FOREGOING INFORMATION YOU BID ON INTERCHANGEABILITY; AND THAT "A SUBSTANTIALLY LOWER PRICE" COULD HAVE BEEN SUBMITTED WITHOUT THE REQUIREMENT FOR INTERCHANGEABILITY.

AGAINST THIS BACKGROUND, YOU POINT TO WHAT THE NAVY NOW STATES--- AFTER THE BID OPENING--- AS TO THE REQUIREMENT FOR "INTERCHANGEABILITY.' BRIEFLY, IN ITS REPORT TO US THE NAVY STATES THAT WHERE THE BUREAU OF SHIPS REQUIRES INTERCHANGEABILITY BETWEEN CORRESPONDING COMPONENTS OF OLD AND NEW EQUIPMENT, ITS STANDARD PRACTICE IS TO PROVIDE THAT IN THE EVENT OF CONFLICT OR INCONSISTENCY BETWEEN THE REQUIREMENT FOR INTERCHANGEABILITY AND THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE SPECIFICATIONS FOR THE NEW EQUIPMENT, THE LATTER SHALL GOVERN; THAT BECAUSE OF THE REVISED SPECIFICATION NAVY WAS UNCERTAIN WHETHER INTERCHANGEABILITY COULD BE ACHIEVED BETWEEN THE OLD AND NEW MODEL (THOUGH IN THE OPINION OF BUREAU OF SHIPS' ENGINEERS, IT COULD BE ACHIEVED); AND THAT EVEN THOUGH INTERCHANGEABILITY WAS CONSIDERED HIGHLY DESIRABLE, NAVY FELT THAT INTERCHANGEABILITY WOULD RESULT IN DESIGN FREEZING; AND IT WAS DECIDED NOT TO INCLUDE THE STANDARD PROVISION ON INTERCHANGEABILITY IN THIS INVITATION. NAVY CONCLUDES THAT INTERCHANGEABILITY IS NOT A REQUIREMENT ON THIS PROCUREMENT.

YOU CONTEND THAT UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES BIDS HAVE NOT BEEN RECEIVED ON A COMMON BASIS.

NAVY CONCLUDES THAT THE ABSENCE IN THIS INVITATION OF THE STANDARD INTERCHANGEABILITY PROVISION SPECIFICALLY REFERENCING THE "LIKE EQUIPMENTS" WHICH MUST BE INTERCHANGEABLE, RESULTS IN ELIMINATING INTERCHANGEABILITY AS A REQUIREMENT OF THE INVITATION. WE WOULD NORMALLY AGREE THAT PARAGRAPH 3.4.4 OF MIL-C-16400 STANDING ALONE DOES NOT REQUIRE INTERCHANGEABILITY BETWEEN EQUIPMENTS CALLED FOR UNDER AN INVITATION AND ANY UNDESIGNATED "LIKE EQUIPMENTS" WHICH MAY BE IN THE POSSESSION OF THE GOVERNMENT. HOWEVER, IN THIS INVITATION THE XN2 EQUIPMENTS ARE CLEARLY INDICATED AS EXISTING "LIKE EQUIPMENTS.' PAGE NO. 31 OF THE INVITATION PROVIDES THAT THE GOVERNMENT WILL FURNISH THE CONTRACTOR, UPON REQUEST, THE FOLLOWING:

"1. ONE (1) AN/UCC-1/XN-2) TELEGRAPH TERMINAL (16 TRANSMIT AND 16 RECEIVE CHANNELS).

"5. ONE (1) COPY OF TECHNICAL MANUAL, NAVSHIPS 94348, WITH EXISTING REVISIONS, IF ANY.'

