Navy plans to seek unmanned technology through OTAs

By Justin Katz / July 12, 2018 at 9:57 AM

The Navy intends to seek unmanned vehicle sensing technology from industry through the use of other transaction agreements, according to a July 10 Federal Business Opportunities notice.

Other transaction authority (OTA) allows the Defense Department to prototype new technologies quicker than the traditional acquisition process permits. It's largely seen as the Defense Department's way to reach out to "non-traditional defense contractors" in places such as Silicon Valley through projects like the Defense Innovation Unit Experimental.

The notice, published on behalf of the Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Newport, RI, states the Navy will seek "innovative technological solutions to address current and future security threats in the undersea and maritime environment." Further, the solicitation is expected to be published "on or about" July 25.

Topics the service is interested in include unmanned underwater or surface vehicles for environmental sensing, monitoring and prediction; submarine torpedo defense; torpedo operational software algorithm development and distributed sensors for environmental sensing, monitoring and prediction.

To respond to the solicitation, organizations must be members of the Undersea Technology Innovation Consortium, a cooperative research group focused on undersea and maritime technolgy, the notice said.