The Department of Defense (DoD) recently announced the second set of projects to receive funding via the pilot program to Accelerate the Procurement and Fielding of Innovative Technologies (APFIT).
The APFIT pilot program is aimed at facilitating the swift transition of technologies from the development phase to production, expediting their deployment to benefit the warfighter. In the fiscal year 2022, an allocation of $100 million was dedicated to APFIT, enabling ten Department of Defense (DoD) programs to receive $10 million each for the purpose of accelerating their production and fielding processes. The funding provided by APFIT plays a crucial role in delivering capabilities that contribute to the success of military operations 1-2 years ahead of schedule. Additionally, it supports the health of the US Industrial base by making investments in small businesses and nontraditional defense-developed capabilities. In the fiscal year 2023, Congress has further appropriated $150 million for the APFIT program.
“I am thrilled to see the increased support from Congress for the APFIT program,” said Heidi Shyu, Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering. “This flexible funding is helping to transform the way the Department quickly pivots to procure and field warfighting capability, across the military services and defense agencies.
“This pilot program is a critical tool to help us bridge the ‘valley of death’ and transition capabilities to the warfighter quicker than previously planned. The companies being funded will fill crucial capability gaps. Without APFIT funding, these capabilities could take years longer to field.”
APFIT was introduced as a competitive and merit-based program under the National Defense Authorization Act of FY22. It aims to support the adoption of innovative and mature technologies and products that have the potential to fulfill warfighter requirements but currently lack the necessary funding for fielding. The program provides individual funding awards ranging from $10 million to $50 million for each defense program. In the fiscal year 2023, eleven Department of Defense (DoD) program offices have been designated to receive APFIT funding. These program offices will utilize the allocated funding to procure innovative technologies from small businesses or vendors that are nontraditional defense contractors.
Recently announced APFIT Funding Projects
- Commercial Satellite Communications Terminals, U.S. Marine Corps, $15.0M, Bascom Hunter Technologies, Louisiana
- Establishes a fully automated production line and initial procurement of transportable satellite terminals to provide assured Naval capability to leverage the latest Low Earth Orbit and Mid Earth Orbit satellite communication constellations.
- Common Air-Launched Munitions Radio, U.S. Air Force, $10.0M, Integrated Solutions for Systems, Inc., Alabama
- Initial low rate procurement of software defined munitions radios and Technical Data Package to support integration of weapons data links in future USAF weapons.
- Integrated Air Defense Cameras, Defense Innovation Unit, $16.77M, Teleidoscope, California
- Procurement of initial upgraded electro optical/infrared cameras with enhanced capabilities to improve airspace awareness.
- Minuteman III Code Wheel Replacement, Defense Logistics Agency, $10.0M, BC Engineering Products, New Jersey
- Procurement of new code wheels for replacement of units in the Minuteman III Missile that are ~40 years beyond planned service life using advanced manufacturing techniques and processes to retain form, fit, and function.
- Mixed Reality Pilot Training Devices, U.S. Marine Corps, $10.0M, Bowhead Professional & Technical Solutions, LLC, Virginia
- Procurement of affordable, smaller, mixed-reality T-45C flight training simulators to augment legacy full-size flight simulators.
- Modern Commercial Weather Satellites, U.S. Space Force, $10.3M, Tomorrow.io, Massachusetts
- Procurement and launch of two affordable commercial weather sensing satellites to augment the existing commercially-owned, managed, and sustained weather constellation to support weather data-as-a-service use by the military.
- Multi-Platform Anti-Jam Global Positioning System Antennas, U.S. Army, $19.97M, Mayflower Communications, Inc., Massachusetts
- Accelerated procurement of sufficient quantities to achieve optimum price break of anti-jam antennas for fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft.
- Network Enhancements for Contested Environments, U.S. Navy, $10.0M, Adaptive Dynamics Inc, California and Caliola Engineering, Colorado
- Procurement and integration of software into existing joint tactical radio systems that leverage modified software techniques for enhancing communications in contested environments.
- Tactical Passive Radar for Counter Unmanned Air Systems (UAS), U.S. Army, $10.0M, Hidden Level, Inc., New York
- Procurement of platform agnostic, day/night, modular passive radar capability for small UAS detection and tracking.
- Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV) Range Extension using Beyond-Line-of-Sight Communications, U.S. Navy, $10.0M, Maritime Applied Physics Corp., Maryland
- Initial low rate procurement of USVs and supporting communication systems to enable beyond-line-of-site operations.
- Vertical Take-off and Landing (VTOL) Capable Fixed-Wing Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance Small UAS, U.S. Special Operations Command, $20.0M, Quantum-Systems Inc., California
- Accelerated procurement of Fixed-Wing Small UAS with integrated VTOL capabilities.
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