THE INVITATION FURTHER PROVIDES (PAGE NO. 31) THAT:

"THE FOREGOING GOVERNMENT FURNISHED ITEMS WERE ACCEPTED BY THE GOVERNMENT PURSUANT TO THE CONTRACT/S) UNDER WHICH THEY WERE ORIGINALLY PROCURED BY, AND DELIVERED TO, THE GOVERNMENT, BUT THE SPECIFICATIONS AND OTHER REQUIREMENTS OF SAID CONTRACT/S), MAY NOT BE IDENTICAL TO THE REQUIREMENTS OF THIS CONTRACT. GOVERNMENT FURNISHED ITEMS 1 THRU 5 ABOVE, ARE FURNISHED FOR SUCH INFORMATION AND ASSISTANCE AS THEY MAY PROVIDE THE CONTRACTOR WITH RESPECT TO THE GENERAL NATURE OF THE EQUIPMENTS AND REPAIR PARTS TO BE DELIVERED UNDER THIS CONTRACT AND FOR THE USE OF THE CONTRACTOR IN MEETING THE REQUIREMENTS OF THIS CONTRACT WITH RESPECT TO TECHNICAL MANUALS AND REPLENISHMENT MATERIAL THEREOF, INCLUDING PACKING OF TECHNICAL MANUALS, EXCEPT REPLENISHMENT MATERIAL THEREOF, WITH EACH EQUIPMENT, AS SPECIFIED HEREIN. THE GOVERNMENT DOES NOT REPRESENT THAT GOVERNMENT FURNISHED ITEMS 1 THRU 5 ABOVE, MEET THE REQUIREMENTS OF THIS CONTRACT IN EVERY RESPECT AND IT DOES NOT REPRESENT THAT THE EQUIPMENTS OR REPAIR PARTS MADE IN ACCORDANCE WITH GOVERNMENT FURNISHED ITEMS 1 THRU 5 ABOVE, WILL MEET THE PERFORMANCE OR OTHER REQUIREMENTS OF THIS CONTRACT INCLUDING THE SPECIFICATIONS REFERENCED DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY HEREIN.

WE BELIEVE IT TO BE INDICATED BY THE FURNISHING OF AN XN2 MODEL AND TECHNICAL MANUAL TO THE NEW SUPPLIER THAT THE NEW SUPPLIER SHALL FOLLOW THE XN2 DESIGN TO THE EXTENT PRACTICABLE AND PRODUCE EQUIPMENT SUBSTANTIALLY SIMILAR TO THE XN2, EXCEPT FOR THE IMPROVEMENTS RESULTING FROM SPECIFICATION CHANGES.

THUS, WHILE THE STANDARD INTERCHANGEABILITY CLAUSE WAS LEFT OUT OF THIS INVITATION, THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH 3.4.4 COUPLED WITH THE INVITATION REFERENCE TO THE XN2 EQUIPMENTS, WELL MAY BE INTERPRETED AS REQUIRING THAT THE CONTRACTOR MAKE THE REVISED EQUIPMENT AND THE XN2 EQUIPMENT INTERCHANGEABLE TO THE EXTENT THAT THERE IS NO CONFLICT OR INCONSISTENCY BETWEEN THE REQUIREMENT FOR INTERCHANGEABILITY AND THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE SPECIFICATIONS FOR THE NEW EQUIPMENT.

IN A LETTER TO THE BUREAU OF SHIPS, DATED JULY 29, 1963 (AFTER THE BID OPENING), THE LOW BIDDER, AMERICAN SCIENTIFIC CORPORATION, STATED AS FOLLOWS:

"THE PHYSICAL SIZE OF THE CARRIER TELEGRAPH EQUIPMENT AN/UCC-1 WAS NOT SPECIFICALLY STATED IN THE REFERENCED SPECIFICATION. HOWEVER, IT WAS AND IS, THE UNDERSTANDING OF THE AMERICAN SCIENTIFIC CORPORATION THAT THE EQUIPMENT TO BE FABRICATED UNDER IFB-600-881-63'S IS TO BE PHYSICALLY AND ELECTRICALLY INTERCHANGEABLE WITH THE PROTOTYPE AN/UCC-1 (XN-2) TELEGRAPH RMINAL.'

