FICS_CI_SS_541512 – Sources Sought – RFI – Future Integrated Combat System Infrastructure-as-a-Service & Computing Infrastructure (541512)

Aug 26, 2020 | Sources Sought

This is a Request for Information (RFI) as defined in FAR 15.201(e). The Navy is requesting information regarding industry’s capabilities and related experience for the Future Integrated Combat System (FICS) Computing Infrastructure (CI) architecture and continuous hardware refresh of the current and future Navy Surface Fleet, including large and small surface combatants, aircraft carriers, amphibious ships, and other related programs including U.S. Coast Guard, AEGIS Foreign Military Sales, and proposed future ship classes.

This RFI is being simultaneously released under multiple North American Industry Code System (NAICS) codes due to the inter-related scope and to elicit broad industry engagement.  Interested companies should only provide a single response to the RFI. The applicable NAICS codes are:

334511: Search, Detection, Navigation, Guidance, Aeronautical and Nautical System and Instrument Manufacturing.

541512: Computer Systems Design Services.

RFI Purpose:

For this RFI, the Department of the Navy, Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), Program Executive Office Integrated Warfare Systems (PEO IWS) would like to gauge industry interest and capacity to architect, implement, and migrate to a universally managed CI delivered as Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), across the U.S. Navy Surface Fleet. Systems engineering, design, development, test, documentation, integration, and other overarching engineering services required to implement the IaaS capability are listed as separate Interest Areas in Table 1.

Interest Area

A: Systems Engineering
B: IaaS Design & Integration
C: Technical Data Package
D: Production
E: DMSMS & SW Version Release Tracking
F: ILS, Maintenance and Operations Training

For background, PEO IWS’s vision is to migrate to a common, scalable intermittently connected edge cloud architecture using IaaS, enabling Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), to support the Surface Navy fielding in 2023 and thereafter.  The edge cloud architecture using IaaS comprises of networked equipment (cabinets, consoles, displays, etc.), network, compute and storage components, and the underlying software IaaS layer that provisions the CI resources to the tenants (mission applications, etc.) that will reside on the CI.  In addition, the IaaS and PaaS layers will abstract the mission applications from the physical computing resources and automate the configuration of the entire CI through Infrastructure as Code.

The Navy will establish a Hardware (HW) Factory and HW Pipeline modeled after the flexible and adaptable continuous Development and Agile methodology in use by the commercial industry to facilitate the edge cloud architecture using IaaS (see Attachments).  The HW Factory and HW Pipeline will orchestrate maximum overlap with commercial standards and a continuous CI refresh cycle to pace technology development and minimize obsolescence. In addition, the HW Factory and HW Pipeline will streamline component selection, qualification, integration, life cycle support and training for the Fleet, leading to accelerated infrastructure development and fielding. The Navy envisions a continuous CI refresh cycle rapidly delivering improved Lethality, Combat Capability and Capacity to the Surface Navy Fleet to confront an increasing array of Strategic, Operational, and Tactical Challenges. Once the HW Factory and HW Pipeline are fully enacted, the required HW modifications may include changes to the entire CI or component-level changes to specific assemblies or sub-assemblies. The periodicity of the HW changes are yet to be determined as this new methodology to CI development evolves.   

The Navy is interested in feedback from industry describing relevant experience and capability for the proposed Interest Areas and performance capabilities listed in Section 2 of this RFI. The Government’s proposed Interest Areas to address the Navy’s Future Vision are outlined above; however, the Interest Areas are subject to interpretation and industry recommendations may be considered to support the Navy’s Vision for the FICS CI. The Navy has also provided additional background material on the Future CI initiative as an attachment to this RFI.

To ensure maximum opportunity for industry response, PEO IWS anticipates that interested parties may only have capabilities in select Interest Areas of the RFI.  PEO IWS welcomes partial responses to the Interest Areas noting that company information must be included in the response.

The outlined efforts will include defining and integrating IaaS solutions for the Surface Fleet moving forward.  This RFI is in conjunction with several industry interactions planned through the rest of CY 2020 and into CY 2021. PEO IWS is interested in the full potential of industry responses including small businesses.

