Tech

April 13, 2012

Radar program proceeding with revised acquisition strategy

by Patty Welsh
Hanscom AFB, Mass.

The Air Force program to provide a new ground-based, long-range radar system is moving forward with a revised acquisition strategy. The program office recently held an industry day here to explain the changes and its latest draft request for proposal.

The Three-Dimensional Expeditionary Long-Range Radar, or 3DELRR, will be the principal U.S. Air Force long-range, ground-based sensor for detecting, identifying, tracking, and reporting aircraft and missiles in support of theater commanders. It will replace the current Air Force radar, the TPS-75.

“A combination of several factors, including a somewhat atypical acquisition strategy and the U.S. budget crisis, led to the change,” said Lt. Col. Brian McDonald, 3DELRR program manager.

A September 2007 memorandum from John Young, then the acting undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, encouraged competitive prototyping up to Milestone B. Originally, the 3DELRR Program had been planning to award to a single contractor prior to Milestone B.

“We modified the strategy to further leverage competition to look at needed capability, different approaches to delivering that capability and doing so in the most affordable manner,” McDonald said.

During the industry day briefing, he also showed how the program budget had been reduced in the Fiscal Year 2013 President’s Budget by approximately $80 million over the next five years compared to the 2012 budget.

McDonald cited industry offerings as a third factor.

During his presentation in the base theater, McDonald walked through a graphical depiction of the revised acquisition strategy and the changes that have been made.

Now, up to three contracts may be awarded as an outcome of the upcoming full and open competition to complete the Technology Development Phase, referred to as the Pre-Engineering and Manufacturing Development (Pre-EMD) period. The 3DELRR source selection will use the lowest price technically acceptable approach, which is also a significant change.

“Competitive offerors must be at the same maturity level as the government has attained on this program,” said McDonald. “We do not want to turn back the clock. We want to move forward from the government investment to date.”

In addition, fixed price contracts, including Firm Fixed-Price and/or Fixed-Price Incentive Firm, are planned for the Pre-EMD, EMD, and low rate initial production phases from what was once a cost plus incentive fee approach.

The revised strategy includes a minimum of three full and open competitions to reach full operational capability. McDonald pointed to the third competition that will award scope beyond Milestone B to a single contractor.

“There will be much activity, in parallel, leading up to Milestone B,” explained McDonald. “We will need a strong, crisp effort by industry on these contracts while the program office simultaneously conducts the next source selection and prepares for Milestone B.”

One change that McDonald strongly emphasized was the early examination of cost versus capability trade-offs. While there has been no change in the 3DELRR requirements since Technical Requirement Documents Revision D was posted in October 2011, McDonald explained the plan to issue a new revision, during the period of performance, against which successful bidders would produce their preliminary designs.

“We need to look closely at cost versus capability,” he said. “The first contractual activity is to complete detailed analyses of top cost drivers to see how cost varies as capability is incremented. Are there relatively large cost savings to be gained by relatively small reductions in capability and, if so, what’s the risk?”

McDonald discussed how the acquisition community and operational community will then come together to set 3DELRR requirements.

The 3DELRR program has also been selected as a “designated system” to participate in the Defense Exportability Features Pilot Program, to potentially increase sales and lower production costs.

“I’m excited to be a pilot for the Defense Exportability Features Program because it’s forward thinking, it’s good for the U.S. government and it’s good for U.S. industry,” McDonald said. Addressing the audience of mostly company representatives, he added, “I hope you’re excited too.”

The 3DELRR Program Office is planning for a Defense Acquisition Board in late April and, if approved, anticipates release of the final RFP in May. Currently, the program office expects to award the contracts, totaling approximately $108 million dollars, by late August.

“No one is immune from the budget crisis,” said McDonald. “This acquisition strategy is our response. Now, we need strong industry performance to offer the most affordable solution that provides this needed capability to our warfighters.”

More information on the 3DELRR program, as well as solicitation details, can be found on the FedBizOpps website at https://www.fbo.gov.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines November 24, 2014

News: Hagel said to be stepping down as defense chief under pressure - Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is stepping down under pressure, the first cabinet-level casualty of President Obama’s Democratic majority in the Senate and a beleaguered national security team that has struggled to stay ahead of an onslaught of global crises. Afghan mission for U.S....
 
 

News Briefs November 24, 2014

Fog forces five U.S. choppers to land in Polish field Officials say that that fog forced five U.S. Army helicopters to make an emergency landing in a Polish field and spend the night there, the second such incident since September. The U.S. Army said 15 soldiers were moving equipment to their base in Germany Nov....
 
 
Air Force photograph by Samuel King Jr.

Navy’s first F-35C squadron surpasses 1,000 flight hours

Air Force photograph by Samuel King Jr. An F-35C Lightning II aircraft piloted by Lt. Cmdr. Chris Tabert, assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 101, flies the squadron’s first local sortie. The F-35C is the carrier va...
 

 
boeing-SC-787

Boeing South Carolina begins final assembly of its first 787-9 Dreamliner

Boeing has started final assembly of the 787-9 Dreamliner at its South Carolina facility. The team began joining large fuselage sections of the newest 787 Nov. 22 on schedule, a proud milestone for the South Carolina team and a...
 
 
Lockheed Martin image

Ball Aerospace equips Orion mission with key avionics, antenna hardware

Lockheed Martin image Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. is providing the phased array antennas and flight test cameras to prime contractor Lockheed Martin for Orion’s Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1), which is an u...
 
 

Salina, Kansas, recalls anniversary of shuttered base

It has been 50 years this month since the announcement that Schilling Air Force Base was closing rattled Salina residents. The Salina Journal, which carried news of the closure in its Nov. 19, 1964, editions, reported that the economic disaster then spared no part of the community – real estate, retail, civic involvement, church attendance,...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>