NSWC Crane and NIWC Atlantic seek latest technology for ANTX 2021 military demonstration

Proteus, a dual-mode undersea vehicle developed by HII’s Technical Solutions division (Undersea Solutions Group) and Battelle, successfully completed autonomous contested battlespace missions during the 2017 Advanced Naval Technology Exercise (ANTX) at the Naval Surface Warfare Center (Panama City Division). Photo: Huntington Ingalls Industries

U.S. Navy’s Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division (NSWC Crane) and Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC) Atlantic are seeking the latest technology from industry, academia, and government for the Naval Integration in Contested Environments (NICE) Advanced Naval Technology Exercise (ANTX) 2021.

Sondra Laughlin, an employee at NSWC Crane, is the Assessments Lead for ANTX. Laughlin says ANTX 2021 will provide many opportunities for technology developers companies, including those who have never worked with the military or government before.

“ANTX is unique in that it will bring experts in industry, government, and military together in one place,” says Laughlin. “Participants will receive invaluable and immediate feedback on their tech directly from warfighters who may use it in the field. Participants will also see what the Navy and Marine Corps prioritize in the future fight, as well as have the opportunity to inform the discussion as future concepts are developed.”

Dana Rushing, a Knowledge Manager for NICE ANTX 2021 and NIWC Atlantic employee, says the partnership brings government and military expertise together.

“The partnership between NIWC Atlantic, NSWC Crane, Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory (MCWL), and Navy Warfare Development Command (NWDC) lends some talented individuals with a breadth of knowledge and experience,” says Rushing. “We have worked with NavalX, the Information Warfare Research Project and across the NR&DE to spread awareness of the NICE ANTX in an effort to gain the most diverse proposals. We hope to demonstrate technologies from a vast range of small businesses to large warfare centers. Any business, no matter the size, can best match those capability gaps we are targeting.”

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NSWC Crane and NIWC Atlantic seek latest technology for ANTX 2021 military demonstration 2

ANTX demonstrations have been taking place since 2015 in various parts of the country. Laughlin says the Midwest has been underrepresented at these events.

“The Midwest has the talent,” says Laughlin. “We want to see Midwest tech alongside the best from across the country. We know there is a solid industry and academia base with technology that would interest the Navy and Marine Corps. There are many innovative individuals and groups whose tech aligns to national security priorities; we just need them to know they can participate.”

ANTX provides a realistic environment for demonstrating technologies. Laughlin says the feedback that can be gained from ANTX 2021 is huge for companies.

“Especially for non-traditional, small businesses, and entrepreneurs, the immediate feedback loop from end-users is extremely valuable,” says Laughlin. “ANTX is a unique environment that provides early-stage access to a wide range of experts that a typical acquisition process doesn’t always allow for.”

Laughlin also says there are opportunities to collaborate with other industry leaders.

“Participants will be able to meet others who may have complementary technologies or products. Several partnerships have developed from previous ANTX that have benefitted each party in creating a more robust final product.”

ANTX 2021 is seeking diverse technology areas that will allow warfighters to operate in future integrated, near-peer environments. Successfully validated products may be recommended for rapid prototyping to quickly field the capability to the warfighter.

ANTX 2021 will take place on the East Coast and is sponsored by the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory (MCWL) and Navy Warfare Development Command (NWDC). The deadline to apply is July 1, 2020.