Mission: Start the Foundry Smelting, A Hardware Pipeline Choose Your Own Adventure

Subject: Mission: Start the Foundry Smelting, A Hardware Pipeline Choose Your Own Adventure
Solicitation Number: N0002424R5200
Notice Type: SRCSGT
NAICS: 334511
Notice Published: 09-21-23
Response Due: 10-02-23

Agency: Department of the Navy
Contact: Stephanie Little This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Ph: (202) 781-1370
Office Address: WASHINGTON NAVY YARD, DC 20376-5000

Related Notices:
        09-05-23 SRCSGT

        12-06-23 SNOTE

        09-25-23 SRCSGT

Click for official SAM (FBO) notice, additional information, and accompanying attachments

RFI Purpose The Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), Program Executive Office Integrated Warfare Systems X (PEO IWS X) is requesting information to identify sources capable of meeting requirements for the Navys Surface Fleet hardware pipeline The Foundry. The Foundry will replace legacy hardware obsolescence management and technical evolution cycles and processes. As a function of this process evolution, the Foundry shall replace legacy contracting types/vehicles supporting the Navy in areas such as Consoles, Displays & Peripherals (CDP), and Network, Processing & Storage (NPS). PEO IWS X and the Foundry Mission PEO IWS X, through The Foundry (and The Forge), is responsible for the delivery of the Integrated Combat System (ICS) and its underlying infrastructure across the Surface Force portfolio. The ICS supports the PEOs objective to align the organization, processes, and resources to develop a common, tailorable combat system to drive efficiency, increase the speed of delivery, and increase the system quality across all ICS platforms. The objective of the Foundry is a continuous computing infrastructure development process that eliminates single sources of supply, continuously validates and qualifies hardware products, maintains and updates an infrastructure catalog, manages an Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) software/middleware development process, and produces and sustains fielded systems to ensure the Navy has the most modern and capable combat system computing infrastructure (CI). Within the Foundry, the Navys computing infrastructure development and fielding processes shall keep pace with current technologies without any sacrifice to schedule or total ownership costs. Modern infrastructure provides the foundation for addressing emerging threats and enabling application introduction and updates that continuously increase systems capabilities and performance. Systems will be built with commonality and modularity that enable rapid update/upgrade, improving shipboard maintenance cycles and overall readiness. The ICS Hardware Program will support deployment to an array of ships and sites (e.g., large and small combatants, aircraft carriers, amphibious ships, and other related programs, including U.S. Coast Guard, Foreign Military Sales, and other proposed future ship classes). The ICS Hardware Program maintains commercial disciplines and services to include: Systems engineering practices Cybersecurity engineering Safety evaluation & engineering Product evaluation and selection Environmental Qualification Testing(EQT) Factory Acceptance Testing(FAT) Data Repository (e.g., procurement, tests, and configuration data) IaaS design and integration Prototyping, production and manufacturing processes Hardware, and software version release tracking Integrated logistics support (ILS) & maintenance Training The ICS is a Combat Management System of Systems and is programmatically composed of two programs: ICS Software and ICS Hardware. The Software Program designs, develops, and supports ICS software capabilities in support of mission execution for surface ships. The Hardware Program designs, procures, and supports the shipboard computing infrastructure, consoles, and peripherals for sailor interface with, and hosting of, the ICS software. The ICS SW program focuses on enabling the fielding of strategic updates at the Speed of Relevance. In order to do this, the U.S. Navy is evolving its combat system development, integration, and delivery lifecycle into a Government-owned DEVelop-SECure-OPerationS (DevSecOps)-focused paradigm in order to foster collaborative learning and collaborative relationships between development and operations, advance Lean, Agile principles, and respond rapidly to changing technological demands. Execution of this methodology transition led the U.S. Navy to establish a development and test ecosystem known as the Forge. The Forge provides a government furnished virtual and physical ecosystem to foster Agile software development using DevSecOps tools and principles. The ecosystem furnishes: development and integration environments and tools enabling Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) Pipeline(s) and testing against SIM/STIM services, an Innovation Hub, and teams of Product Owners enabling Agile development of mission applications supporting the delivery of capabilities to U.S Navy Surface Force and allied partners. The ICS HW program is responsible for providing the shipboard combat system compute infrastructure across the Surface Fleet. To take advantage of the DevSecOps benefits envisioned by The Forge, the PEO IWS X hardware team established The Foundry as the mechanism to enable continuous innovation and agility into