CRANE, Ind. –Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division (NSWC Crane) recently received its first primary authority from the Department of Navy (DoN) to drive advanced microelectronics technology to the fleet. This Other Transaction Authority (OTA), called Strategic and Spectrum Missions Advanced Resilient Trusted Systems (S2MARTS) OTA, conducts prototype projects under 10 USC 2371b. (Prototyping Other Transactions (OTs)).

OTs are legally binding instruments that may be used to engage industry and academia for a broad range of research and prototyping activities. NSWC Crane was the third Navy organization to establish its own OTA vehicle for prototypes.

“This authority signals a new and exciting time for Crane and the DoD concerning Government contracting opportunities,” said Jordan Schnarr, NSWC Crane Agreements Officer.  “Our strategy with S2MARTS will increase collaboration with a larger industry base that will produce opportunities for faster, flexible, and more innovative solutions for the warfighter.”

Allen Tillerson, an Engineer at NSWC Crane, says this collaborative effort stemmed from a need.

“Technology changes rapidly,” says Tillerson. “In order to serve Strategic Missions and Spectrum Warfare mission areas, NSWC Crane started the process nearly two years ago to enable agile acquisition of critical, state-of-the art technology like Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. This allows us to get technology to the fleet while it is still relevant.”

Shaun Davis, a Business Operations Lead at NSWC Crane, says the OTA process allows for flexible and rapid acquisition in order to leverage the latest commercial technology to integrate into the DoD. Specifically, 2371b is used to acquire prototype capabilities for both dual use and defense specific projects.

“The typical Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR)-based acquisition process can take twelve months before we see an award,” says Davis. “There are many non-traditional companies, like startups and small businesses that a FAR acquisition process isn’t suited for because they don’t have the manpower or resources. The S2MARTS OTA allows us to make prototypes much quicker so that we can fail early, adapt, and implement more effective and robust technology into military weapons and systems. Effectively using S2MARTS could save an estimated twenty percent.”

Originally posted on Naval Sea Systems Command.

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