U.S. Navy surface warfare experts are reaching out to industry for identification of technologies that enhance and/or accelerate military capabilities which directly address irregular, expeditionary, and Naval Special Warfare (NSW) capability challenges by meeting operational needs.
The Navy’s primary objective for this BAA is to develop operational capabilities that enable available technologies to confront current and future expeditionary challenges, including irregular warfare, and to fill capability gaps for NSW and mission support organizations such as Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD).
The desired technologies are those that enable NSW forces to conduct cross-domain special reconnaissance, counterterrorism, direct action, irregular warfare, foreign internal defense, and other urgent/emergent needs per the discretion of OPNAV N95. Navy researchers are interested in new technologies that could be ready within one year, based on prototype demonstrations in realistic environments.
The Navy in January 2010 published a vision statement for countering irregular challenges, which stated in part: The U.S. Navy will meet irregular challenges through a flexible, agile, and broad array of multi-mission capabilities. We will emphasize Cooperative Security as part of a comprehensive government approach to mitigate the causes of insecurity and instability. We will operate in and from the maritime domain with joint and international partners to enhance regional security and stability, and to dissuade, deter, and when necessary, defeat irregular forces.
Navy Counterterrorism (CT) Operations
In General Navy CT operations (and anti-terrorism/force protection activities) at various points since the late 1990s, and particularly in the years following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, have included the following:
- Operations by Navy special operations forces, known as SEALs (an acronym standing for Sea, Air, and Land), that have been directed against terrorists;
- Tomahawk cruise missile attacks on suspected terrorist training camps and facilities, such as those reportedly conducted in Somalia on March 3 and May 1, 2008, and those conducted in 1998 in response to the 1998 terrorist bombings of U.S. embassies in East Africa;
- Surveillance by Navy ships and aircraft of suspected terrorists overseas;
- Maritime intercept operations (MIO) that were aimed at identifying and Intercepting terrorists or weapons of mass destruction at sea, or potentially threatening ships or aircraft that are in or approaching U.S. territorial waters—an activity that has included Navy participation in the multilateral Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI);
- Protection of forward-deployed Navy ships, an activity that was intensified following the terrorist attack on the Navy Aegis destroyer Cole (DDG-67) in October 2000 in the port of Aden, Yemen
- Protection of domestic and overseas Navy bases and facilities;
- Working with the Coast Guard to build maritime domain awareness (or MDA, meaning a real-time understanding of activities on the world’s oceans), and engaging with the U.S. Coast Guard to use the National Strategy for Maritime Security to more rapidly develop capabilities for Homeland Security, particularly in the area of MDA;
- Assisting the Coast Guard in port-security operations;
- Developing Global Maritime Intelligence Integration (GMII) as part of Joint Force Maritime Component Command (JFMCC) and Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA); and
- Operations by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), for which combating terrorism is a core mission area.
BAA’s Specific areas of emphasis:
- Technologies that support and/or improve the numerous elements of the Mine Warfare “Detect to engage” operational scenario including but not limited to improved detection and classification sensors across varied environments (resolution, localization), buried mine detection (land & sea), automated target recognition, Computer-aided Detection/Computer-Aided classification (CAD/CAC), real time data transfer of high resolution sonar data, and Over The Horizon (OTH) Communications (2 way) for large volumes of raw sonar data and C2 direction to off board unmanned platforms.
- Technologies that extend the endurance, improves autonomy and survivability of off board sensor/sweep/neutralization platforms including but not limited to extended-life energy systems and/or forward deployed, autonomous refueling/data transfer stations and platform signature control.
- Technologies that support and/or improve elements associated with Maritime Mining capabilities across all water depths including but not limited to improved aerial/surface/subsurface delivery options, multi-modal sensors for increased target discrimination, undersea networking, OTH communications with sensors and/or weapons, improved undersea weapons effects and effects based optimization and planning tools.
Naval Special Warfare:
- Technologies that improve/enhance multi-intelligence, multi-spectral sensors that provide greater situational awareness for manned and unmanned surface/sub-surface mobility platforms specifically in the littorals.
- Technologies that improve/enhance power/energy systems in support of manned/unmanned maritime mobility platforms that will safely interface with host surface/sub-surface support platforms.
- Technologies that improve/enhance human performance/effectiveness while operating under harsh maritime conditions with or without personal protective equipment.
- Technologies that improve/enhance day/night vision enhancement capabilities.
- Technologies that provide low profile, multi-spectrum, and multi-sensor capabilities; packaged within existing maritime mobility platforms’ C2 footprint.
Navy Expeditionary Combat:
- Technologies that improve the warfighter’s ability to interact with target populations, identify threat activities, solve complex problems and adapt to situations faster than an adversary.
- Technologies that enhance naval construction, disaster preparation and recovery efforts.
- Technologies that improve the warfighter’s capability to analyze and handle foreign and domestic explosives, counter explosive hazards, including improvised explosive devices(IEDs), weapons of mass destruction (WMD), underwater mines and other weaponry.
- Technologies that enhance the ability to operate in harbors, rivers, bays, across the littorals and ashore including maritime security operations, high value asset defense and escort, protection of critical maritime infrastructure, and the conduct of offensive combat operations.
- Technologies that improve expeditionary force access to multi-intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities at the tactical level, enhancing the ability to gain access to areas and environments that are constrained by national and theater level ISR assets.