the delivery and maintenance processes of the shipboard hardware. The Foundry focuses on delivering IaaS to accommodate the Combat Systems and Element compute, storage, and networking workloads across all PEO IWS equities. It enables abstraction of mission-relevant applications from the physical hardware through the use of virtualization technologies and software definable networking, enabling faster and more frequent capability deliveries without hardware modifications. The Foundry was established through the use of a flexible contracting structure leveraging Other Transaction Authorities (OTAs), enabling industry/government partnerships to rapidly prototype the continual integration of technology advancements and industry best practices into the Surface Fleet. The IaaS provided by The Foundry will enable The Forge to push software updates to the Fleet at the Speed of Relevance, instead of waiting for a major Ship Availability to update hardware and install a new Baseline of tightly coupled hardware and software provided as a unit. The ICS Hardware Program will deliver an IaaS suite providing universal infrastructure management, cybersecurity capabilities, and boundary defense capabilities, while enabling allocation of resources from the shipboard computing infrastructure to multiple tenants to support hosting combat system capabilities and software portions of combat system elements. In general, the computing infrastructure tenants will be comprised of, but not limited to, the following: platform combat system capabilities, integrated combat system capabilities, software components of combat system elements, and an isolated sandbox. The use of this IaaS approach creates a layer of software that interfaces with the hardware components on behalf of the mission software thus decoupling hardware and mission software. How is this any different than every other RFI Ive responded to? The Foundry was established to create new ways for enhanced industry (traditional, non-traditional, commercial, etc.) participation in all facets of the HW delivery process. The Government seeks all relevant information from a wide swath of industry to help us achieve the Foundrys mission goals. We have identified the major technical areas that we know about today. The Government also seeks to determine methods for solving todays problems while creating an adaptable model to enable us to solve tomorrow's problems. For example, have you experienced rapid acquisition approaches that have been mutually beneficial to you and the Government? What would make you excited to work with the Foundry? The Surface Fleet shipset hardware requirements include: Compute Infrastructure (Network Processing, and Storage), Consoles, Displays, Cabinets/Enclosures, Secure Voice Communication Systems, and the dynamic resourcing enabled through IaaS principles to optimize those components. This shipset is effectively a ruggedized disconnected data center. The Navy defines ruggedized as environmentally resilient (i.e., ability to withstand shock impact, temperature extremes, and other relevant parameters for ship use). The Foundry envisions four main areas that industry can provide value to the Government: Operations Control Design Production The Government does not expect or desire a single vendor to fulfill the entirety of the scope of these four elements. Companies may choose to respond to one or more areas or subareas. NAVSEA acknowledges that there are parts of this RFI that are for Navy-specific requirements and could be difficult for many companies/vendors to address. Thats okay! There will be fact-of-life limitations on some requirements in the ICS HW Program. Our goal is to abstract those areas to the maximum extent practicable so that we can collaborate with more companies looking to provide value to the Fleet. How will you support The Foundry? Experience and Performance Capability Provide whatever detail you can related to one or all of the below areas of interest. 1) Operations i) Hardware (HW) Pipeline Process ManagementThe Navy has transitioned to a HW Pipeline Process continuously delivering updates to pace technology and eliminate obsolescence risks. This process will provide better value for the fleet, but the ICS HW Program is seeking information on optimizing this process. What effective acquisition approaches has your company been a part of? What made that approach effective What experience does your company have in developing tools and processes to manage the delivery of a shipset-like system (aka Data Center style deliveries) for the Government? What experience does your company have in developing tools and processes to manage the delivery of a shipset-like system (aka Data Center style deliveries) for the private sector? What experience does your company have with Coordination with 3rd party Vendors and Government organizations? What may be leveraged from Industry that can support the Government? Assessment of vendor trends for COTS components Identification and assessment of readiness issues with weapon system equipment, and recommend cost effective remedies Sustainment analysis and reporting for efforts related to legacy and future systems, major weapon system upgrades or COTS components Analysis of vendor CI components and experience in identifying alternate acceptable solutions, implementing solutions selected after technical, cost, and schedule assessments, and validating