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Next Generation Jammer Increment 2 Request for Information PMA 234

Solicitation Number: 20018-14
Agency: Department of the Navy
Office: Naval Air Systems Command
Location: NAVAIR HQ
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Sources Sought
Added: Aug 05, 2014 9:40 am
1. The Airborne Electronic Attack Systems and EA-6B program manager (PMA 234), acting at the direction of the Program Executive Officer for Tactical Aircraft Programs (PEO(T)), is seeking information and comments from industry in regard to the development of acquisition strategies for the Next Generation Jammer (NGJ) Increment 2 (Inc 2)(Low Band) capability. For the purposes of this RFI, the Government is expecting initial contract award in approximately 2017 with Initial Operational Capability in 2024.

2. THIS IS A REQUEST FOR INFORMATION (RFI) ONLY. This RFI is issued solely for information and planning purposes and does not constitute a Request for Proposal (RFP) or a promise to issue an RFP in the future. The RFI does not commit the Government to contract for any supply or service whatsoever. Furthermore, the Navy is not seeking proposals at this time. Respondents are advised that the U.S. Government will not pay for any information or administrative costs incurred in response to this RFI; all costs associated with responding to this RFI will be solely at the interested party's expense. Not responding to this RFI does not preclude proposal submissions in response to any RFP potentially issued in the future.

3. The purpose of this RFI is to solicit industry perspectives and inputs on fulfilling the role of Pod System Integrator (PSI) for NGJ Inc 2. The Navy requests this information from industry in order to aid the Government in ascertaining an acquisition strategy that best represents an optimum balance of cost, schedule and performance risks. A critical aspect of the NGJ Inc 2 acquisition strategy development will be the determination of comparative costs, benefits and risks of industry acting in the role of the PSI versus the Government performing in said role. This RFI seeks information from companies having the interest, capabilities and experience to perform in the PSI role. The Navy also desires industry perspectives on the viability of joint public-private teams performing the PSI role. Because of the specialized nature of this program, the Government is considering the potential for aircraft, aircraft weapons systems and AEA amplifier and antenna subsystem manufacturers to fulfill the PSI role.

4. Secondarily, for critical technologies, the Government is in the early stages of assessing the Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs) of NGJ Inc 2 sub-systems and whether those assessments of the TRLs warrant a Technology Maturation and Risk Reduction (TMRR) phase or support proceeding directly to Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD). Additionally, a combination of urgency of need and assessed TRLs may suggest a need for an accelerated acquisition strategy of concurrent technology maturation, risk reduction and development. For the purposes of this RFI, consideration of integration of NGJ Inc 2 with the aircraft, NGJ Inc 1, training systems, mission planning systems, etc., is not within scope. This RFI addresses approaches for NGJ Inc 2 Pod system integration only.

5. The ALQ-99 Tactical Jamming System (TJS) is an offensive Airborne Electronic Attack (AEA) system, employed to deny, degrade and deceive enemy use of the Electromagnetic Spectrum. Initially fielded on the Navy's EA-6B Prowler in 1971 and now employed on the Navy's EA-18G Growler, the ALQ-99 TJS has undergone numerous upgrades to maintain capabilities against threat radar and communications systems in denied access environments. To provide effective AEA capability, the ALQ-99 is integrated on the EA-18G with the ALQ-218 Tactical Jamming System Receiver (TJSR) and the ALQ-227 Communications Countermeasures Set (CCS). The NGJ is the replacement system for the ALQ-99 to enable countering advancements in radars, communications and highly integrated air defense systems on shore, at sea and in the air. NGJ will provide significantly improved electronic attack capabilities against current and future advanced threats through enhanced agility and precision within jamming assignments, increased interoperability and expanded broadband capability for greater threat coverage against a wide variety of radio frequency emitters. The NGJ System is partitioned into three jamming pod configurations, which also define the foundation of the NGJ incremental acquisition approach: Inc 1 - Mid Band, Inc 2 - Low Band, and Inc 3 - High Band. This RFI is restricted to Inc 2.

6. The NGJ Inc 2 system will be integrated on the EA-18G tactical aircraft to replace the ALQ-99 TJS Low Band pod configuration. In 2012, the Navy conducted a Low Band Alternatives Analysis (LBAA) to examine a range of materiel solutions spanning modest improvements to the current ALQ-99 Low Band pod configuration to a completely new NGJ Inc 2 pod. The LBAA recommended a "middle ground" solution of a major upgrade to the current ALQ-99 Low Band pod configuration as potentially being able to provide the best balance of affordable capability. Interested RFI respondents may request additional, unclassified details of the LBAA-derived Inc 2 pod materiel solution. A request must be made via an email to the RFI primary Point Of Contact (POC) provided in Section 13. The subject line of such an email must include the words "NGJ Inc 2 PSI RFI Information Request". The email must also include a company/organization name, address, Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) or Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) codes, and POC name, telephone number and email address.