Interested parties shall address the following in the RFI submission:

  1. Company Information

    • Provide company name, address, DUNS number, CAGE code, facility clearance level, tax identification number, designated representative name(s) and point of contact, including phone numbers and e-mail addresses.
    • Provide number of employees employed by company, and annual revenue/receipts for the last three (3) completed company fiscal years.
    • Identify contracts within the last five (5) years with similar scope and provide brief overview of company responsibilities.
    • If a small business, identify type of small business (e.g. 8(a), Hubzone, service-disabled veteran-owned, economically disadvantaged women-owned, or women-owned).
  2. Interest Areas of Experience and Performance Capability

    • Systems Engineering
      • Hardware (HW) Factory & HW Pipeline Process Management
        The Navy envisions a transition to a HW Factory and HW Pipeline Process continuously delivering IaaS to pace technology, eliminate obsolescence, and enable continuous design and development of CI solutions that meet ship needs with minimal deviation from commercial standards and practices.  Overarching management of the Hardware Factory and Hardware Pipeline will require interfacing with Government Stakeholders and other Interest Areas enabling the Pipeline to function smoothly by managing tasks as they flow through each stage of the Pipeline.  Systems engineering practices, including Agile Methodologies and Software tools, will be required to manage the Program. 
      • Model Based System Engineering (MBSE)
        As the Navy transitions away from Technology Insertions (TIs), moves toward continuous development and incorporates the HW Factory and HW Pipeline, the CI with IaaS System is required to migrate away from textual documentation and be fully modeled through MBSE.  

        Specific items of Navy interest include, but are not limited to:

        • Capable of building and maintaining MBSE Models using industry standard MBSE SW
        • Capable of producing reports and documentation from the MBSE Model
        • Capable of validating MBSE Models using industry standard best practices
        • Capable of conducting Systems Engineering Technical Review Milestone Events using MBSE Models
        • Capability to update CI based models to accommodate changing Stakeholder and System Requirements, changes in the CI System and Interfaces and changes in Integration, Verification and Validation Testing
        • Experience implementing an MBSE or similar process to create and maintain mapping, traceability, relation between Models, and relation to Model of Models
        • Capable of performing targeted and surgical upgrades within the infrastructure to support changing requirements
        • Experience in developing simulations that replicate interfaces to other unique weapon system components
        • Capable of performing HW Factory & HW Pipeline impact analyses upon inputs
        • Capable of determining what Objective Quality Evidence needs to be collected to maintain accreditations and certifications, cyber and safety approvals/certifications
        • Compliant with National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity requirements (NIST Special Pub 800-171)
        • Compliant with PEO IWS Cybersecurity requirement (IWSINST 5239.1)
        • Compliant with Defense Information Systems Agency Security Technical Implementation Guides
      • Configuration Management, Data Management, HW Factory & HW Pipeline Governance and Change Control
        The Navy is seeking industry capable of providing configuration management concurrently with rapid delivery of modular hardware. The transition to rapid delivery of flexible, modular equipment designs will require configuration management to evolve in order to support installations across multiple ship classes.
    • IaaS Design and Integration
      • Common, Modular Computing Infrastructure (CI) Solutions
        The Navy requests the company describe their current activities in designing and developing enterprise CI solutions, and how that experience could be applied to afloat naval applications. The Navy is interested in the company describing their experience with executing rolling or continuous CI improvements on deployed 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, Commercially available off-the-shelf (COTS) CI Components, CI Electronic Assemblies / Sub-Assemblies that are both hatchable and modular for future upgrade efficiency.  The TDA will consist of Government Subject Matter Experts that will provide technical oversight to all aspects of the HW Factory and HW Pipeline.  To support IaaS Design and Integration, the Navy is seeking common solutions for 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 manage and deliver multiple CI design configurations simultaneously to include configuration control of all modules or system parts through an automated method
        • Approaches to modular electronic cabinets with focus on potential separate shipyard deliveries for enclosures/consoles from the internal COTS assemblies payload
        • Approaches to effective and efficient CI design and delivery with a model to manage component obsolescence
        • Processes/procedures required to establish, and sustain an evolving CI and COTS architecture
        • Design of resilient network architectures to include physically separated control networks
        • Prior experience in providing CI architectural guidance recommendations to enable the Navy to meet CI architecture vision and goals
        • Prior experience in Equipment Status, Component Monitoring and Management Interface to CI components and unique weapon system components/systems
        • Proposing CI metrics and data reporting that will enable the Navy to assess the Contractor’s CI design efforts
        • Approaches to Ship Integration / Compartment configurations such as ship services aggregation points for future compartment reconfiguration or upgrade
        • Experience with Space, Weight, Power, and Cooling constraints
        • Experience in producing Ship, Facilities, or Laboratory integration and installation data
        • Experience managing and performing MIL SPEC Environmental Qualification Testing
        • Approaches for interfacing/integrating with unique weapon systems components and legacy equipment interfaces (e.g. Naval Tactical Data System)
        • Experience delivering Anti-Tamper solutions
      • 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 and engineering them into well-defined and well-behaved IaaS Application Program Interfaces to the PaaS, other systems and IaaS interfaces to the physical CI resources.  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:

