Awarded to Intelligent Enterprise Products

Start date: Friday 1 January 2021
Value: £1,250,000
Company size: SME
Royal Navy/Joint Maritime Security Center (JMSC)

Sensor Suite Outcome Opportunity

13 Incomplete applications

6 SME, 7 large

4 Completed applications

2 SME, 2 large

Important dates

Thursday 12 November 2020
Deadline for asking questions
Thursday 19 November 2020 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Thursday 26 November 2020 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
Provision of an outcome to cover the gap in data in UK maritime situational awareness covering the UK marine area specifically against non-cooperative-reporting vessels.
Latest start date
Friday 1 January 2021
Expected contract length
3 Months
South East England
Organisation the work is for
Royal Navy/Joint Maritime Security Center (JMSC)
Budget range
Max £1.25m for 3 months Service to the volumes agreed depending on the fit to requirement, the number of systems and the coverage offered.

About the work

Why the work is being done
Surveillance of the maritime domain for UK security requires a multi-layered approach. Satellite surveillance provides global coverage but is not persistent, whereas terrestrial sensors provide persistence against dark targets at shorter ranges. The authority is expecting an outcome that collects electro-optical, thermal imaging, primary and secondary RF and analyses and transfers data and information to the authority's systems.
Problem to be solved
There are gaps in UK maritime situational awareness covering the UK marine areas specifically against non-cooperative reporting vessels.
Who the users are and what they need to do
The Joint Maritime Security Centre (JMSC) requires a layered persistent maritime surveillance capability that enables the detection of both co-operational and non-co-operational reporting vessels. Maritime security is a key enabler to homeland security and while EU exit presents opportunities it also presents challenges in securing the UK’s Exclusive econimoc Zone (EEZ) as the UK resumes responsibility for its security and enforcement. The customer for this outcome is the JMSC.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
Existing team
The supplier will be providing outcomes for the JMSC and the Royal Navy via the Maritime Domain Awareness Programme.
Current phase
Not started

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Portsdown, Portsmouth.
Working arrangements
Generate a portable UK deployable digital outcome that is capable of delivering a streamed output (tracks as a service) in near real-time. Vessel detections to incorporate AIS correlation, identifying non-cooperative reporting vessels. It must be delivered utilising secure digital method into the Royal Navy Maritime Domain Awareness Programme (RNMDAP).
Security clearance
All personnel delivering this service will need to have a MoD approved SC at contract start. MoD cannot sponsor clearances.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions

Skills and experience

Buyers will use the essential and nice-to-have skills and experience to help them evaluate suppliers’ technical competence.

Essential skills and experience
  • The supplier will have experience in real time maritime intelligence gathering, processing and sharing.
  • The supplier will provide a layered and pervasive collection capability to fill gaps in coastal surveillance, ensuring persistent monitoring of vessels in areas of interest.
  • The outcome must be able to respond to JMSC tasking within 24hrs.
  • The outcome must provide persistent maritime surveillance of an Area of interest (Aol) within the designated UK marine area.
  • The outcome should be able to detect small vessels (typically 3m radar cross section) at 24nm (performance by RCS is to be included in the proposal submitted by the bidder)
  • The outcome must provide vessel detections to incorporate AIS correlation, identifying non-cooperative reporting vessels.
  • The outcome must be capable of delivering a streamed output (tracks as a service) in near real-time.
  • The outcome must be delivered utilising secure digital method into the Royal Navy Maritime Domain Awareness Programme (DNMDAP).
  • The outcome must provide a minimum of 3 concurrent active surveillance feeds, objective is 5, to be delivered as a service.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • The outcome should be scalable enabling expansion of the system in the future.
  • The outcome sensor will have the ability to deliver a line of bearing on an RF signal of interest, and where multiple sensors are available, a cross-fixed established.
  • The ability to obtain recorded output from an optical sensor in near real-time.
  • The solution should be portable and self-contained so that it can be deployed, operated, collect and share information in real time where needed.

