Monday, December 16, 2013

Defense Dept. to Spend Up to $4B for R&D on Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction

    A Request For Information by the defense department's Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) in July 2011 culminated this month in contract awards to seven different companies worth up to $4 billion over the next ten years.  The contract awards, posted in a notice entitled Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction Research and Technology Development, went to some well known defense contractors including Raytheon and Northrop Grumman.  Despite the $4 billion ceiling, the contracts come with a guaranteed minimum of only $100,000 for each of the seven companies as the work will be parceled out on an Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) basis, which is typical in these types of projects.
    The documents with the original Request For Information give the background on the project:
The mission of the DTRA Research and Development (RD) Enterprise is to reduce national defense and homeland security WMD threats by conducting innovative research and development supporting the nation's WMD-related counterforce, consequence assessment, defeat and arms control objectives. Potential WMD threats include Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and High Explosive (CBRNE) materials. In support of this mission, the RD Enterprise is seeking a multiple-source capability for performing research, technology development; technical, scientific and program analyses; and systems integration efforts that will provide scientific and technological solutions to meet the Department of Defense’s nonproliferation, counterproliferation, consequence management and warfighter mission objectives.
    The process stretched over more than two years and included various briefing, an Industry Day for potential contract recipients, and dozen of revisions and amendments.  And the Defense Department is not through.  Just a day after the awards were released, the DTRA announced another Industry Day as part of its "market research" entitled "Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Situational Awareness,Intelligence, Operations, and Data Visualization Support" to be held December 17 in Arlington, VA.

Note: A version of this article first appeared at The Weekly Standard.

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