Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) Systems Center (SSC) Atlantic awarded the first prototype project agreement (PPA) under the Other Transaction Agreement (OTA) for the Information Warfare Research Project (IWRP) Jan. 8 for $1.3 million.
The focus of the prototype is for a new Low Altitude Range Communication System (LARCS) for the U.S. Marine Corps.
The goal of the upgraded technology is to replace the current LARCS in order to meet the critical communication requirements for Marine training ranges. Once completed, the system is slated for installation at the Townsend Bombing Range at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, S.C. where the LARCS will undergo testing and Field User Evaluation in the final operational environment and configuration.
“This first award is a significant milestone for the IWRP,” said Pete Reddy, SSC Atlantic deputy executive director. “This effort will not only provide inherent value to the project sponsor and warfighting capability, but it also validates and sets into motion the awesome capability that IWRP is for the SPAWAR enterprise and entire Naval Research and Development Establishment.”
The IWRP consortium utilizes whitepapers for prototype proposals versus the traditional acquisition request for proposal process. The LARCS prototype whitepaper was submitted Sept. 11, 2018 and from concept to award took the team only 119 days to accomplish.
“The IWRP enabled us to quickly make our way to a prototype award that will rapidly provide a new capability to the warfighter,” said John Larson, project lead and Enterprise Systems and Services (ES2) team lead. “We learned a lot through collaboration with the IWRP consortium, and I anticipate that as IWRP matures it will only become quicker.”
The combined efforts from the IWRP team, Advanced Technology International (ATI) and contracting were instrumental in both the speed of awarding the first project and ensuring the level of quality in the technology.
“We view the IWRP as a critical tool that will enable SSC Atlantic to achieve “Pivot Speed” in rapidly responding to emerging business IT and warfighter needs,” said Erik Gardner, Expeditionary Enterprise Systems and Services (E2S2) division head. “The IWRP, when combined with other tools, processes and environments, has proven to foster innovation and is a new way of thinking about our problems and their solutions.”
The project was awarded to ATI on behalf of Booz Allen Hamilton in collaboration with Intuitive Research Technology Corporation (IRTC). A significant portion of the work will be performed by IRTC, a non-traditional defense contractor, and is scheduled to be completed in 10 months.
“The collaboration and teamwork on this process allowed for a prototype to be awarded which has potential for more advanced technologies at a cheaper cost and a faster timeline than was expected,” said Don Sallee, SPAWAR IWRP program manager.
The management of the IWRP consortium was awarded by SPAWAR to ATI on June 26, 2018. The IWRP allows the use of an alternative acquisition process, called an OTA, that works to streamline acquisition processes, develop prototypes, and rapidly provide advanced technologies to the fleet. Since opening the consortium, membership has grown to 219 and approximately 81 whitepapers have been submitted for review to address potential information warfare needs.
SPAWAR identifies, develops, delivers and sustains information warfighting capabilities supporting naval, joint, coalition and other national missions. SSC Atlantic consists of more than 10,000 active duty military and civil service professionals located around the world and close to the fleet to keep SPAWAR at the forefront of research, engineering and acquisition to provide and sustain information warfare capabilities to the fleet.