19 juin 2018 | International, Naval

US Navy Wants a Next-Gen Supply Network — and Fast


An accelerated-acquisition office is seeking industry's best ideas for keeping track of parts and repairs ashore and at sea.

The U.S. Navy is looking for bleeding-edge technologies to improve its business systems and is using its other transaction authority to solicit ideas.

The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, or SPAWAR, announced June 14 its intention to use the Training and Readiness Accelerator, or TReX, consortium to manage the solicitation. On or about June 25, TReX will release the full solicitation requirements to its members, which includes “the entire innovation ecosystem including companies from—startups to Fortune 1000—universities, technology incubators, investors, public and private laboratories and non-profits,” according to its website.

The solicitation will cover four areas under the Naval Operational Business Logistics Enterprise, or NOBLE, family of systems, with the overall goal of improving the Navy’s material and shore readiness—including “reduced failure rate, improved repair time, improved resupply time and accuracy, affordable sustainment, mission capable and secure facilities”—and user experience—including “simplified and expedited decision making, integrated and dynamic work prioritization, digitally enabled training and collaboration and easy and intuitive user experience/interface.”

The solicitation focuses on three core areas, with an overarching integrated data environment stretching across the enterprise. The core areas include the Naval Operational Supply System, or NOSS, the Naval Aviation Maintenance System, or NAMS, and the Naval Operational Maintenance Environment, or NOME.

According to the solicitation, NOSS will provide planning, requisitioning, procurement, inventory control, logistics services and financial accountability of all material and property across all commodities. NAMS will provide Naval aviation—U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps—with a deployable, scalable and streamlined tactical maintenance solution to maintain the operational availability of deployed and deployable aircraft. NOME will provide the Navy with a deployable, scalable and streamlined tactical maintenance solution afloat to maintain the operational availability of deployed and deployable ships and submarines.

Along with the core areas, SPAWAR is also looking for an integrated data environment that can work across platforms. While the data environment will have to work with each individual system, it is being treated as a separate solution area under this solicitation.

The data environment will need to be hosted in a government-certified cloud with an impact level rating of 4/5, which cover sensitive controlled unclassified information.

“The cloud environment combined with a common IDE will provide a highly available and reliable commercial solution,” the solicitation states. “The environment will also be capable of hosting and integrating applications, data, systems and services planned to be transitioned to modern commercial technologies, and accomplish this migration of government-owned applications with no degradation of services.”

SPAWAR will conduct the solicitation in two phases. The first phase consists of submitting white papers for each solution—vendors can bid on any or all of them—with a tentative deadline set for July 24. SPAWAR will then down-select from that pool for Phase II, which will consist of two-hour, in-person demos in Orlando, Florida.

Interested parties must be a part of the TReX consortium in order to bid.


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  • Contract Awards by US Department of Defense - April 20, 2020