7. Respondents are requested to provide information, comments, and feedback on potential PSI approaches for NGJ Inc 2. Specifically, the information requested is as listed below:

a. Capabilities:

1) Describe experience, capabilities, contracts and technology development efforts, previously conducted or planned, that support your role in leading the NGJ Inc 2 development as the PSI. Discuss your assessment of Inc 2 subsystems' technology readiness to meet TRL 6.

b. Solution Approach:

1) Describe the merits and tangible benefits of your company, company team or industry/Government partner performing the role of PSI. Quantify the benefits where possible. Provide your input on the risks and challenges of the Government performing the role of the PSI and contracting separately for the NGJ major subsystems.

2) The LBAA indicated that regardless of the PSI determination (i.e. industry, Government, industry/Government partnership), cost savings could be realized for an NGJ Inc 2 pod solution that maintains the current ALQ-99 Outer Mold Line (OML) and mass properties. Further Government analysis suggests the NGJ Inc 2 pod solution has potential to minimize schedule and risk. Provide your assessments of the cost versus capability tradeoffs between a major ALQ-99 Low Band modification and a "clean sheet" NGJ Inc 2 pod. Please consider system performance and program cost, schedule and risks in your assessments. Also, provide assessments of the subsystem TRL differences between the two solutions. For those subsystems you assess as below TRL 6, describe the scope of the required technology maturation to reach TRL 6.

3) Describe your approach, and its associated benefits to the warfighter, for supporting sustainment of the NGJ Inc 2 pod after production.

4) Describe your assessment of the risks and challenges of the Government performing development and production of upgraded/modified ALQ-99 Hardbacks (HDBKs), Ram Air Turbines (RATs), and EA-18G Extended Low Band Radomes (GELBRs) and the provision of these subsystems as Government Furnished Equipment to an Industry PSI. Include any risks specific to the re-use of existing Navy inventories to yield the modified configurations previously discussed.

c. Schedule: Estimate the required durations to accomplish the TMRR (if assessed to be required), EMD, and Production and Deployment phases to develop, produce and field the NGJ Inc 2 pod. Assume a quantity of 7 Engineering Development Models will be required to be built and tested during EMD and a quantity of 128 pods will be produced. To accomplish Initial Operational Capability (i.e. initial fielding), assume a quantity of 5 production pods, plus the necessary integrated product support elements to accomplish organizational level actions/repair. Assess any differences in schedule estimates you perceive for an industry PSI and a Government PSI.

d. Cost: Discuss perceived cost drivers viewed as significant when considering an industry PSI or a Government PSI. Assess the applicability of cost drivers to the program phases (e.g. TMRR, if required, EMD & Production).

8. Proprietary and Limited Distribution Markings: It is incumbent upon sources providing responses to this RFI to identify all information contained within that is proprietary or has limited distribution requirements. The Government reserves the right to conduct discussions with respondents to this RFI.

9. Interested RFI respondents are advised that the employees of commercial firms under contract to the Government will serve as reviewers of information provided in response to this RFI. By submission of a response, a source gives the Government permission to release the entire response (inclusive of proprietary information) to employees of those organizations listed below. Employees of these organizations that participate in the NGJ Inc 2 PSI analysis are required to sign and submit Non-Disclosure Agreements prior to viewing any RFI responses:

Whitney, Bradley and Brown (WBB) Inc., Reston VA
The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel MD
Engility Corporation, Lexington Park MD
Capital Defense Consulting, Ashburn VA

Beyond the above commercial firms, the Government will not release any marked proprietary information, received in response to this RFI, to any firm, agency, or individual outside the Government.

10. Provide responses to this RFI no later than Friday, 5 Sep 2014, via the RFI primary POC.

11. The Government desires responses to be formatted in a manner that organizes information to follow paragraph 7 and be submitted with a table of contents. The information should be submitted with a cover letter, on letterhead, that identifies 1) The name, address, duns number, cage code and or tax ID number, as well as size category (large, small, small disadvantaged, etc) of the source; and 2) A primary and secondary POC (including name, phone number, fax number, and email address). Use of only Microsoft Office (PowerPoint, Excel, Word, Project) and Adobe products is required. All RFI responses shall be UNCLASSIFIED. Emailing of UNCLASSIFIED RFI responses are acceptable. Each response must identify the RFI reference number, 20018-14, when responding to this notice. All responses provided must be UNCLASSIFIED. The mailing addresses for the RFI response are detailed at the end of this announcement.

12. This announcement is not a formal solicitation and does not constitute a request for proposals. This RFI is for information and planning purposes only and is not to be construed as a commitment by the Government. Each response must reference this RFI number: 20018-14. No contract will be awarded as result of responses to this announcement. Information herein is based on the best information available at the time of publication, is subject to revision, and is not binding upon the Government.

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Kara N Briscoe,
Contract Specialist
Phone: (301) 757-7086
Fax: (301) 757-7054
Kyle W Richmond,
Contracting Officer
Phone: 301-757-5273
Fax: 301-757-8988