        • Experience with hypervisors, managing abstraction layers, and virtualization techniques to meet IaaS requirements
        • Experience with designing and developing public, private and hybrid edge cloud architectures
        • Experience addressing dedicated resource allocation, failover and high-availability features for mission-critical functions, as well as experience implementing dynamic resource allocation
        • Experience in implementing Orchestration and Automation to IaaS solutions
        • Capable to automate the configuration of all infrastructure components and leverage processes to install, configure and update
        • Capable of implementing a single, sailor-friendly dashboard for shipboard management
        • Produce widely accepted Technical Performance Metrics (TPMs) for a Virtualized and Abstracted Architected CI
        • Experience with closely collaborating with PaaS Design Architect with a goal to abstract the Mission Applications from the Physical Computing Infrastructure
      • Assessment of vendor trends for COTS components
        The Navy is looking for the company to provide assessment of COTS industry trends across the IaaS, compute, network, storage, display, voice, and cybersecurity vendor base for CI availability.  Perform CI and IaaS Market and Feasibility Trade Studies, Technology Gaps and Roadmaps, as well as Evaluations and Demonstrations.

        Specific items of Navy interest include, but are not limited to:

        • Identify readiness issues with weapon system equipment, analyze the issues, and recommend cost effective alternatives
        • Conduct sustainment analysis and reporting for efforts related to legacy and future systems, major weapon system upgrades or COTS
        • Ability to analyze vendor CI components, and experience identifying alternate NIAP approved, acceptable solutions after technical, cost, and schedule assessments, as well as experience implementing solutions and validating the operability of the selected solution
        • Approaches for continuous selection and qualification of IaaS and CI to include enclosures, consoles, compute, networking, storage, displays, video conversion and distribution, IP-based secure voice, data recording and offloading, power protection, electronic assemblies/sub-assemblies, hypervisors, cybersecurity hardening, 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
      • Coordination with 3rd party Vendors and Government organizations
        The Navy requests companies 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 with to achieve Navy IaaS and CI goals.

        Specific items of Navy interest include, but are not limited to:

        • Experience coordinating documentation and CI deliveries with shipyards
        • COTS vendor relationships and market trends
        • Experience working with NAVSEA field activities and engineering sites
      • Integration and Testing
        The Navy requests companies provide integration services and a facility (or could conduct in 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.  The Navy intends for 3rd party vendors to deliver enclosures, consoles, electronic assemblies/sub-assemblies, and technical documentation.  Industry will need to show experience and facility capacity to receive, assemble and conduct all testing, verification and validation.

        Specific items of Navy interest include, but are not limited to:

        • Managing a hardware assembly and integration site involving deliveries from 3rd party vendors
        • Capability to use the same set of automation test scripts that is used to test new software builds onto existing CI and use to test known good software builds in the face of CI or IaaS changes
        • Experience collecting test results
        • Experience in troubleshooting and resolving test failures
        • Experience performing verification and validation of assembled cabinet performance
        • Support to shipyard personnel for installation and troubleshooting of enclosure, console, and/or electronic subassemblies
        • Experience installing and testing IaaS Cybersecurity detection and prevention Tools
        • Experience implementing NIST 800-53 Risk Management Framework (RMF) controls in systems categorized as High for Confidentiality, Integrity and Availability
    • Technical Data Packages
      The Navy requests interested parties describe their current activities in developing data packages that enable production. The company should identify specific experience in developing, documenting, and refining CI data packages that facilitate the rapid production of the data package requirements. The Navy is also interested in industry’s experience in transitioning to a cloud-based design documentation and change request construct that may involve several 3rd party production companies and require interaction with other stages of the pipeline.  Experience supporting other DoD programs should describe the vendor’s role, scope of effort and the benefit of a similar approach for the Navy.