    21 avril 2020 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

    Contract Awards by US Department of Defense - April 20, 2020

    ARMY Shimmick Construction Co., Oakland, California, was awarded a $116,429,893 modification (P00012) to contract W912EK-19-C-0002 for rehabilitation of the LaGrange Lock and Dam.  Work will be performed in Versailles, Illinois, with an estimated completion date of July 21, 2021.  Fiscal 2020 civil construction funds in the amount of $116,429,893 were obligated at the time of the award.  U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois, is the contracting activity. Luhr Bros. Inc., Columbia, Illinois, was awarded a $45,000,000 firm-fixed-price contract for lease of dredge attendant plant and on-shore disposal of equipment for channel maintenance on the Ohio River.  Bids were solicited via the internet with one received.  Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of Dec. 31, 2024.  U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Louisville, Kentucky, is the contracting activity (W912QR-20-D-0011). Khotol Services Corp.,* Galena, Alaska, was awarded a $12,000,000 modification (P00004) to contract W911SA-17-D-2000 for sustainment, modernization and improvement projects for the 88th Army Reserve Centers.  Bids were solicited via the internet with four received.  Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of April 30, 2020.  U.S. Army Contracting Command, Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, is the contracting activity. AIR FORCE Honeywell Inc., Clearwater, Florida, has been awarded a cost-plus-fixed-fee and firm-fixed-price contract for engineering, manufacturing and development of the Embedded Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigation System Modernization (EGI-M).  Work will be performed in Clearwater, Florida, and is expected to be completed by April 19, 2024.  This award is the result of a sole-source acquisition and only one offer was received.  The estimated total value of this contract is $99,146,127.  Fiscal 2020 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $20,000,000 are being obligated at the time of award.  The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Position, Navigation & Timing Contracting Branch, Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, is the contracting activity (FA8576-20-C-0001). NAVY Timken Gears and Services Inc., King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, is awarded a $76,187,806 firm-fixed-price modification to previously awarded contract N00024-16-C-4202 to exercise options for main reduction gear shipsets for DDG-51 (Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers).  Work will be performed in Santa Fe Springs, California (76%); Riverside, Missouri (9%); Latrobe, Pennsylvania (2%); Fitchburg, Massachusetts (2%); Erie, Pennsylvania (2%); New Castle, Delaware (1%); Milwaukee, Wisconsin (1%); St. Augustine, Florida (1%); and other locations below one percent (6%).  The main reduction gears transmit the power from two main propulsion gas turbines to the propulsion shaft.  Each DDG 51-class destroyer has two gear assemblies, one for each propulsion shaft.  The DDG 51-class guided-missile destroyer is a multi-mission surface combatant with 67 delivered ships, and 21 more are currently under contract.  Work is expected to be complete by November 2023.  Fiscal 2020 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy) funding in the amount of $76,187,806 will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, District of Columbia, is the contracting activity. BAE Systems Information and Electronic Systems, Nashua, New Hampshire, is awarded a $17,381,169 modification (P00001) to previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract N00019-20-C-0042.  This modification procures the necessary hardware, technical engineering, management and logistics support to fabricate, assemble, test and deliver three T-1622/ALE-55(V) fiber optic towed decoys for a Foreign Military Sales (FMS) customer and 102 electronic frequency converters for the Navy.  Work will be performed in Nashua, New Hampshire (48%); Chelmsford, United Kingdom (12%); Mountain View, California (6%); Rochester, New York (4%); San Diego, California (4%); Landenberg, Pennsylvania (3%); Hamilton, New Jersey (2%); Commerce, California (2%); Los Osos, California (2%); Toledo, Ohio (1%); and various locations within the continental U.S. (16%).  Work is expected to be complete by March 2022.  Fiscal 2020 procurement of ammunition (Navy and Marine Corps) funds in the amount of $13,088,010; fiscal 2020 aircraft procurement (Navy) funds in the amount of $4,027,080; and FMS funds in the amount of $266,079 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  The Naval Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity. Hi-Q Engineering Inc.,* Poway, California, is awarded a $17,315,857 ceiling increase modification to previously awarded indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, cost-plus-fixed-fee contract N65236-17-D-8006 for engineering, test and evaluation, logistics and technical services for fixed very low frequency/low frequency broadcast transmitter stations.  Work will be performed in Dallas, Texas (35%); Poway, California (30%); Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (15%); Charleston, South Carolina (10%); and Norfolk, Virginia (10%), and is expected to be complete by May 2022.  This modification brings the total cumulative value of the contract to $55,972,607.  No funds are obligated at the award of this modification.  Fiscal 2020 operations and maintenance (Navy); fiscal 2020 research, development, test and evaluation (Navy); fiscal 2021 other procurement (Navy); fiscal 2021 operations and maintenance (Navy); fiscal 2022 other procurement (Navy); and fiscal 2022 operations and maintenance (Navy) funds in the amount of $17,315,857 will be obligated on individual task orders as they are issued.  Naval Information Warfare Center Atlantic, Charleston, South Carolina, is the contracting activity. Huntington Ingalls Industries, Pascagoula, Mississippi, is awarded a $7,142,318 fixed-price incentive (firm target) modification to previously awarded contract N00024-13-C-2307 to exercise an option for the accomplishment of post-delivery availability (PDA) work items for DDG-121.  Work will be performed in Pascagoula, Mississippi.  Immediately following the preliminary acceptance of the vessel, Huntington Ingalls Industries will complete the efforts required for PDA work items in the contractor's yard.  The modification for PDA work items will be accomplished before the vessel departs and sails away from the contractor's shipyard.  Work is expected to be complete by February 2021.  Fiscal 2015 shipbuilding and conversion (Navy); and fiscal 2020 other procurement (Navy) funding in the amount of $7,142,318 will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, District of Columbia, is the contracting activity. DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY American Water Operations and Maintenance LLC, Camden, New Jersey, has been awarded a $12,581,850 modification (P00037) to a 50-year utilities privatization contract (SP0600-15-C-8302) with no option periods to incorporating an increase to the operations, maintenance, renewal and replacement charges for water and wastewater utility service systems.  This is a fixed-price with economic-price-adjustment contract.  Location of performance is California, with a May 31, 2066, performance completion date.  Using military service is Air Force.  Type of appropriation is fiscal 2020 operations and maintenance funds.  The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Energy, Fort Belvoir, Virginia. *Small business https://www.defense.gov/Newsroom/Contracts/Contract/Article/2157205/source/GovDelivery/

  • Can AI help limited information have endless potential?

    19 juin 2019 | International, C4ISR, Autre défense

    Can AI help limited information have endless potential?