FROM THE FACTS OF RECORD IT APPEARS THAT PRIOR TO THE BID OPENING BIDDERS WERE ADVISED TO BID ON THE BASIS OF INTERCHANGEABILITY. THE INVITATION REASONABLY MAY BE INTERPRETED TO REQUIRE INTERCHANGEABILITY; AND WE DO NOT FIND THAT YOUR FIRM WAS PREJUDICED IN THE BIDDING IN THIS REGARD.

AS TO THE REQUIRED SIZE OF THE UNIT, WE BELIEVE THAT A REASONABLE INTERPRETATION OF THE SPECIFICATIONS IS THAT THEY CALL FOR EQUIPMENT OF SUBSTANTIALLY THE SAME SIZE AS THE XN-2. UNDER PARAGRAPH 3.2.2.1 OF THE SPECIFICATION, THE EIGHT CHANNEL ENCLOSURE MUST BE SUITABLE FOR MOUNTING IN A STANDARD 19-INCH RELAY RACK, WHICH WE ARE ADVISED FIXES A MAXIMUM WIDTH AND DEPTH. THE NAVY REFERS ALSO TO PARAGRAPH 3.1.1, WHICH STATES THAT: "TRANSISTORS * * * SHALL BE EMPLOYED IN ORDER TO ACHIEVE MINIMUM SIZE, WEIGHT * * *," AND CONCLUDES ON THIS MATTER AS FOLLOWS:

"THUS IT IS CLEAR THAT MINIMUM SIZE AND WEIGHT ARE REQUIRED, AND WITH WIDTH AND DEPTH SPECIFICALLY COVERED AS ABOVE NOTED, THE REMAINING ELEMENT IS HEIGHT. THE XN2 WAS ACCEPTED AS ACHIEVING THE MINIMUM THEN PRACTICAL IN SIZE AND WEIGHT. ANY INCREASE IN HEIGHT ABOVE THE 7 INCH APPROXIMATE HEIGHT OF THE XN2 WOULD NECESSARILY EXCEED MINIMUM SIZE AND INCREASE WEIGHT BEYOND THE ABSOLUTE MINIMUM THAT HAS BEEN DEMONSTRATED AS PRACTICAL TO ACHIEVE. THE SPECIFICATION CHANGES OF ADDENDUM 1 ARE NOT SUCH AS WILL NECESSITATE ANY SUBSTANTIAL INCREASE IN SIZE OR WEIGHT. HENCE A NEW SUPPLIER COULD NOT CONCEIVABLY MAKE A UNIT THREE TIMES AS HIGH OR AS LARGE AS THE XN2 AND COMPLY WITH THE ABOVE CITED SPECIFICATION REQUIREMENTS. IS CLEAR THAT, IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE XN2 MODEL, THE SPECIFICATIONS CALL FOR AN ENCLOSURE APPROXIMATELY 19 INCHES BY 24 INCHES BY 7 INCHES AS BEING THE PRACTICAL, MINIMUM SIZE, WHICH FULLY MEETS THE NAVY'S NEEDS EVEN IF IT MAY VARY SLIGHTLY FROM THE XN2 MODEL. NO CHANGES TO THE SPECIFICATIONS ARE NEEDED TO ASSURE THAT THE NAVY WILL RECEIVE WHAT IT REQUIRES BY WAY OF SIZE.'

YOU NEXT CONTEND THAT THIS SPECIFICATION ALLOWS THE BIDDER TO OFFER A MECHANICAL RELAY OUTPUT RATHER THAN THE SOLID STATE OUTPUT AS IN THE PRESENT UNIT. YOU SAY THAT A MECHANICAL OUTPUT IS A REGRESSION IN AN/UCC- 1 DEVELOPMENT WHICH THE NAVY SHOULD NOT ACCEPT.