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Approach and methodology for providing the service to the specified levels and volumes.
  • Risks, dependencies and mitigation arrangements.
  • Proposed team structure and experience level of the delivery team.
  • Value for money.
Cultural fit criteria
  • Work as a team with our organisation and with other government organisations.
  • Be transparent and collaborative when making decisions.
  • Have a no-blame culture and encourage people to learn from their mistakes.
  • Share knowledge and experience between team members, and with other teams and organisations including Government, Military and Industry.
  • Can work with customers with low technical expertise.
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. How will you assess potential suppliers?
A proposal prepared by the supplier will need to be submitted in advance of a presentation. The proposal will be presented and the Authority SMEs will then interact/question the supplier and evaluate accordingly.
2. Will this be assessed as inside IR35?
Off-payroll working rules (IR35) do not apply for this outcome.
3. Is there an incumbent supplier in the role?
There is no incumbent currently delivering this outcome.
4. Would you accept a DV cleared candidates in the team?
Yes, we would accept a candidates with a DV for this outcome.
5. How crucial is it that this supplier needs experience in all of the essential fields?
This is a requirement for one supplier to provide this MSA capability. The essential requirements capture the key deliverables and it is unlikely that a supplier familiar with this technology will be unable to factor all these essential requirements into their proposal.
6. What is the definition of the interface into the RNMDAP?
RNMDAP remain flexible with the interface connections. For the Network/Transport layer - support for an OpenVPN Tunnel or OpenSSL HTTPS/TLS with X509 authentication is expected (Certificates provided by RNMDAP). Data to be pushed as a stream to Endpoint IP formatted as JSON (preferred) or XML with new line delimiter between messages.
7. What is the expected utilisation of the provided surveillance feeds over the three month period?
We anticipate there being up to 5 deployable assets that will be available 24/7 to be placed around points on the UK coastline to support Maritime Security Operations - areas that are deemed in need of further information gathering.
8. Could you confirm that the staffing of these systems is expected to be included within the service offering?
A service is required with all staffing requirements being the responsibility of the service provider.
9. The DOS tasking refers to an area of interest within the designated “UK marine area”; can you provide the definition of this area. eg, could the tasking could be anywhere within this area?
The UK Marine Area, as defined in the National Maritime Security Strategy 2014, is defined as covering UK inland waterways, territorial waters and out to the limits of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). It is anticipated that sensors provided as a service will be deployed anywhere within this zone as requested by the JMSC. Initial priorities will be on the UK mainland 'looking out' over the marine area of interest.
10. Noting “nice to have” requirement is for a completely portable and self-contained solution, if the solution was such, where are the sites that this capability would be deployed to be? Would they be secure, have network connections and or power available?
The sensor suite needs to be as self-contained as possible and able to operate wherever needed to deliver the outcome - could be cliff top or coastal car park or government site. Solutions with greater portability will score higher.
11. We assume that the Sensor Suite outcome consumes data from existing sources including sensors and that there is no requirement to provide additional data, can you confirm?
The authority simply needs a fused (EO feed may be separate to meet other requirements) data feed from the sensor suite. Additional sources will be looked at favourably within the submission.
12. Will the outcome require provisioning and deployment of physical hardware (sensors) on vessels, or are these already in place?
Land based only - there is no intention at this time for a floating platform or vessel fit. This may be a future consideration post Apr 21 - a flexible design will therefore be looked at favourably.
13. Bearing in mind the extreme sensitivity of this project, is it possible for the successful bidders identity to be redacted.
When publishing our notice for transparency, a redacted copy of the contract will be uploaded, meaning the identify of the chosen supplier will not be included along with any contact or confidential information etc.
14. With regards to budget can you clarify what is meant by " 3 months service", what is the expected outcome for the outcome after 3 months?
We are looking for cost effective options as to how this service might be delivered for the 3 months until 31 Mar 21. What happens after the 3 months can be discussed at the presentation and all options will be considered - options that favour the MoD in terms of flexibility will feature prominently in the decision making.
