Air Force wants next-generation Global Precision Attack Weapon for F-35, B-21

By Sara Sirota / October 19, 2020 at 1:47 PM

The Air Force is looking for a next-generation Global Precision Attack Weapon to fly on the F-35 fighter jet and B-21 bomber to defeat adversaries' "hard and deeply buried targets."

The service revealed the effort today in an amendment to an earlier solicitation looking for defense industry ideas about emerging capabilities for the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center's armament division and U.S. Special Operations Command.

The GPAW program will work with a system design agent and build the new weapon using digital engineering tools and an open-system architecture to quickly integrate technologies like position, navigation and timing, sensors and autonomy.

The SDA will help the Air Force develop GPAW's key attributes, government-owned open-system architecture standard and other program details during phase one of the program. The Air Force will then move on to a new stage for design, rapid prototyping and testing that's similar to the traditional engineering, manufacturing and development phase, followed by production and sustainment.

According to the original solicitation -- a broad agency announcement that was released in April -- interested contractors can submit proposals at any time throughout the BAA open period, which is expected to be one year. The notices do not indicate when the Air Force may issue awards.