Army announces AStRA competition

On April 27, the U.S. Army announced the Army Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office (RCCTO) Innovation Day #3: Army Strategic Rapid Acquisition (AStRA) Competition. White papers are due by 5:00 p.m. Eastern on May 25.

The U.S. Army would like to invite interested business entities and academic institutions to participate in the xTech|RCCTO Army Strategic Rapid Acquisition (AStRA) competition (RCCTO Innovation Day 3) being conducted between April and July 2021.  AStRA aims to engage with eligible large and small U.S. based companies and organizations and will provide a forum to collaborate with the Army, earn prize money, and provide potential funding opportunities to tackle Army technology gaps for both Program Executive Officer (PEO) for Intelligence Electronic Warfare & Sensors (PEO IEW&S) and PEO Soldier RCCTO.

The U.S. Army’s Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office (RCCTO) has partnered with Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology) (ASA(ALT)) to deliver this competition to quickly target, acquire, demonstrate, test, and ultimately field promising new technology. This acquisition is modeled after commercial investor “pitch” days and commercial solution openings, and it will be conducted using the Valid Eval tool.  RCCTO’s AStRA will provide an opportunity for both traditional and nontraditional large and small business entities to submit their innovative technology solutions and prototypes that meet Army’s needs.  AStRA will also provide Army experts with an opportunity to evaluate these disruptive, innovative approaches and technologies to address critical capabilities required by the U.S. Army, as described in the Problem Statements described below (see Section III).

RCCTO’s mission is to rapidly and efficiently research, develop, prototype, test, evaluate, procure, transition, and/or field critical enabling technologies and capabilities that address near-term and mid-term threats. RCCTO executes this mission consistent with the Army’s modernization priorities that maximize Soldiers’ capabilities to deploy, fight, and win on future battlefields. The U.S. Army faces an ever more lethal and disruptive battlefield requiring quick acquisition of innovative capabilities to prototype and deliver to the warfighter. AStRA is an opportunity for eligible businesses to pitch their novel technology solutions and prototypes directly to the U.S. Army.


The purpose of AStRA is to deliver an innovative approach and prototype to compete for an award to accelerate military technology and fill critical technology and operational gaps for the U.S. Army.  This acquisition initiative will enable eligible organizations to respond with proposals that clearly articulate their prototype ideas and demonstrations and how they will satisfy the U.S. Army’s technology and operational gaps as identified in the Problem Statements. A further goal is to incentivize industry participation by paying business innovators, at least partially, for some of their proposal preparation efforts and costs.

RCCTO is focused on finding mature solutions that could provide combat prototype capability that can be in the hands of Warfighters within a one-to-three-year timeframe.  The expected period of performance (POP) for prototypes and demonstrations that address the Problem Statements is approximately 18 to 24 months.  RCCTO has a total budget of up to $25M of Budget Activity (BA) 6.5 funding (i.e., targeting System Development and Demonstration) for this acquisition; therefore, proposed solutions must deliver an expected outcome of Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 7+ in order to advise capabilities to Warfighters and be able to transition to a Program of Record. Based on the $25M funding limitation, RCCTO expects to award a series of 1 to 8 contracts or Other Transaction Authority (OTA) agreements, but may award more, less, or none based on funding and mission requirements.

Full information is available here.

Source: SAM