Harris awarded contract for developing Iraqi Media Network

MUMBAI: Harris Corporation has been awarded a one-year, $96 million contract by The Defense Contracting Command-Washington on behalf of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) currently governing Iraq.

The company will develop an existing but antiquated media network into a modern media organisation for the Iraqi people.

The Iraqi Media Network (IMN) programme includes equipment, operation, training, and provisioning of programming for national radio and television networks and a national newspaper with operating locations in Baghdad and more than 30 other locations throughout the country. Two additional six-month contract options could increase the total value of the programme to nearly $165 million.

Harris president, CEO Howard Lance was quoted in a company release saying, "We are extremely pleased to be selected to play this role in the rebuilding of Iraq's critical broadcast and media infrastructure. We created a focussed organisation to support reconstruction efforts in Iraq and to apply the unique capabilities that Harris has to offer in both commercial and government communications systems.

" The extensive experience of our broadcast communications division on international projects, combined with the large integration programmes expertise of our government communications systems division, will ensure the success of this initiative. The free flow of information is crucial to any modern society, and we are committed to making this ambitious goal a reality."

The goal of the IMN contract is to create from the existing organisation a first class, integrated media network that will include two national radio channels, two national television channels, and a national newspaper Al Sabah. The release adds that Harris will lead this project and provide all of the necessary transmitters, integration and automation broadcast equipment with support from two local companies. They are the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation International (LBCI), a Middle East media network, and Al Fawares, a Kuwaiti company with Iraqi ownership.

LBCI is responsible for training and content programming for the two radio channels and two television channels-one for news and one for entertainment. All four channels will be terrestrial and the all-news television channel will additionally be available by satellite. Al Fawares will assist in expanding the newspaper into national status based on the company's experience with Al Watan in Kuwait, and also will provide security, logistics and construction services.

Harris is an international communications equipment company focused on providing product, system, and service solutions for government and commercial customers. The company's five operating divisions serve markets for government communications, tactical radio, broadcast, microwave, and network support systems.

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