THE NAVY AGREES WITH YOU THAT AN "ELECTRO-MECHANICAL" DEVICE (MECHANICAL RELAY OUTPUT) IS DECIDEDLY INFERIOR TO THE SOLID STATE OUTPUT PRESENTLY IN USE. IT FINDS, HOWEVER, THAT THE BASIC SPECIFICATION EFFECTIVELY RULES OUT THE USE OF A MECHANICAL OUTPUT RELAY, IN THAT NO SUCH RELAY COULD MEET THE REQUIREMENTS OF PARAGRAPH 3.2.14, WHICH STATES AS FOLLOWS: "RADIO INTERFERENCE AND UNDESIRED RADIATION. THE EQUIPMENT SHALL MEET THE RADIATION INTERFERENCE AND UNDESIRED RADIATION REQUIREMENTS OF MIL-E- 16400, EXCEPT THAT ANY SPURIOUS RADIATED SIGNALS IN THE 14 KC. TO 1000 MC. RANGE SHALL NOT EXCEED 1 MICROVOLT PER METER PER 1 KC. BANDWIDTH WHEN MEASURED AT A DISTANCE OF 3 FEET IN ANY AND ALL DIRECTIONS FROM THE EQUIPMENT. CONDUCTED INTERFERENCE SHALL NOT EXCEED 1 MICROVOLT PER KILOCYCLE BANDWIDTH AS MEASURED FROM LINE TO GROUND.' YOU SAY THAT THE SPECIFICATION REQUIREMENT CONTAINED IN ADDENDUM 1, PARA. 3.2.2.1, FOR THE CONSTANT LEVEL AMPLIFIER DOES NOT MAKE PROVISION FOR THE MAJOR OPERATIONAL MODES OF THE UNIT. YOU EXPLAIN THAT UNDER ACTUAL OPERATING CONDITIONS THE AN/UCC-1 WILL BE OPERATING WITH 16 TRANSMIT TONES COMBINED INTO A COMPOSITE MULTIPLEX SIGNAL: IN FREQUENCY DIVERSITY, 8 CHANNELS, 2 TONES PER CHANNEL; IN A COMBINATION OF FREQUENCY DIVERSITY AND RF DIVERSITY WHERE TWO TRANSMITTERS ARE USED, 8 CHANNELS, 4 TONES PER CHANNEL. YOU SAY THAT THE COMPOSITE OF 16 TONES IN THESE MODES OF OPERATION MUST BE UNDER THE CONTROL OF THE CONSTANT LEVEL AMPLIFIER; HOWEVER, AS NOW SPECIFIED THE AMPLIFIER IS LIMITED TO A COMPOSITE OF ONLY 8 TONES; AND THAT TO PROVIDE FOR SATISFACTORY OPERATION THE AMPLIFIER SHOULD PROVIDE AN ADJUSTABLE CONSTANT OUTPUT TO A TRANSMITTER AS THE COMPOSITE TONE INPUT VARIES FROM ONE TO 16 TONES.

THE NAVY STATES THAT THE SPECIFICATION AS WRITTEN CORRECTLY STATES ITS REQUIREMENTS; THAT IT DID NOT INTEND THE CONSTANT LEVEL AMPLIFIER TO CONTROL MORE THAN THE EIGHT MODULES INCLUDED IN A SINGLE ENCLOSURE; AND THAT IT BELIEVES THAT CONTROL OF 16 TONES AS SUGGESTED BY YOU WOULD INVOLVE UNWARRANTED COST, WEIGHT AND COMPLEXITY.

YOU LIST (PAGE NO. 3 OF YOUR LETTER) NINE DESIGN DETAILS CONCERNING THE AMPLIFIER WHICH YOU SAY SHOULD HAVE BEEN REQUIRED FROM BIDDERS TO ASSURE DESIRED PERFORMANCE. THE LIST INCLUDES SUCH DETAIL AS FREQUENCY RESPONSE, TYPE AND LOCATION OF CONTROLS, TOLERANCE OF COMPRESSION RATIO, AND SUCH OTHER DESIGN DETAILS.