the operability of the selected solution Approaches for continuous selection and qualification of IaaS monitoring and management, and hardware components comprising an IaaS resource pool, peripherals, and ancillary data exchange mechanisms, to include: enclosures, consoles, compute, networking, storage, displays, video conversion and distribution, data recording and offloading, power protection, electronic assemblies/sub-assemblies, hypervisors, etc. Approaches for conducting design and test reviews in an Agile framework where speed of a CI development and delivery pipeline is a major objective. What best practices has your company leveraged in working with a company or organization that is not the same type as your company (e.g., non-traditional with traditional small business, small business with traditional large business, traditional large business with academia, etc.)? How did this teaming impact the delivery of the end-product? ii) Diminishing Manufacturing Sources and Material Shortages (DMSMS) Unlike technology obsolescence, which occurs when hardware cannot fulfill a pending / updated capability or performance requirement(s), DMSMS can occur with new hardware designed for operation over a continual progression of required capability and/or performance increases. The result is a corresponding reduction or complete loss of hardware inventory from the primary procurement source(s). While traditional DMSMS mitigations often include unit buyouts to maximize hardware inventory in advance of future need, this option generally comes at a steep cost with little to no procurement negotiation flexibility. Efficient DMDMS mitigation requires ongoing awareness of hardware availabilities along with the range of viable supply chain options to ensure the problem is diagnosed and treated in advance of delivery need dates. It is critical that processes and tools used within The Foundry foster early detection and prompt, affordable resolution of DMSMS issues to minimize and finally negate any downstream impacts to the Fleet. What current activities does your company carry out to track hardware DMSMS and obsolescence issues and successfully mitigate the associated supply chain impacts? Capable of Monitoring and Forecasting Diminishing Manufacturing Sources and Material Shortages (DMSMS) risks for COTS Hardware Capable of actively monitoring and assessing supply chain to ensure in-time availability, quality, affordability, and specifications compliance for all COTS Hardware within imposed sourcing constraints. iii) Software Version Release Tracking Software Asset Management (SAM) processes manage compliance with software vendor license use rights. Task automation provided by SAM tools is critical given the continually increasing role of disparate software applications w/ multiple release versions, which are often utilized in parallel. What experience does your company have in tracking and managing multiple software asset licenses across different software release versions and installation cycles? Does your company manage different licensing models within a particular SW application? How do we ensure that a license tail (past projects have left the Government with a need to continue to procure specific licenses long after the original contract) doesnt become cost prohibitive when fielded across multiple release platforms Capable of fully managing differing releases of Software products, Firmware, and associated Licensing. iv)Product Support Central to the Foundry mission is the rapid delivery of updated systems to meet the continuing progression of Fleet requirements. Integrated Product Support (IPS) traditionally includes multiple overlapping areas: Product Support Management, Design Interface, Sustainment Engineering, Supply Support, Maintenance Planning and Management, Packaging, Handling, Storage, and Transportation (PHS&T), Technical Data, Support Equipment, Training and Training Support, Manpower and Personnel, Facilities and Infrastructure, and Information Technology (IT) Systems Continuous Support. Accordingly, it also requires substantial documentation, coordination, and administration across the entire set of product stakeholders. Consistent with The Foundrys emphasis on agile development and continuous delivery, PEO IWS is highly interested in innovative Product Support approaches and methods that optimize life cycle cost while ensuring operational capabilities remain at the highest readiness level. This optimization requires streamlining and automating Product Support functions without sacrificing timely, effective outcomes. What is your experience with providing Product Support to (i) the Government, and to (ii) commercial customers? What Product Support best practices may be leveraged from commercial industry? What configuration management, inventory, coordination, data-sharing, and planning tools have your company utilized to efficiently manage Product Support? What key metrics have your company identified to monitor Product Support outcomes against system requirements, and minimize risk given limited available resources? What strategic approaches have your company developed and employed that reduce demand for product support activities over a systems lifetime? How has your company addressed dynamic resource allocation necessary for timely Product Support? Specific items of Navy interest include, but are not limited to: Experience in the