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Munition Development for Petroleum, Oil, and Lubricant (POL) Targets


TECH FOCUS AREAS: General Warfighting Requirements (GWR) TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Ground Sea; Battlespace OBJECTIVE: Develop an ordnance concept for the catastrophic defeat of Petroleum, Oil and Lubricant (POL) targets. DESCRIPTION: The goal is to catastrophically defeat large petroleum, oil, and lubricant (POL) targets with small weapons by exploiting the flammability of the POL (References 1-3). Ideally, a single weapon would perform two events -- spill the fuel and ignite the fuel. Fire starting in POL targets is challenging for two reasons: (a) the time to spill and start a fire is quite long relative to the duration of a typical explosive event; and (b) POL fuels are fire resistant (i.e., low vapor pressures, narrow flammability limits) for safety reasons, and are difficult to ignite. A two weapon concept (i.e., strike and restrike) would be acceptable, but a single weapon concept is greatly preferred. The contractor should develop an air-delivered weapon concept that is robust against a wide variety of fuel types – including commercial fuels (e.g., diesel fuel) and military fuels (e.g., JP-8). The weapon concept should not be solely applicable to POL targets; it should also functions as a general-purpose bomb against blast-frag susceptible targets. PHASE I: The contractor will develop a weapon concept and modeling capabilities for weapon initiation and target response. Small-scale testing is encouraged to (a) demonstrate proof-of-concept (feasibility), (b) validate the models, and (c) demonstrate fabrication and manufacturing techniques. Failure to start a fire in these tests is not disqualifying; their primary purpose is to identify critical issues early in the program and to show the contractor's capability to execute the Phase II program. PHASE II: In Phase II, the contractor will refine the designs, develop additional modeling capability as needed, develop larger scale warhead prototypes, and demonstrate fire starting capability in a mid-scale tests (e.g., a 55-gallon drum). Targets of interest are commercial and military fuels. PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: In Phase III, the contractor will develop a full-scale prototype, and characterize weapon performance and effectiveness in large-scale arena tests. The contractor will also deliver an engineering-level code that simulates performance against POL targets. NOTE: The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), 22 CFR Parts 120-130, which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services, including export of sensitive technical data, or the Export Administration Regulation (EAR), 15 CFR Parts 730-774, which controls dual use items. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals (FNs), their country(ies) of origin, the type of visa or work permit possessed, and the proposed tasks intended for accomplishment by the FN(s) in accordance with section 5.4.c.(8) of the Announcement and within the AF Component-specific instructions. Offerors are advised foreign nationals proposed to perform on this topic may be restricted due to the technical data under US Export Control Laws. Please direct questions to the Air Force SBIR/STTR Contracting Officer, Ms. Kris Croake, REFERENCES: 1. Edmund Dews, POL Storage as a Target for Air Attack: Evidence From the World War II Allied Air Campaigns Against Enemy Oil Installations, June 1980, Approved for Public Release, 2. W. J. Fenrick, Targeting and Proportionality during the NATO Bombing Campaign against Yugoslavia, 2001, Approved for Public Release, 3. Harry Foster et al., Toward a New Targeting Approach for Great Power Competition,
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