THE NAVY STATES THAT IT DID NOT REQUIRE SUCH INFORMATION AS YOU LIST BECAUSE THE INVITATION SPECIFICATION CLEARLY SPELLS OUT THE REQUIRED PERFORMANCE IN THIS AREA AND IT WAS LEFT TO THE BIDDERS TO DECIDE HOW THEY COULD ACHIEVE THE REQUIRED PERFORMANCE.

YOU CONTINUE AS FOLLOWS:

"B. IT IS TO BE NOTED THAT THE BASIC DESIGN CONCEPT OF THE AN/UCC 1 (XN- 2) WAS BASED UPON PROVIDING MAXIMUM RELIABILITY. THUS, THE INDIVIDUAL TRANSMIT MODULES ARE EACH CAPABLE OF PROVIDING A PLUS 6 DBM OUTPUT LEVEL, EXPRESSLY FOR THE PURPOSE OF DOING AWAY WITH THE NEED FOR A GROUP AMPLIFIER AS REQUIRED BY THE AN/FCC-3 EQUIPMENT. 16 TONES AT PLUS 6 DBM RESULTS IN A PLUS 18 DBM TOTAL COMPOSITE LEVEL. SUCH AN AMPLIFIER REPRESENTS A SOURCE OF CATASTROPHIC FAILURE AND SERIOUSLY REDUCES THE RELIABILITY OF THE TOTAL EQUIPMENT. SINCE THE COMPOSITE TONE LEVEL AVAILABLE IN THE AN/UCC-1 REQUIRES NO AMPLIFICATION, ALL THAT WAS REQUIRED IS THE PASSIVE GROUP ATTENUATOR TO PERMIT ADJUSTMENT OF THE COMPOSITE TONE (DOWNWARD) FOR THE DIFFERENT INTERFACE REQUIREMENTS (LAND LINE, TRANSMITTER, ETC.).

"C. THE PRESENT AN/UCC-1 CONTAINS TWO SUCH GROUP ATTENUATORS; ONE SERVES AS STAND-BY. A MASTER-SLAVE SWITCH IS PROVIDED TO BE USED IN THE EVENT OF FAILURE OF THE ONE IN OPERATION.

"D. IN ORDER TO MAINTAIN AN EQUIVALENT RELIABILITY TO THE AN/UCC-1, THE CONSTANT LEVEL AMPLIFIER REQUIREMENT OF THE IFB SPECIFICATION ADDENDUM SHOULD INCLUDE REDUNDANCY. SINCE EACH EIGHT-CHANNEL ENCLOSURE CONTAINS ONE AMPLIFIER, THEY COULD BE CONNECTED AS MAIN AND STAND-BY WITH AN AUTOMATIC CHANGEOVER AND/OR ALARM CIRCUIT PROVIDED.'

NAVY ASSUMES THAT BY "REDUNDANCY" YOU MEAN THAT NAVY'S PROPOSED 16 TONE AMPLIFIER OF TWO 8 MODULE ENCLOSURES SHOULD BE INTERCONNECTED SO THAT ONE COULD BE USED AS A MAIN AMPLIFIER AND THE OTHER AS A STAND-BY WITH AUTOMATIC CHANGE-OVER AND/OR ALARM CIRCUIT PROVIDED IN CASE OF FAILURE OF THE MAIN OPERATING AMPLIFIER. THE NAVY AGAIN POINTS OUT THAT IT DOES NOT NEED NOR DESIRE AN AMPLIFIER CAPABLE OF CONTROLLING 16 TONES; AND THAT YOUR PROPOSAL WOULD NOT WORK WITH THE 8 TONE AMPLIFIER REQUIRED BY THE INVITATION. AS TO THE EVENT OF A FAILURE IN THE AMPLIFIER, THE NAVY STATES THAT A RELATIVELY EASY MANUAL ADJUSTMENT OF THE MODULES IN THE ENCLOSURE WILL PERMIT BY-PASS OF THE DEFECTIVE AMPLIFIER AND THE ABILITY TO CONTINUE SATISFACTORY OPERATION.