use of Capability Requirements Roadmaps to establish hardware update cycles / timelines Experience in monitoring technology trends to accurately forecast technology maturation relevant to future capabilities. Experience in the application of capabilities margin, and the use of Design for Adaptability (DfA) engineering methods to facilitate affordable downstream capabilities updates Experience in establishing and managing integrated supply chains of best-value providers to ensure consistent HW component availability, quality, and affordability through robust competition, and minimize DMSMS impacts Experience in configuring efficient integrated logistics services to optimize transit and delivery times. Experience in developing & executing Product Support Agreements (a.k.a., Product Support Arrangements) that maximize targeted outcomes Experience with implementing novel training methods & processes to ensure consistently high levels of operator knowledge and competence that keep pace with system capability updates. 2) Control i)Digital Models, Configuration Management, Data Management, HW Pipeline Governance and Change Control As the Navy transitions to flexible, modular equipment designs, the resulting system configuration management will need to evolve to support installations across multiple ship classes. What experience does your company have with maintaining Configuration Management of a System of Systems Configuration management and tracking models for electronic assemblies/sub-assemblies What experience does your company have with compliance with the NIST 800 and supporting the Government in that process? Does your company have experience with supporting HW changes of a mission-critical system? CM processes in the commercial sector Support to the Government in a change control board process Experience migrating a mission-critical system from a manual review process to an automated pipeline process Real value of CM vs documentation for documentations sake ii)Integration and Testing PEO IWS X is evaluating the need for a physical integration site for all HW components. The ICS HW program requests information on integration services, capacity, and facilities (potentially a Government facility) for assembly, integration of IaaS and CI, configuration of IaaS and CI, and integration testing of IaaS and CI configurations for verification and validation (V&V). The ICS HW team is evaluating having other Foundry suppliers/vendors deliver the System of System elements (e.g., enclosures, consoles, electronic assemblies/sub-assemblies, and technical documentation) to the Integration Agent if required by change control boards. What is your companys experience regarding having a design agent separate from an integration agent? Has your company supported the Government in migrating from physical integration to digital integration? What are lessons learned from that process? What experience does your company have incorporating parts from multiple suppliers in a hardware assembly and integration site Capability to use the same set of automation test scripts that is used to test new software builds onto existing computing infrastructure and used to test known good software builds in the face of computing infrastructure (CI or IaaS) changes Experience collecting test results Experience in troubleshooting and resolving test failures Experience performing V&V of assembled cabinet performance Experience supporting shipyard personnel for installation and troubleshooting of enclosure, console, and/or electronic subassemblies Experience installing and testing of IaaS and Cybersecurity SW Tools 3)Lead Design Architect(s) The Navy is considering employing a single design agent to meet the requirements of the full shipset. The Navy is interested in responses to each technology area described below. What experience does your company have in developing full shipsets or shipset-like deliveries? What challenges has your company experienced when the Government has chosen to have a single designer for each technology area? When multiple designers were utilized, what steps were taken to ease the administrative burden on the Government? i)Common, Modular Computing Infrastructure (CI) Solutions The ICS HW program requests a description of your current activities in designing and developing enterprise CI solutions for mission-critical systems. The Navy is interested in the company describing their experience with executing rolling or continuous CI improvements on tactical CI equipment. The Navy envisions that Industry, in collaboration with the Technical Direction Agent (TDA) role of the government, will define solutions for Enclosures, Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) CI Components, CI Electronic Assemblies / Sub-Assemblies that are fully hatchable for installation efficiency, and modular for future upgrade efficiency. The Navy defines hatchable as being able to get through the standard ship opening, which can vary according to the platform. Industry will provide common solutions across multiple Ship Classes to the greatest extent possible, while also defining unique solutions to meet critical performance requirements or export compliance. Specific items of Navy interest include, but are not limited to: Capability to concurrently manage and deliver multiple CI design configurations to include configuration control of all modules or system parts through an