Aug. 19 (UPI) -- A new U.S. Navy information warfare project received a two-year extension and $400 million ceiling increases, the Navy announced.
James Guerts, assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition, approved a funding ceiling increase and extension for the Information Warfare Research Project of the Naval Information Warfare Systems Command.
The project now has a $500 million ceiling and a five-year performance period, the San Diego-based The Naval Information Warfare Systems Command [NAVWAR] said Tuesday.
IWRP began in 2018 and uses a consortium-based approach in offering an alternative acquisition method called an Other Transaction Authority to streamline the acquisition process, rapidly develop prototypes and provide advanced technologies to the fleet, NAVWAR added.
The 580-member consortium of U.S. businesses and research centers focuses on technology areas including tools for cyber warfare,autonomous systems, cloud computing and data analytics, sectors regarded by the Defense Department as exploitable by enemies. Its streamlined techniques prompted an extension of the budget and timetable, officials said.
"IWRP has been a game changer and has proven to be a key enabler in rapid delivery of IW [information warfare] capability to the warfighter," Nicole Stone, director of rapid prototyping at Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific, said in a press release.
"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."
Stone added that in the last 18 months, more than 800 opportunities were made available to members to partner and discuss prototyping projects.
"This incredible milestone is a first for the Navy and really highlights the way NAVWAR is leading the way in non-FAR [Federal Acquisition Regulations]-based acquisitions in order to provide rapid capabilities to our sailors and Marines," said Kevin Charlow, Naval Information Warfare Center Atlantic deputy executive director.