YOU NEXT SAY THAT THE PAR. 3.2.2.1 ADDENDUM 1 REQUIREMENT FOR DIVERSITY SWITCHING NEEDS CORRECTING. YOU EXPLAIN THAT SINCE EACH EIGHT-CHANNEL ENCLOSURE CONTAINS 2 SETS OF 4 CHANNEL DIVERSITY GROUPS (8 MODULES), TWO DIVERSITY SWITCHING CONFIGURATIONS ARE REQUIRED IN LIEU OF THE ONE THAT IS SPECIFIED; THAT THE AN/UCC-1 CURRENT MODEL CONTAINS BOTH TRANSMIT AND RECEIVE DIVERSITY SWITCHING CONFIGURATION BUT THAT THE NEW REQUIREMENT DOES NOT MAKE PROVISION FOR INTERFACE WITH THESE EXISTING CIRCUITS. YOU SAY, IN ADDITION, THAT THE REQUIREMENT SHOULD DEFINE IF THE SWITCHING APPLIES TO THE TRANSMIT MODE, THE RECEIVER MODE, OR BOTH.

NAVY ADVISES THAT THE XN2 MODEL PROVIDES FOR ONE CHANNEL, 2 CHANNEL OR 4 CHANNEL DIVERSITY SWITCHING, BUT THIS SWITCHING IS ON EACH MODULE AND CAN ONLY BE EFFECTED BY REMOVING THE MODULE AND THUS BREAKING OR OPENING THE SIGNAL LINE. THE NAVY POINTS TO THE LAST SENTENCE OF SUB PARAGRAPH (C) OF 3.2.2.1 OF THE ADDENDUM, WHICH STATES:

"EACH EIGHT CHANNEL ENCLOSURE SHALL CONTAIN A SWITCH WHICH WILL ALLOW CHANGING FROM 4 CHANNEL DIVERSITY TO 2 CHANNEL DIVERSITY WITHOUT OPENING SIGNALLING LINE OR REMOVING CHANNELS.'

ITS EFFECT, THE NAVY SAYS, IS TO PERMIT SWITCHING FROM 4 TO 2 CHANNEL DIVERSITY WITHOUT REMOVING MODULES AND INTERRUPTING COMMUNICATIONS. EXPLAINS THAT WITH 1 CHANNEL DIVERSITY EACH MODULE OPERATES AS AN INDEPENDENT COMMUNICATION CHANNEL ON A SINGLE TONE; WITH 2 CHANNEL DIVERSITY, TWO MODULES OPERATE AS A SINGLE CHANNEL BUT WITH 2 DIFFERENT TONES (ONE EACH); AND WITH 4 CHANNEL DIVERSITY 4 MODULES OPERATE AS ONE COMMUNICATION CHANNEL WITH 4 DIFFERENT TONES--- AGAIN ONE TONE PER MODULE. NAVY CONCLUDES THAT SINCE THERE ARE UP TO EIGHT CHANNELS IN AN ENCLOSURE, THERE ARE TWO GROUPS OF 4 MODULES EACH TO BE SWITCHED FROM 4 TO 2 CHANNEL DIVERSITY; AND THAT SINCE THERE ARE BOTH SEND AND RECEIVE MODES INVOLVED, SWITCHING APPLIES TO BOTH MODES.