automated method Approaches to modular electronic cabinets with a focus on potential separate shipyard deliveries for enclosures/consoles from their respective internal COTS assembly payloads Approaches to effective and efficient CI design and delivery with a model to manage future capabilities upgrades and component obsolescence Processes/procedures required to establish, and sustain an evolving COTS-based CI architecture Design of resilient network architectures to include physically separated control networks Experience in providing CI architectural guidance recommendations to enable the Navy to meet CI architecture vision and goals Experience in Equipment Status, Component Monitoring and Management Interface Proposing CI metrics and data reporting that will enable the Navy to assess the Contractors CI design efforts Approaches to Ship Integration / Compartment configurations such as ship services aggregation points for future compartment reconfiguration or upgrade Experience with both the unique installation challenges of the Surface Combatant fleet and in providing resulting solutions at scale Experience in producing Ship Integration data Experience managing and performing environmental qualification testing (EQT) Approaches for interfacing/integrating with legacy equipment interfaces (e.g. NTDS) while identifying approaches and strategies for legacy interface retirement ??????????????ii)Common, Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) Solutions The Navy requests the company describe their current activities in designing and developing enterprise IaaS solutions using readily available COTS SW Products. The Navy is interested in the company describing their experience with executing rolling or continuous IaaS improvements on tactical CI equipment. Specific items of Navy interest include, but are not limited to the companys: Experience with hypervisors, managing abstraction layers, and virtualization techniques to meet IaaS requirements Experience in implementing Orchestration and Automation to IaaS solutions Capability to automate the configuration of all infrastructure components and leverage processes to install, configure and update Capability to implement a single dashboard to fully manage and monitor the IaaS and IaC Experience in generating system performance metrics and associated dashboards Experience in Cybersecurity best practices and in leveraging Cybersecurity SW Tools 4) Production Agent(s) ??????????????i)Production of equipment, electronic assemblies/sub-assemblies The Navy is interested in vendors who can manufacture the required Cabinets, Enclosures, Consoles, Displays, Electronic Assemblies and Electronic Sub-Assemblies using 3D CAD Models developed as a function of the Foundry. The Navy envisions shorter, multiple order procurements of equipment, assemblies and sub-assemblies to field in new construction or modernization programs as well as COTS refreshes of existing combat systems in fielded surface ships. Interested companies must also summarize their US-based contracts and production capacity. Companies should demonstrate experience with ruggedized CI production programs to include computing, network, storage, and display. What is your companys capacity to support short-term production of one of the technology areas? What challenges have you encountered with Production and Design being separate? What best practices have you instituted to reduce schedule and integration risk? Have you experienced an acquisition approach that is mutually beneficial to your company and to the Government? Was stepladder pricing utilized? How can we increase small business and non-traditional involvement in the Production phase? What challenges have you encountered in coordinating deliveries with the Government and/or other supporting vendors and what steps were taken to mitigate those challenges? If a non-traditional defense contractor, why havent you bid on DoD Production efforts in the past? Specific items of Navy interest include, but are not limited to: Planning and implementing a production program for computing, networking, storage and display systems or electronic modules for DoD Experience in transitioning digital design models to the production environment Managing all production aspects of the compute, storage, data distribution, and networks CI production program Relationship with trusted suppliers in the COTS electronics vendor base Capability to produce Work Instructions Experience with the NIST 800 and supply chain compliance ii)Production Engineering Services Interested industry responders should describe the companys capabilities and experience in providing engineering services for developing and updating digital design models especially if received from an outside party (Government or Industry). The Navy is also interested in industrys experience in transitioning to a cloud-based design documentation and change request construct that may involve numerous 3rd party production companies along with the design agents and/or Integration Agents. Descriptions of company experience in supporting other DoD programs should include the vendors role, scope of effort, and benefits of a similar approach for the Navy ???????iii)Domestic Sourcing / Export Control The Navy anticipates that some of the technology/technical data may be restricted from disclosure based on export control. Domestic sourcing restrictions may also be implicated. The Navy requests that respondents address these areas with respect to the capability they offer. In particular, and for example, respondents shall explain anticipated compliance with DFARS 252.225-7007 Prohibition on Acquisition of Certain Items from Communist Chinese Military Companies if their capabilities fall within the export control jurisdiction and classification described in that clause. 