DOD announces new awards for streamlined tech procurement

By Tony Bertuca / May 24, 2023 at 11:15 AM

The Defense Department today announced more than $140 million in contracts for the latest batch of "Accelerate the Procurement and Fielding of Innovative Technologies" programs, or APFIT, ranging from new unmanned capabilities to training simulators to commercial weather satellites.

The purpose of the pilot APFIT program, which Congress established in the Fiscal Year 2022 National Defense Authorization Act, is to “expeditiously transition technologies from development into production, and to accelerate the fielding of those technologies to the warfighter,” according to DOD.

"I am thrilled to see the increased support from Congress for the APFIT program," said Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering Heidi Shyu. "This flexible funding is helping to transform the way the department quickly pivots to procure and field warfighting capability across the military services and defense agencies.”

DOD said APFIT funding is helping to deliver capabilities one to two years earlier than scheduled.

Shyu said the program will be key to helping small companies bridge the “valley of death” between development and production.

"The companies being funded will fill crucial capability gaps,” she said. “Without APFIT funding, these capabilities could take years longer to field.”

APFIT awards must be between $10 million and $50 million. The new awards include:

  • Commercial Satellite Communications Terminals, U.S. Marine Corps, $15 million, Bascom Hunter Technologies, Louisiana
  • Establishes a fully automated production line and initial procurement of transportable satellite terminals to provide assured Naval capability to leverage the latest Low Earth Orbit and Mid Earth Orbit satellite communication constellations
  • Common Air-Launched Munitions Radio, U.S. Air Force, $10 million, Integrated Solutions for Systems, Inc., Alabama
  • Initial low-rate procurement of software defined munitions radios and Technical Data Package to support integration of weapons data links in future Air Force weapons
  • Integrated Air Defense Cameras, Defense Innovation Unit, $16.77 million, Teleidoscope, California
  • Procurement of initial upgraded electro optical/infrared cameras with enhanced capabilities to improve airspace awareness.
  • Minuteman III Code Wheel Replacement, Defense Logistics Agency, $10 million, BC Engineering Products, New Jersey
  • Procurement of new code wheels for replacement of units in the Minuteman III Missile that are more than 40 years beyond planned service life using advanced manufacturing techniques and processes to retain form, fit, and function
  • Mixed Reality Pilot Training Devices, U.S. Marine Corps, $10 million, Bowhead Professional & Technical Solutions, LLC, Virginia
  • Procurement of affordable, smaller, mixed-reality T-45C flight training simulators to augment legacy full-size flight simulators
  • Modern Commercial Weather Satellites, U.S. Space Force, $10.3 million,, Massachusetts
  • Procurement and launch of two affordable commercial weather sensing satellites to augment the existing commercially owned, managed, and sustained weather constellation to support weather data-as-a-service use by the military.
  • Multi-Platform Anti-Jam Global Positioning System Antennas, U.S. Army, $19.97 million, Mayflower Communications, Inc., Massachusetts
  • Accelerated procurement of sufficient quantities to achieve optimum price break of anti-jam antennas for fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft.
  • Network Enhancements for Contested Environments, U.S. Navy, $10 million, Adaptive Dynamics Inc, California and Caliola Engineering, Colorado
  • Procurement and integration of software into existing joint tactical radio systems that leverage modified software techniques for enhancing communications in contested environments
  • Tactical Passive Radar for Counter Unmanned Air Systems (UAS), U.S. Army, $10 million, Hidden Level, Inc., New York
  • Procurement of platform agnostic, day/night, modular passive radar capability for small UAS detection and tracking
  • Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV) Range Extension using Beyond-Line-of-Sight Communications, U.S. Navy, $10 million, Maritime Applied Physics Corp., Maryland
  • Initial low-rate procurement of USVs and supporting communication systems to enable beyond-line-of-site operations
  • Vertical Take-off and Landing (VTOL) Capable Fixed-Wing Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance Small UAS, U.S. Special Operations Command, $20 million, Quantum-Systems Inc., California
  • Accelerated procurement of Fixed-Wing Small UAS with integrated VTOL capabilities