NAVY CONCLUDES ON THIS MATTER AS FOLLOWS:

"STELMA CONTENDS THAT THE SPECIFICATIONS DO NOT, BUT SHOULD, SPECIFY WHETHER THE EXTERNAL 4 TO 2 CHANNEL DIVERSITY SWITCHING IS TO APPLY TO THE SEND OR RECEIVE MODES OR BOTH. SINCE EACH ENCLOSURE MAY HOUSE BOTH MODES, AND SINCE EACH MODULE, WHETHER SEND OR RECEIVE, HAS ITS INTERNAL SWITCHING FOR 4 TO 2 CHANNEL DIVERSITY, IT IS PERFECTLY CLEAR THAT EXTERNAL DIVERSITY SWITCHING FOR BOTH MODES ARE REQUIRED. STELMA FURTHER CONTENDS THAT THE SPECIFICATION NEEDS CORRECTION TO PROVIDE FOR INTERFACE WITH EXISTING CIRCUITS AND FOR THE LOCATION OF THE SWITCHES. FURTHER STELMA CONTENDS THAT SINCE THE LAST SENTENCE OF SUBPARAGRAPH (C) OF 3.2.2.1 ABOVE SAYS "EACH EIGHT CHANNEL ENCLOSURE SHALL CONTAIN A SWITCH * * *," CORRECTION IS NEEDED BECAUSE TWO SWITCHES ARE REQUIRED, ONE FOR EACH OF THE TWO GROUPS OF 4 MODULES IN AN ENCLOSURE. THE DESIGN FOR INTERFACES, LOCATION OF SWITCHES, AND USE OF ONE MULTIPOSITION SWITCH, WHICH IS POSSIBLE, OR TWO SWITCHES OR SOME OTHER SWITCHING ARRANGEMENT, ARE DETAILS WHICH THIS PERFORMANCE SPECIFICATION LEAVES UP TO THE CONTRACTOR SUBJECT TO BUREAU APPROVAL. THE CAPABILITY THE EQUIPMENT MUST HAVE FOR EXTERNAL DIVERSITY SWITCHING IS PERFECTLY CLEAR TO ANY COMPETENT ENGINEER OR SUPPLIER FAMILIAR WITH TELETYPEWRITER COMMUNICATION EQUIPMENT.'

YOUR FINAL CONTENTION CONCERNS PARAGRAPHS 3.3.4 AND 3.3.4.1 OF THE SPECIFICATION. YOU SAY THESE PARAGRAPHS NEED CORRECTING. SPECIFICALLY, YOU SAY THAT THE DIMENSIONS SPECIFIED ARE THOSE WHICH EXIST FOR THE TS- 1920/UCC-1 (V) MODULE AND ARE INCONSISTENT WITH THE REQUIREMENTS FOR ADDITIONAL CIRCUITY DUE TO THE NEW TONE GENERATOR FEATURES; AND THAT THE SPECIFICATION DOES NOT CONTAIN ALL THE REQUIRED FEATURES NECESSARY TO ACCOMPLISH COMPLETE CHECKING OF THE RECEIVING MODULE INTENDED BY THE NAVY. YOU STATE AS FOLLOWS:

"THE GENERATION OF 20 FSK TONES IS NOT SUFFICIENT UNLESS THE ABILITY TO KEY THESE TONES AT BOTH 75 AND 150 BAND IS ALSO SPECIFIED TO PERMIT BIAS ADJUSTMENT AND DISCRIMINATOR BALANCE IN THE RECEIVE MODULE. THE METHOD OF KEYING, EITHER EXTERNAL OR INTERNAL, MUST BE SPECIFIED. UNLESS THE FREQUENCY STABILITY OF THE TONES IS EQUIVALENT TO THE AN/UCC 1 TRANSMIT MODULES (PLUS OR MINUS 3CPS), IT WOULD BE DIFFICULT TO ACCOMPLISH A TRUE ALIGNMENT. IN ORDER TO CHECK THE RECEIVE MODULE OVER ITS DYNAMIC RANGE, THE TEST MODULE SHOULD ALSO PROVIDE FOR ADJUSTMENT AND MEASUREMENT OF THE TONE LEVEL OUTPUT, AND SHOULD PROVIDE A RANGE OF LEVELS CONSISTENT WITH THE RECEIVE MODULE PERFORMANCE CHARACTERISTICS.'