15. Can a list of providers for existing monitoring and surveillance (e.g. the Global feed of real-time SAT-AIS) be provided?
It is not envisaged that an external AIS feed (Sat or commercial provided) will be required unless it is in addition to the tender to increase capability. As a minimum each sensor suite will have a terrestrial AIS sensor to support/fuse with the organic radar and other sensor feed (support identification). If this route is considered there are many commercial providers.
16. What legislation needs to be adhered to for digital/ online services?
The information gathered and transmitted is open source. Fusion is to take place without breaching any UK data processing rules. The data needs to be protected in transit.
17. What are the dates for the submission of the written proposal and subsequent presentation?
Written proposals need to be submitted by the end of the day 07 Dec 20. Presentations will then be 08/09 Dec 20 depending on availability.
18. Are you able to provide more information about the requirement?
A document with more detail about the opportunity is available upon request.
19. Will the AOIs be anywhere off the coast of the UK or is the service required to concentrate on a specific geographical area (e.g. the Kent/Sussex/Hampshire coast)?
The service needs to be deployable anywhere along the UK coastline as the AOIs will be directed by operational need. However, expectation is that initial deployment will be focused on the south coast.
20. Does the service need to mobilise the sensors to, or near to, the AOI?
The service needs to provide persistent surveillance of the AOIs delivering tracks as a service into the RNMDAP. If the sensor needs to be near the AOIs to collect the data then the service deliverer will be responsible for moving and siting the sensors.
21. Does the service needs to supply and maintain the sensors (i.e. radar, thermal, EO)?
The supplier of the service is responsible for the maintenance of all aspects of the capability.
22. Are you able to provide information on the size and geographical location of the Area of Interest?
AOI size requirements are based on the technical specification of the surveillance radar out to 24nmls. Geographical AOI will be based on JMOC requirements, although it can be assumed that initial need will be within the South coast region (Gt Yarmouth to Portland, other than the area already covered by the MCGA in the Dover strait VTS area), with the ability to move to the Northern region as operations dictate.
23. Is the buyer looking to work with the supplier to design and develop the digital outcome, or are they expecting to utilise an existing developed 'off the shelf' solution?
The expectation is the supplier will deliver a solution that meets the requirements stated in the opportunity. Development interaction will be limited to provision of the technical and operational requirements that need to be met.
24. Are the Stage 1 evaluation results included in the final evaluation?
Yes, they will form part of the final evaluation.
25. Can we assume that only those involved in the data delivery need to be SC cleared, or is the equipment installation and location included in the requirement?
Personnel who have access to the data or have significant roles within the planning process must be SC. Maintenance and equipment management personnel do not require SC.
26. How often might the deployed locations change?
This will be determined by operational need and as tasked by the JMSC.
27. The requirement states that ‘the outcome must be able to respond to JMSC tasking within 24hrs’. Is this to be able to deploy to a new location in 24 hours, or otherwise?
The requirement is for 24 hours notice to move, with the capability fully functional at the new site within 48 hours (within geographical and resource limitations).
28. Is the system expected to provide the comms bearer/network for the tracks as a service?
Yes, delivery of the surveillance output to the RNMDAP system (tracks as a service) is the sole responsibility of the provider.
29. When you state ‘streamed’ (tracks as a service), are you expecting the system/outcome to provide an REST-like API or streaming connection to something?
Happy to be flexible and support Push or Pull models via TCP Sockets, REST or GraphQL API endpoints that provide a stream of consistent data or small batches via regular requests.
30. The collection system is likely to collect/generate data. What classification do you expect that data to be at?
The output must be disseminated via a secure VPN and will be treated as Official.
31. Can you provide an indicative size range for the AOIs?
AOI size requirements are based on the technical specification of the surveillance radar out to 24nmls. Geographical AOI will be based on JMOC requirements, although it can be assumed that initial need will be within the South coast region (Gt Yarmouth to Portland, other than the area already covered by the MCGA in the Dover strait VTS area), with the ability to move to the Northern region as operations dictate.