5) Other: i)Metrics The Navy is interested in the company proposing hardware metrics and data reporting that will enable the Navy to assess the Contractors hardware design efforts. What is your experience with tracking metrics in other branches of the government and within private industry? What metrics give false positives to system health? ii)Coordination with Production Vendors The company should provide best practices for teaming with small businesses, non-traditional DoD businesses, and academia. The company should describe how small businesses, non-traditional DoD businesses, and academia would be coordinated to achieve Navy hardware goals. iii) Other Other What have we not thought of? What questions arent we asking that we should? What have you always wanted to tell the Government but havent had the opportunity? Barriers to Development and Delivery Please identify any obstacles to the development and delivery of enterprise hardware in such areas as: classification requirements, Government system engineering, Government approval process, domestic sourcing restrictions, export controls, integration with other vendors, and/or scope of effort. Please identify any obstacles to competition for the proposed scope areas described above such as: classification requirements, Government system engineering, Government approval process, and integration/coordination with other vendors and/or suppliers, facility requirements for integration and validation/verification, and/or proposed scope areas. In addition, the company should recommend viable solutions or mitigation paths for the Navy to overcome the obstacles. RFI Responses Interested companies should provide a response on or before 5:00 pm EST, 25 September 2023. The submission should include one electronic (virus scanned and free of virus) copy sent via e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please include the RFI Title in the subject of the e-mail. All information received that includes proprietary markings will be handled in accordance with applicable statutes and regulations. Proprietary information, if any, must be clearly marked. To aid the Government in its review and evaluation, please segregate proprietary information. Please be advised that all submissions become Government property and will not be returned. Respondents shall mark any data included in its submissions that they do not want disclosed to the public for any purpose. An acknowledgement of receipt will be provided for all responses received. If you do not receive an acknowledgement within two working days, please notify the points of contact listed in this notice. Instructions Any responses, questions and/or comments/feedback to the Component Definitions and MBSE model are encouraged. All responses should be UNCLASSIFIED. Requested format for submissions are a white paper similar narrative (companys format). Submissions shall be type-written for clarity in Microsoft Word or searchable Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format (PDF) and no more than 10 (ten) pages. Companies may submit 1 (one) white paper for each area of interest that they are responding to. Required Information Required information is exempt from the 10 page limit. Provide company name, address, DUNS number, CAGE code, tax identification number, designated representative name(s) and point of contact, including phone numbers and e-mail addresses. If a small business, identify type of small business (e.g. 8(a), HUBZone, service-disabled veteran-owned (SDVOSB), economically disadvantaged women-owned (EDWOSB), or women-owned (WOSB)). Next Steps This RFI is in advance of an Industry Day planned for Q1 FY24. Date and location is TBD. Please continue to monitor SAM.gov for the industry day notice. DISCLOSURE: This notice is not a request for proposals and is not to be construed as a commitment by the Government to issue a solicitation; it does not constitute a solicitation or a promise to issue a solicitation in the future. This RFI does not commit the Government to contract for any supply or service whatsoever. Further, the Navy is not at this time seeking proposals and will not accept unsolicited proposals. This notice does not obligate the Government to award a contract or otherwise pay for the information provided in response. The information provided in this RFI is preliminary and does not reflect approved Government specifications. The Government will not reimburse the cost of any submission or other expense in response to this RFI the entire cost of any submission or other expense will be at the sole expense of the source submitting the information. Respondents are advised that the Government is under no obligation provide feedback to respondents with respect to any information submitted. Respondents Failure to respond to this RFI does not preclude participation in any future solicitation, if any is issued. If a solicitation is issued, it will be synopsized on the System for Award Management (SAM) website at (SAM.gov). ...