A new Missile Defense Agency (MDA) Request For Information (RFI) says the agency is looking to develop a new acquisition strategy for the Standard Missile (SM)-3, with contracting set to start in early fiscal year 2023.

The notice, published Feb. 8 said MDA is conducting market research “to determine interest and capability for sources to fulfill the requirements of the Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Program.” 

The requirements cover manufacturing, production and delivery of SM-3 Block IB and IIA All-Up-Rounds, research and development, production control and operations support, cost management, advanced development systems engineering support, information security, quality assurance, supplies, logistics, obsolescence monitoring, testing, and operational sustainment of all SM-3 variants (IA, IB and IIA).

“MDA will utilize responses received to develop acquisition strategy alternatives that may include competing all or portions of SM-3 future work,” the notice said. MDA and the Aegis program expect contracting for future work to start in early FY ‘23 for a period of performance that could last for up to 10 years.

The notice said this RFI aims to help MDA make informed acquisition decisions on multiple levels.

This includes being able to properly assess the current marketplace and existing industry capability to deliver SM-3 capabilities; get recommendations from industry on contract duration, acquisition strategies, and approaches available to support the SM-3 requirements; identify and assess major risk to the acquisition; find and mitigate potential competition barriers; determine industry information needs to support proposal preparation; outline program costs and potential cost impacts and risks; and identify areas that could be set-aside from small businesses.

Responses to the RFI are due by Feb. 22.

MDA noted the SM-3 program aims to help defend against short to intermediate-range, unitary and separating, midcourse-phase, ballistic missile threats.

The SM-3 is divided into several types of interceptors, which started with Block IA and IB, to target missiles in their midcourse flight phase. They are deployed to the Navy’s Aegis-capable cruisers, destroyers, and Aegis Ashore sites. 

The larger SM-3 Block IIA is the result of a co-development agreement with Japan and has room for more propulsion in the second stage and a larger kill vehicle, allowing for greater exit velocities and thus aims to defend a larger area against faster threats. 

MDA’s FY ‘22 budget request included $647 million to procure another 40 SM-3 Block IB and eight Block IIA missiles (Defense Daily, May 28, 2021).

MDA’s unfunded priorities list for FY ‘22 added a wish list request for another $31 million for two more SM-3 IIA All-Up-Rounds (Defense Daily, June 14, 2021).