GSA Posts Draft RFP for ASTRO Unmanned Vehicle Contract: Top 20

The General Services Administration’s Federal Systems Integration Management Center (FEDSIM) released a long-awaited draft request for proposals Feb. 5 for its new multiple-award contract supporting research, development, and sustainment of manned and unmanned vehicles, robotics, and weapons platforms.

The proposed contract, known as ASTRO, could generate billions of dollars in obligations over the next 10 years to develop the Defense Department’s next generation of air, land, sea, and space vehicles. Defense technology companies and systems integrators consider ASTRO a top prize, and the contract is the focus of this week’s Top 20 Opportunities.

FEDSIM has modeled ASTRO on the OASIS contract: ASTRO will support multiple pools of services, periodic on- and off-ramps, and the use of a self-scoring system for eligibility determination. FEDSIM envisions awards to as many as 45 vendors per pool, which may indicate that ASTRO will have a massive — though thus far unspecified — dollar value.

Unlike OASIS, ASTRO will not issue separate pools for small businesses. Instead, FEDSIM expects to issue small-business awards within the existing pools. Vendors that are less than 10 times the size of the small-business threshold established for each pool could be eligible for a “bootstrap bonus” toward their score proportional to their size. For example, a firm with annual revenue that’s nine times the small business standard for a given pool could receive a bootstrap bonus, but a proportionately smaller bonus than a firm with revenue only twice the cutoff.

After receiving industry feedback through a November 2019 sources-sought notice, FEDSIM will expand the number of vendor pools from eight to 10, adding pools for support services and training. Contractors will have the option of selecting the pools they wish to compete for, which are:

1. Data Operations Pool: All data collection, processing, exploitation, and dissemination activities supporting mission performance. Data Operations will use NAICS code 541990 with a small-business size standard of $16.5 million.

2. Mission Operations Pool: All non-data collection and analysis services supporting mission performance. Mission Operations will use NAICS cdoe 541990 with a small-business size standard of $16.5 million.

3. Aviation Pool: Maintenance, repair, and overhaul of manned, optionally manned, and unmanned aircraft. Aviation will use NAICS code 488190 with a small-business size standard of $35 million.

4. Space Pool: Maintenance, repair, and overhaul of manned, optionally manned, and unmanned space platforms. Space will use NAICS code 488190 with a small-business size standard of $35 million.

5. Maritime Pool: Maintenance, repair, and overhaul of manned, optionally manned, and unmanned maritime vehicles. Maritime will use NAICS code 336611 with a small-business size standard of 1,250 employees.

6. Ground Pool: Maintenance, repair, and overhaul of manned, optionally manned, and unmanned ground vehicles and industrial machinery. Ground will use NAICS code 488999 with a small-business size standard of $8 million.

7. Development/Systems Integration Pool: Systems integration, systems improvement, and/or systems engineering. Development/Systems Integration will use NAICS code 541330 with a small-business size standard of $41.5 million.

8. Research & Development Pool: All research and development associated with manned, unmanned, optionally manned, and counter UxS platforms. Research & Development will use NAICS code 541715 with a small-business size standard of 1,000 employees.

9. Support Pool: All support services (except training) required for successful execution of a product, program, project, or process; the planning necessary to support operational missions; and the analysis of the results of an operational mission. Support will use NAICS code 541990 with a small business size standard of $16.5 million.

10. Training Pool: All training services required for successful execution of a product, program, project, or process. Training will use NAICS code 611699 with a small-business size standard of $12 million.

The Pentagon has awarded a combined $364 billion under these NAICS codes over the previous five fiscal years. The top recipients of governmentwide spending in this market include the nation’s largest defense contractors, such as General Dynamics Corp. ($46.6 billion in obligations), Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc. ($28.3 billion), Lockheed Martin Corp. ($15.3 billion), and Raytheon Co. ($13.4 billion).

The ASTRO master contract will support a range of fixed-price, cost-reimbursement, incentive, labor-hour, and time-and-materials contracts, according to the draft RFP. FEDSIM officials will be accepting feedback on the draft RFP at ASTRO@gsa.gov until such time as a pre-solicitation notice is issued.

Chris Cornillie is a federal market analyst with Bloomberg Government.

To contact the analyst on this story: Chris Cornillie in Washington at ccornillie@bgov.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Daniel Snyder at dsnyder@bgov.com; Jodie Morris at jmorris@bgov.com

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