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NAVAIR Open Topic for Logistics in a Contested Environment


OUSD (R&E) CRITICAL TECHNOLOGY AREA(S) - Advanced Computing and Software; Integrated Sensing and Cyber; Trusted AI and Autonomy


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 statement of work (SOW) tasks intended for accomplishment by the FN(s) in accordance with the Announcement. Offerors are advised foreign nationals proposed to perform on this topic may be restricted due to the technical data under US Export Control Laws.


OBJECTIVE: DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY OPEN TOPIC: DON is seeking proposals for enhancing existing prototypes or concepts to improve operations in contested environments for extended periods of time through heightened tensions and conflict by significantly enhancing or reducing or eliminating the need for replenishment or sustainment.


DESCRIPTION: A contested logistics environment means an environment in which armed forces engage in conflict with an adversary that presents challenges in all domains and directly targets logistics operations, facilities, and activities in the United States, abroad, or in transit from one location to the other. State and non-state actors employ space, cyberspace, and electromagnetic spectrum (EMS) capabilities, as well as information operations, against friendly naval forces. Adversaries may use these capabilities in attempts to deny, degrade, and exploit our use of our historic command, control, communications, computer, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR) strengths. Resilient logistics connects the foundry to the Fleet, is enabled by secure communications and information technology, and includes all activities and technologies needed to refuel, rearm, resupply, repair, and revive distributed naval forces down to the last tactical mile. Please indicate the technology area of interest within the Abstract section of the Cover Sheet, Volume 1. The technology areas of interest are:

  • NEXT-GENERATION LOGISTICS AIRCRAFT. Design refinement/experimentation of tactical unmanned resupply aircraft that are attritable and/or offer reduced detectability (last-tactical mile delivery); large capacity, intra-theater, cargo and medevac aircraft which are not reliant upon large airfields. Short takeoff and landing (STOL), vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL), novel shipboard launch and recovery and automated cargo handling systems. Air to Air refueling capability.
  • AIRCRAFT BATTLE-DAMAGE REPAIR. Non-destructive inspection methods; expedient battle-damage analysis and safe flight envelope modification; composite and low-observable materiel repairs; fiber-optic repairs; damage tolerant/resistant structures and systems; access to maintenance data with limited or no reachback to home station.
  • REDUCED FUEL/SUPPLY DEMAND. Increased energy efficiency and/or methods to generate energy or fuel substitutes for aircraft and support equipment. Electric or Hybrid-Electronic STOL/ VTOL systems. Reliable engines for UAVs that utilize common, existing aviation fuels. Reduced consumable usage and/or ability to manufacture consumables and limited-life parts in austere locations.
  • LOGISTICS C3 IMPROVEMENTS. Sense and avoid systems for UAS. Increased autonomy for unmanned resupply aircraft. Alternative PNT systems, including optical ship-relative navigation. Reduced data-exchange requirements. Low Probability of Intercept/Detection (LPI/D) communications methods. Innovative air traffic control and/ or space de-confliction systems.


PHASE I: The DON is planning to issue multiple Phase I awards for this topic but reserves the right to issue no awards. Each Phase I proposal must include a Base and Option period of performance. The Phase I Base must have a period of performance of four (4) months at a cost not to exceed $75,000. The Phase I Option must have a period of performance of six (6) months at a cost not to exceed $100,000.

Phase I feasibility will describe the existing proposed technology, existing DON system(s) to improve, modifications required, anticipated improvements to existing capabilities, impacts to current logistics if any (i.e., transportation, storage, maintenance, safety, etc.) and transition approach to the DON system. Results of Phase I will be detailed in a final technical report (Final Report).


Phase I deliverables include:

  • Kick-Off Briefing, due 15 days from start of Base award
  • Final Report, due 120 days from start of Base award
  • Initial Phase II Proposal, due 120 days from start of Base award


PHASE II: All Phase I awardees may submit an Initial Phase II proposal for evaluation and selection. The evaluation criteria for Phase II is the same as Phase I (as stated in this BAA). The Phase I Final Report and Initial Phase II Proposal will be used to evaluate the small business concern’s potential to adapt commercial products to fill a capability gap, improve performance, or modernize an existing capability for DON and transition the technology to Phase III. Details on the due date, content, and submission requirements of the Initial Phase II Proposal will be provided by the awarding SYSCOM either in the Phase I contract or by subsequent notification.


The scope of the Phase II effort will be specific to each project but is generally expected to harden, ruggedize, and/or marinize the technology for integration into an operational environment. The outcome to be a working prototype that can be tested and/or certified, including a fielding approach (including updated logistics and safety consideration) and further commercialization (non-DoD), if appropriate.


PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Field capability and logistics support.



  1. Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Navigation Plan. Released January 2021, Updated 2022.
  2. Force Design 2030. Strategic guidance for surviving and thriving inside contested spaces. Integrated planning teams study and analyze the concepts for validation and refinement.
  3. O’Rourke, Brian. "Prepare for Contested Logistics." US Naval Institute. Vol. 148/4/1,430. April 2022


KEYWORDS: contested logistics; next-generation logistics aircraft; battle-damage repair; reduced fuel/supply demand; logistics C3 improvement

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