THE NAVY ADVISES THAT THE PROVISION IN PARAGRAPH 3.3.4 (E) CONCERNING THE TONE GENERATOR IS NEW. THIS PROVISION IS SET FORTH AS FOLLOWS:

"3.3.4 TEST EQUIPMENT MODULE. * * * THE UNIT SHALL PROVIDE THE FOLLOWING TEST FACILITIES:

"/E) AUDIBLE SIGNAL TRACER (SPEAKER AND PHONE JACK SHALL BE PROVIDED). TONE GENERATOR WHICH SHALL GENERATE ALL 20 FSK TONES IN TABLE 1 AT LEVELS SUITABLE FOR CHECKING OUT A RECEIVE ONLY AN/UCC-1.'

NAVY CONTENDS THAT THE ABOVE PROVISION, BEING A PERFORMANCE REQUIREMENT, DOES NOT REQUIRE DETAIL, THOUGH THE CONTRACTOR'S DETAILED DESIGN IS SUBJECT TO BUREAU APPROVAL OF KEYING RATES, FREQUENCY STABILITY, ADJUSTMENTS AND LATE DETAILS.

ALSO, THE NAVY BELIEVES IT IS UNNECESSARY TO PROVIDE FOR ADJUSTMENT AND MEASUREMENT OF THE TONE LEVEL OUTPUT AND FOR A RANGE OF LEVELS CONSISTENT WITH THE RECEIVE MODULE PERFORMANCE CHARACTERISTICS, AS ALL THIS IS COVERED BY THE REQUIREMENT FOR GENERATION OF THE SPECIFIED TONES AT LEVELS SUITABLE FOR CHECKING OUT A RECEIVE MODULE, THE PERFORMANCE CHARACTERISTICS OF WHICH ARE DEFINED IN THE SPECIFICATIONS.

YOU CONCLUDE THAT THE NAVY CANNOT RECEIVE A SATISFACTORY PRODUCT, NOR ANY RESPONSIVE BIDS, UNDER THIS INVITATION. AS TO THE EQUIPMENT, WE ARE NOT IN A POSITION TO JUDGE WHETHER OR NOT THE ,NEW" DESIGN CONCEPTS FEATURED IN THIS PROCUREMENT ARE TECHNICALLY FEASIBLE OR DESIRABLE. THIS OFFICE IS NOT CHARGED WITH THE RESPONSIBILITY OF DETERMINING THE NEEDS OF THE GOVERNMENT; THAT IS THE PROPER FUNCTION OF THE PROCURING AGENCY, AS IS ALSO THE DRAFTING OF SPECIFICATIONS TO STATE THOSE NEEDS IN TERMS ON WHICH COMPETITIVE BIDS MAY BE OBTAINED. SEE 17 COMP. GEN. 554, 557. IN VIEW OF THE NAVY'S STATEMENTS THAT THE SPECIFICATIONS HERE ARE ADEQUATE TO REQUIRE THE FURNISHING OF ARTICLES SUITABLE FOR ITS NEEDS, AND IN THE ABSENCE OF ANY CLEAR AMBIGUITY OR OTHER OBVIOUS DEFECT THEREIN, THERE IS NO PROPER BASIS ON WHICH WE MAY OBJECT TO AWARD OF A CONTRACT ON SUCH SPECIFICATIONS.

WITH REGARD TO THE BIDDING, WE DO NOT FIND FROM THE RECORD ANY GROUND FOR QUESTIONING THE VALIDITY OF AN AWARD TO THE LOWEST RESPONSIBLE BIDDER OFFERING TO MEET THE SPECIFICATIONS AS WRITTEN. YOUR PROTEST AGAINST AN AWARD UNDER THIS INVITATION IS THEREFORE DENIED.