Correction: This story and headline have been corrected to clarify that the Information Warfare Research Project received a ceiling increase.
WASHINGTON — An information warfare project run by Naval Information Warfare Systems Command (NAVWAR) recently received a ceiling increase of hundreds of millions of dollars after a successful first 18 months, NAVWAR announced Aug. 17.
NAVWAR’s Information Warfare Research Project (IWRP), which uses an agile acquisition tool known as an Other Transaction Authority to quickly contract for and deliver IW tools, recently received a $400 million ceiling boost and two-year performance period extension after hitting its $100 million ceiling a year before the project was set to expire next summer.
The massive bump was approved by Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition James Geurts. The project, which kicked off in October 2018, now has a $500 million ceiling and a five-year performance period.
America’s adversaries have targeted the military’s weaknesses via information warfare in recent years and as a result the Department of Defense has made a series of moves to reorganize and better defend against such threats.
“IWRP has proven its effectiveness and successfulness as a streamlined approach to rapid prototyping,” said Jee Youn Fickling, IWRP program manager at Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC) Atlantic, in a statement. “As interest increases to do more prototyping in order to keep up with the pace of technology, IWRP OTA offers the flexibility and speed within 14 technology areas. The growth in interest from IWRP users across many Navy and Marine Corps commands and program offices and the growth in the size of the consortium, speaks volumes to the need to quickly make awards for prototypes.”
The project focuses on technology areas that include tools for cyber warfare, autonomous systems, cloud computing and data analytics.
IWRP partners with industry and academia through a consortium managed by Advanced Technology International, a non-profit that builds research and development partnerships. In the last 18 months, the IWRP has released more than 800 prototyping opportunities, according to the NAVWAR press release. The consortium has more than 580 partners.
IWRP users include NAVWAR, NIWC Atlantic, NIWC Pacific, Naval Sea Systems Command Logistics, Maintenance and Industrial Operations, Program Executive Office (PEO) for Digital Enterprise Services, PEO for Manpower, Logistics and Business Solutions, PEO Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence Space Systems, PEO Integrated Warfare Systems, Marine Corps Systems Command, Naval Analytics Office and Office of Naval Research.
“IWRP has been a game changer and has proven to be a key enabler in rapid delivery of IW capability to the warfighter,” said Nicole Stone, director of rapid prototyping – information warfare at NIWC Pacific, in a statement. “Collaboration with our partners in industry, small business and academia, with the flexibility necessary to adapt to evolving requirements, is critical to our success in winning the fight. IWRP provides that platform for us.”