In all aspects where there is danger or inconvenience to people, alternative solutions that involve autonomy and robotics are becoming serious considerations. Within military operations, seeking alternatives that remove people from harm has become the priority, wether that be with regards to air combat, front line troops or with underwater operations. So this week we look at a Request for Information that is seeking to understand industry’s capability and capacity to sustain and support the autonomous and unmanned Mine Countermeasures (MCM) Systems currently in use by Navy.
These systems are currently in service and include:
(a) Autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV);
(b) Expendable Mine Neutralisation System (EMNS);
(c) Mine Countermeasure Support Boats (MCMSB);
(d) Unmanned surface vessels (USV);
(e) Influence Mine Sweeping System (IMSS); and (f) Exercise training mines (ETM).
It is important to note that this is not a procurement excercise and Defence will not use the RFI to undertake any shortlisting of suppliers. However this is an opportunity for suppliers to make their capability known so that it forms part of Defence’s considerations when forming procurement strategies. The key areas of interest for Defence are the capability to provide:
a. Support Services Management – e.g. organisational management, stakeholder communication, sub-contractor management, co-ordination & risk management, security compliance;
b. Engineering Support – e.g. engineering analysis and investigations, configuration management, engineering change management including verification and validation, system safety engineering, software engineering, management of engineering information systems;
c. Maintenance Support – e.g. planning, scheduling, survey and quote, conduct of planned preventative and ad-hoc corrective maintenance;
d. Supply Support – e.g. demand and requirement management, stock assessment and optimisation, codification and cataloguing, procurement and management of spares, support and test equipment, special packaging and handling equipment, warehousing and distribution, special storage and transport services, management of vendors and their supply chains, use of MILIS, obsolescence monitoring;
e. provision of Training Support
This RFI closes on 15 August 2022.