U.S. Navy NAVAIR Cyber Warfare Detachment (CWD) is pursuing research and development (R&D) to fill gaps in the cyber resiliency strategy for protecting its weapons systems.

NAVAIR CWD develops cyber warfare capabilities to defend the NAVAIR weapons and corresponding systems, such as aircrafts, unmanned vehicles, and mission planning. The agency wrote in a July 17 broad agency announcement (BAA) that most cybersecurity measures are ill-designed for weapons systems, so the agency is seeking R&D efforts to address critical access point and resiliency issues in its IT systems.

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“This BAA solicits R&D, not to simply apply IT solutions, concepts and underlying business environment assumptions,” the solicitation states, “but to address cyber issues for weapon systems in a system of systems warfare environment with often intermittent or indirect ‘connectivity’ to other systems.”

NAVAIR CWD clarified that it is seeking “mission relatable” R&D efforts, not several layers of costly defense measures that could disrupt cyber maneuverability. The BAA outlines eight areas of interest for proposals:

  • Size, weight, and power sensitive cyber resiliency for real time operating systems and aviation warfare environment;
  • Access point identification, prioritization and defense;
  • Cyber electronic warfare convergent capabilities;
  • Full acquisition cycle cybersecurity measures;
  • Cyber test, inspection, and incident response concepts;
  • Cyber warning system techniques;
  • Cyber fault, risk and threat assessment methodologies; and
  • Resilient network concepts.

The solicitation process will be broken up into two phases. NAVAIR CWD will be accepting phase one proposals through July 2021 and phase two proposals will be accepted by invitation only.

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Katie Malone
Katie Malone
Katie Malone is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.