By Joanna BradleyOctober 3, 2019
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. (Oct. 03, 2019) - The Aviation & Missile Technology Consortium, an entity hosted by the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Aviation & Missile Center, has had a resoundingly successful first year.
The organization recently wrapped up its first fiscal year, during which it partnered with two existing consortia, developed operational processes and procedures, successfully advertised intentions, sourced government customers, and executed eight rounds of solicitations for 101 requirements valued at $4.1 billion.
This year's efforts have boosted membership to 925 members, which include small and large businesses, academia, and nonprofit organizations. AMTC executes research and development prototype projects using an Other Transaction Agreement, a model which allows government agencies to more openly communicate with industry and academia in an effort to obtain new technology solutions. OTAs are not subject to some of the regulations that apply to Federal Acquisition Regulation-based acquisitions, which helps streamline the process.
"The dynamic pace of the AMTC OTA fosters an environment of collaboration, teamwork, and partnership, and much of the success we had this year can be attributed to it," said LaMeshia Billington, Army Contracting Command-Redstone lead contract specialist.
During FY19, two significant awards supporting the Army's top modernization priority were made under the AMTC OTA: Long Range Precision Fires. The awards are prototype projects for the Army's Long Range Hypersonic Weapon - capable of flying at five times the speed of sound - that will launch from a mobile ground platform fielded by fiscal year 2023.
Dynetics Technical Solutions will be the first to manufacture a set of hypersonic glide body prototypes, while Lockheed Martin will serve as the weapon system integrator, according to a U.S. Army announcement.
AMTC fosters an environment that encourages robust collaboration and competition to deliver cutting-edge prototypes that enable rapid and effective transition to production. AMTC offers the scientists and engineers within CCDC AvMC an additional capability through which they can deliver near- and long-term aviation and missile systems capabilities to the programs of record and, ultimately, the Warfighter.
"The accomplishments of the AMTC OTA would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of the AMTC team, and the shared vision between CCDC AvMC and ACC-RSA for AMTC," said Billington.
"While we have made significant progress and have a lot to be proud of, we readily acknowledge there is room for improvement," said Christina Brantley, AvMC AMTC program manager. "The AMTC program office is taking advantage of what we are calling a 'strategic pause' to clear the backlog of enhanced whitepapers we have received in our incredible first year."
The AMTC team has also suspended releasing additional rounds of solicitations in order to focus efforts on completing EWP evaluations. "The AMTC members have put an incredible amount of time, energy, effort, and money into writing high-quality whitepapers. The feedback for those papers is critical to the health of the consortium and instrumental in moving forward in the agreement process to award," said Brantley.
During FY20, the team at AMTC will decrease programmed solicitation releases from four to three, with the hope that the change will allow government requirements owners more time to develop and submit requirements. "We hope this ... will give our members a more predictable and stable battle rhythm around which to plan their writing periods," said Brantley.
Much like this year, AMTC will host collaboration days, one-on-one events, proposers' conferences, and facilitate collaboration between members and government.
"We are excited to announce that the collaboration event scheduled for May 2020 will resemble a trade show with enlarged floor and booth space, industry exhibits, local community participation, including primary school participation and competitions, and significant keynote addresses," Brantley said.
Members can look forward to other changes in the coming year, as well. The schedule will include a mechanism that will allow members to make suggestions to the government for possible research areas to explore, and give the opportunity to solicit EWPs.
Another adjustment to the schedule will increase the window during which the government may submit requirements into the Broad Agency Announcements Information Data System, or BIDS. , allowing the user to see, in draft form, pending requirements for the next solicitation release, as well as a draft copy of the objective requirements document.
Lastly, the collaboration event will take place prior to the release of the final ORD. "We want to give members one last opportunity to discuss the draft requirement with the government before it is formally released," Brantley explained.
"We have heard your feedback and are trying to make the necessary adjustments to provide you, the members of AMTC, with the best process, interface with the government, and ultimately, the best chance to be successful," said Brantley. "We sincerely hope that FY20 will continue the trend FY19 has set."
"I look forward to continuing down this path as we work with our government and industry mission partners to advance and grow the AMTC program," Billington said.
The CCDC Aviation & Missile Center, formerly known as the Aviation & Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center (AMRDEC), is part of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, which conducts responsive research, development and life cycle engineering to deliver the aviation and missile capabilities the Army depends on to ensure victory on the battlefield today and tomorrow. Through collaboration across the command's core technical competencies, CCDC leads in the discovery, development and delivery of the technology-based capabilities required to make Soldiers more lethal to win our nation's wars and come home safely. CCDC is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Futures Command.