    By: Kelsey D. Atherton Humans are remarkably good at choosing to act on limited information. Computers, less so. A new DARPA program wants to train artificial intelligence to process and evaluate information like humans do, and produce actionable results on far smaller datasets than presently done. It’s a program of such important DARPA’s giving it VIP status, or a least VIP as an acronym: Virtual Intelligence Processing. “Successful integration of next-generation AI into DoD applications must be able to deal with incomplete, sparse and noisy data, as well as unexpected circumstances that might arise while solving real world problems,” reads a solicitation posted June 14. “Thus, there is need for new mathematical models for computing leading to AI algorithms that are efficient and robust, can learn new concepts with very few examples, and can guide the future development of novel hardware to support them.” To create these mathematical models, DARPA wants partners to look inward, creating AI inspired by the robust and massive parallelism seen in the human neocortex. If it is the architecture of the brain that makes humans so especially skilled at processing information quickly, then it is an architecture worth studying. “In order to reverse engineer the human brain,” the solicitation continues, calmly, “we need to apply new mathematical models for computing that are complete and transparent and can inform next-generation processors that are better suited for third-wave AI.” It is DARPA’s nature to inject funding into problem areas it sees as both yielding future results and not presently served by the market, and this is not different. The solicitation explicitly asks for mathematical models that have not already been the focus of AI development. It’s also looking for models that can inform the development of future hardware, rather than programs that can run on existing machines. DARPA is interested in how the hardware works in simulation, but wants partners to hold off on actually making the hardware for the model. So, the plan goes: create a mathematical model, inspired by brains, to process information on a small and limited data set, and then design it for hardware that doesn’t exist yet. Easy as that sounds, the solicitation also asks proposers to talk about the limitations of the algorithms when applied to military tasks, and specifically limitations related to accuracy, data, computing power and robustness. Working from limited information is an expected future of military machines going forward. Between electronic warfare, denied environments and the very nature of battlefield events as rare and hard to record moments, doing more with on-board processing of limited data should enable greater autonomy. Even in the rare case where a weapon system transmits data back for algorithm refinement, that data set will be orders of magnitude smaller than the big data sets used to train most commercial machine learning tools. Should a proposer’s idea be accepted and they follow through both Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the project, the total award is set at $1 million. A tidy sum, for anyone who can figure out the math to make a future computer run on sparse information as effectively as a human brain. https://www.c4isrnet.com/artificial-intelligence/2019/06/18/can-brain-inspired-ai-run-on-lean-data/

  • Five European allies sign on to build NATO’s next medium-lift helicopter

    23 novembre 2020 | International, Aérospatial

    Five European allies sign on to build NATO’s next medium-lift helicopter

    STUTTGART, Germany – Five NATO member nations have signed on to build the alliance’s next-generation helicopter, planned to replace existing fleets starting in 2035. France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy and Greece each signed letters of intent to participate in the program, dubbed “Next-Generation Rotorcraft Capability,” or NGRC, per a Nov. 19 statement issued by NATO. Over the coming years, these partners will work together to develop “an entirely new helicopter capability” that would replace a variety of medium multi-role rotorcraft fleets that are expected to retire between 2035 and 2040. The program was launched on the margins of the virtually held defense ministerial meeting in October, the alliance said. “By investing our resources and channeling our development initiatives through a multinational framework, we are making sure allies are equipped with the best available capabilities, which helps to maintain NATO’s technological edge,” NATO Deputy Secretary-General Mircea Geoană was quoted as saying in the release. The letters of intent are non-binding documents, and the initial cooperation effort is in principle open to other NATO allies and partners, subject to the approval of the existing participants, a NATO official said in an email to Defense News. Details including cost, work share between the five nations and specific timelines have not yet been released. NATO envisions defense ministers from participating countries will sign a legally binding memorandum of understanding for the initial concept phase around 2022. In the meantime, the allies will develop a statement of requirements to inform that concept phase, and hash out a cooperation plan to define, develop and field the next-generation helicopter. The NATO official noted that it will be critical to “get the intellectual foundation for NGRC right,” and that 2021 discussions to establish an initial common statement of requirements will not require “substantial” capital expenditures. Next year’s efforts will provide “a robust starting point for the participants to discuss and design the subsequent concept phase and agree on the associated funding requirements for the following years,” the official said. As a medium multi-role rotorcraft, this new capability would assist NATO allies in missions including insertion and extraction of special operations forces, and transporting small- and medium-sized cargo and troops within operational theaters. It would also be used in medical evacuation, search and rescue, and anti-submarine warfare. NATO is launching this effort just as the U.S. Army is firming up requirements for its own new medium multi-role rotorcraft, via the Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) competition. A draft request for proposals for this capability – part of the service’s next-generation Future Vertical Lift family of systems – is expected by the end of 2020. Bell and a Boeing-Sikorsky team have each already built a technology demonstrator, and are expected to compete for the contract award, with plans to field the new aircraft by 2030. https://www.defensenews.com/global/europe/2020/11/20/five-european-allies-sign-on-to-build-natos-next-medium-lift-helicopter/

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