      Specific items of Navy interest include, but are not limited to:

      • Capability to produce Level III Technical Data Packages for Build-to-Print, Ship Installations, Site Installations, Interface Control Documents, and Integrated Logistics Support (ILS) Source Data
      • Experience in 3D Computer Aided Design (CAD) Modeling and requests for Finite Element Analyses
      • Experience managing the Configuration Management of drawings and 3D CAD Models
      • Experience Managing the Change Process of Documentation and 3D CAD Models
      • Experience developing change order packages such as Engineering Change Proposals (ECPs), Ship Change Documents (SCDs), and preliminary or final Ordnance Alteration (ORDALT) Instructions
    • Production
      • 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. As the Navy pivots away from 5-year build-to-print cabinet and display system acquisition, 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 production capacity. If applicable, companies may also summarize their current USN (or DoD) contracts or demonstrate experience in compute, network, storage and display CI production programs for other branches of the military.

        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 packaging and shipping electronic assemblies or sub-assemblies with the appropriate protective packaging
      • Production Engineering Services
        Interested industry respondents should describe the company’s capabilities and experience in providing engineering services for developing and updating digital design models.  The Navy is also interested in industry’s experience in transitioning to a cloud-based design documentation and change request construct that may involve several 3rd party production companies. Companies with experience supporting other DoD programs should describe the vendor’s role and scope of effort and the benefit of a similar approach for the Navy.
    • DMSMS, Hardware, and Software Version Release Tracking
      The Navy requests that the company describe their current activities in tracking Diminishing Manufacturing Sources and Material Shortages (DMSMS). The Navy also requests that the company describe their current activities tracking Software Versions.

      Specific items of Navy interest include, but are not limited to:

      • Capable of Tracking and Monitoring DMSMS for COTS Hardware
      • Capable of tracking releases of Software products, Licensing and Firmware
    • Integrated Logistics Support, Maintenance and Operations Training
      As the Navy transitions to a HW Factory and HW Pipeline, additional Interest Areas are being considered for inclusion into the Pipeline, including but not limited to: ILS, Maintenance and Operations Training. The Navy requests that interested companies describe their current experience and capability in these Interest Areas, as well as recommendations for how ILS, Maintenance and Operations Training can be incorporated into the envisioned HW Factory and HW Pipeline.
  3. Barriers to Competition
    Please identify any obstacles to competition for the proposed scope in such areas as: classification requirements, Government systems engineering, Government approval process, 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 solutions or mitigation paths for the Navy to overcome the obstacles.

    Companies interested in producing cabinets, consoles, electronic assemblies, or electronic sub-assemblies shall demonstrate that they have the financial capability and production facilities to perform the required throughput capacity of 50 cabinets/consoles per month or 50 electronic sub-assemblies/assemblies per month, as required. Specifically, the Company shall identify how it would finance the ordering of material in advance of Progress Payments in accordance with FAR 52.232-16 and DFARS 252.232-7004. The throughput requirement only pertains to the Production Interest Area described in Section D of the RFI. All other Interest Areas are not subject to this requirement and interested companies are encouraged to respond to this RFI accordingly.

    Companies shall provide the Government with its most recent following financial statements: balance sheet, statement of cash flows, and income statement. If the company does not maintain the above statements it shall provide the equivalent, nonpublic financial statements that comply with the U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Practices (GAAP) for Private Companies guidance as promulgated by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and the Private Company Council (PCC) December 23, 2013.

RFI Responses:

Note: RFI responses shall be limited to a total of 30 pages, 1 inch margins, single-sided, 10 point Times New Roman font or larger. Figures/Graphs/Tables can be included within the page limit with 8 point font or larger text.  Based on the Interest Areas, Industry may require a facility security clearance level up to SECRET. Responses to this RFI are UNCLASSIFIED and should not include any information or data that can be classified as SECRET. 

The Navy is conducting market research to identify qualified and responsible sources that may be interested in the requirements described in this notice.  This RFI is issued for informational and planning purposes only and does not constitute a solicitation or a Request for Quote (RFQ).   This RFI is not to be construed as a commitment by the Government to issue a solicitation or award a contract.  In accordance with FAR 15.201(e), responses to this notice are not offers and cannot be accepted by the Government to form a binding contract.  As such, the Government will not reimburse any costs associated with responding to this notice.  Information submitted in response to this RFI will become the property of the United States Government. Submitters should properly mark their responses with the appropriate restrictive markings. Information that is proprietary or competition sensitive will be protected from disclosure under the public records law only if properly labeled as such.

Interested companies should provide a response on or before the date and time listed in the Sources Sought posting on The submission should include one electronic (virus scanned) copy sent via e-mail to  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. 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 point of contact listed in this notice.

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