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Engaging the Manufacturing Industrial Base in Support of DLA’s Critical Supply Chains


TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Air Platform, Materials, Weapons, Nuclear 

OBJECTIVE: Improve product availability and increase competition through the development of Source Approval Requests (SAR) by small business manufacturers for National Stock Numbers (NSNs) with government provided technical data or through the Reverse Engineering (RE) of a technical data package. If DLA has adequate technical data available, the small business manufacturer will utilize the technical data to develop a SAR package. If the technical data is not available or inadequate, the small business will conduct relevant research and reverse engineering resulting in the development of the technical data package (TDP) as well as a SAR. The intent is that the participating small business manufacturer will be responsive to future solicitations as well as participate in the development of additional SARs for technically related NSNs. 

DESCRIPTION: DLA established the Nuclear Enterprise Support Office (NESO) so the Agency is in a position to be responsive to the needs of the United States Air Force and U.S. Navy nuclear communities. The sole mission of the office is to synchronize DLA’s enterprise wide support to the nuclear enterprise and engage strategically with DLA customers. Through partnerships with the small business industrial base, DLA will augment existing sources of supply to enhance life-cycle performance, product availability, competitive pricing as well as ensure effective logistics support to the nuclear enterprise. This program is restricted to DLA managed NESO items where sources of supply are scarce and is in use to incentivize small business participation to address specific weapon system requirements as well as provide small manufacturers the opportunity to build a mutually beneficial relationship with DLA. A SAR package is an assembly of information required of a prospective new supplier of a Critical/Weapon System Item (NSN). A SAR package contains all technical data needed to demonstrate that the prospective contractor can competently manufacture the Critical/Weapon System Item to the same level of quality or better than the system prime contractor, major subsystem contractor, or initial Approved Source (OEM). There are SAR Guides with templates and charts that explain the process. Find these guides, charts, checklists, and templates via the internet at the referenced link 1. The list of candidate parts is posted on the DLA Small Business Innovation Program (SBIP) site: Specific parts may require minor deviations in the process dependent on the Engineering Support Activity (ESA) requirements. Those deviations will be addressed post award. Participating small businesses must have an organic manufacturing capability and a Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) code and be Joint Certification Program (JCP) certified in order to access technical data if available. Refer to “link 2” below for further information on JCP certification. Additionally, small businesses will need to create a DLA’s Internet Bid Board System (DIBBS) account to view all data and requirements in C Folders. Refer to “links 3 and 4” below for further information on DIBBS and C Folders. All available documents and drawings are located in the C Folder location “SBIR201A”. If the data is incomplete, or not available, the effort will require reverse engineering. 

PHASE I: The innovation research goals of Phase I are to provide small business manufacturers an opportunity to qualify as an Approved Source for one or more of the NSNs specifically identified in this BAA. In this phase, manufacturers will request SAR approval from the applicable Engineering Support Activity (ESA), if required, for the NSNs. During the project launch, the awardee will submit a Gantt chart (as well as other deliverables called out in the contract) detailing the steps and timing to complete any reverse engineering efforts necessary. The Chart should cover the process from the Launch meeting, through the beginning start of Low Rate Production (LRIP) of the NSN(s). In addition, it is encouraged that manufacturers and engineers consider innovation opportunities for the identified component for the potential for cost reduction, extended life cycle, and improvement of the performance of the component. The culmination of this research will provide the basis for the business case included in the final report. The NESO team selected the list of items and associated details to address the needs of the Nuclear Enterprise to sustain critical weapons systems as described below. Proposals may include all or a subset of the NSNs listed at . Firm may submit multiple proposals for this topic providing that the proposals address unique NSNs. In order to be competitive, firms should base proposal costs on the level of effort and not the maximum dollars available. The expected cost of a "SAR only" package should not exceed $30,000 per part, and the expected cost of a Reverse Engineering SAR package should not exceed $45,000 per part. There are exceptions for more complex parts and the proposal should provide the rationale. 

PHASE II: The submission of a Phase II proposal is at the option of the Phase I awardee. Based on a successful Phase I project, the requirements / priorities at that time, and the quality and feasibility of the manufacturer’s business case, DLA will decide whether to award the Phase II proposal. The goal of Phase II is for the awardee to become a qualified source for multiple NSNs, usually similar to the NSNs in the Phase I project. In cases where the Phase I addressed a particularly complex NSN or NSN with extended testing requirements, that effort may be continued into the Phase II. If the part identified is already in production resulting from a successful Phase I, the Phase II may be used to create additional manufacturing capacity to meet demand and/or pursue SARs for other DLA managed items. 

PHASE III: At this point, no specific funding is associated with Phase III. Progress made in PHASE I and PHASE II should result in the manufacturer’s qualification as an approved source of supply enabling participation in DLA procurement actions. The manufacturer will pursue commercialization of the various technologies and processes developed in prior phases through participation in future DLA procurement actions on items identified with this BAA. 


1: DLA Aviation SAR Package instructions. DLA Small Business Resources:

KEYWORDS: Nuclear Enterprise Support (NESO), Source Approval, Reverse Engineering 

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