Awarded to Rowden Technologies Ltd

Start date: Monday 12 July 2021
Value: £3,500,000
Company size: SME
Ministry of Defence - Defence Digital

Dismounted Situational Awareness (DSA) Design and Integration Partner (D&IP)

5 Incomplete applications

2 SME, 3 large

8 Completed applications

3 SME, 5 large

Important dates

Published
Tuesday 9 March 2021
Deadline for asking questions
Tuesday 16 March 2021 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Tuesday 23 March 2021 at 11:59pm GMT

Overview

Off-payroll (IR35) determination
Summary of the work
The Authority requires a Design and Integration Partner (D&IP) to develop a MOD-owned DSA solution which shall enable future capability evolution into the 2030s-and-beyond, ensuring MOD access to the latest technology/innovation from across industry whilst avoiding "Vendor Lock-In".
Latest start date
Friday 30 July 2021
Expected contract length
2 years with an option to extend for a further 6 months.
Location
South West England
Organisation the work is for
Ministry of Defence - Defence Digital
Budget range
The combined contract value for the 2 year contract and 6 month extension option shall not exceed £9M.

About the work

Why the work is being done
Availability of situational awareness information in a timely, accurate and consistent manner is a key enabler to the effective command and control of dismounted close combat forces and achievement of military objectives. The DSA project requires a new, technology-driven, situational awareness solution, designed around the dismounted close combat soldier.

A copy of the statement of requirement can be requested by emailing: ISSDev-BATCIS-DSA@mod.gov.uk.
Problem to be solved
The D&IP is required to design and develop the DSA System. The D&IP shall develop the DSA system design, subsystem requirements documents, interface control documents, technical product specifications and statements of work, which shall be used by the Authority to contract third-party suppliers to provide/manufacture/produce the DSA system (at scale). The D&IP shall support the Authority with its third-party competitions and with its Assessment Phase activity up to and including Full Business Case submission.
Services required: Programme/Project Management; Requirements/Architecture/Design/Engineering; Support to Authority Competitions; Change/Configuration Management; System Integration; System Design Authority/System Safety/System Security; Ad-hoc tasking; Support to Training/Introduction to Service/Logistics Support.
Who the users are and what they need to do
Dismounted close combat users require enhanced voice and data services that will result in an enhanced situational awareness capability. The user needs to be more informed, able to make decisions quicker, increasing operational tempo and ensuring mission success.
Early market engagement
All previous market engagement has been published on Defence Share: https://defenceshare.mod.uk/connect.ti/TAF_03/view?objectId=16581520.

To request access to Defence Share please email: ISSDev-BATCIS-MOR-IE@mod.gov.uk
Any work that’s already been done
Existing team
The DSA Project Team is currently made up of a mix of Crown Servants and Contractor Personnel (procured through the BATCIS Private Sector Support (BPSS) Contract).
Current phase
Not applicable

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
MoD Abbey Wood - BS34 8JH.
At the current time the team is working remotely with virtual meetings/workshops. Initially the D&IP may be required to work remotely until the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. Post restrictions, the D&IP will be required to work alongside the MoD team on site and from their own premises. There will be occasions when travel to third-party sites (such as Warminster, Andover and other sites) is necessary.
Working arrangements
Collaborative behaviour and collaborative working relationships are crucial to the success of this project. The D&IP shall work collaboratively with the Authority (including BPSS contractors), the Authority's third-party suppliers, as well as Authority stakeholders.
Security clearance
Key D&IP personnel shall be required to have Security Clearance (SC) to deliver this contract. SC must be in place for the duration of the contract. A number of UK contractor personnel will be required to attend government sites (primarily BS34 8JH) to access/process sensitive information associated with this contract.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
The supplier who is awarded the D&IP contract (and any parent company/subsidiary/sister company/affiliate/division of this organisation) shall NOT be eligible to bid for the DSA equipment supply contracts or make up any part of the supply chain of these contracts.
Suppliers must use/be prepared to use the Authority’s Contracting Purchasing and Finance tool. Further defence specific terms and conditions will apply and will be confirmed later in the tendering process.
This requirement is Outside IR35.
Cyber Risk Assessment reference for this requirement: RAR-N379G2XU. The associated Cyber Risk Profile is Low.
A Security Aspects Letter will be issued to shortlisted suppliers.

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
  • Evidence of where your organisation has experience in Radio Frequency (RF) communications in a Dismounted environment.
  • Evidence of where and how your organisation has provided sub-system design specifications which were issued to and understood by third-parties.
  • Evidence of where and how your organisation has produced system design specifications.
  • Evidence of where and how your organisation has designed systems that work together (interoperate) and achieve flexibility and commonality.
  • Evidence of where and how your organisation has successfully integrated third-party products / component sub-systems into a Communication and Information System.
  • Evidence of where and how you have conducted progressive assurance as part of an acceptance process.
  • Evidence of where and how your organisation has successfully implemented middleware / developed software to integrate with external interfaces.
  • Evidence of where and how your organisation has taken a systematic approach to developing software requirements and managed software and system baselines to a recognised software standard.
  • Evidence of where and how your organisation has used and implemented applicable government and/or public sector security standards and policies.
  • Evidence of where and how your organisation has designed in line with applicable government and/or public sector safety and environmental standards and/or policies.
  • Evidence of where and how your organisation has worked in a Defence Acquisition environment supporting capability delivery.
  • Evidence of where and how your organisation has successfully worked in a Communication and Information System collaborative working environment.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Evidence of where and how your organisation has integrated Commercial Off The Shelf Communication and Information Systems which subsequently matured into a high System Readiness Level capability.
  • Evidence of where and how your organisation has improved performance or reduced costs through the implementation of a design change.
  • Evidence of where and how your organisation has successfully adapted design changes to meet evolving client requirements, and the associated impacts on the project/contract.
  • Evidence of where and how your organisation has identified and implemented technology and system improvements in response to new threats and evolving technologies.
  • Evidence of where and how your organisation has developed test plans and/or use cases for validating system installation inclusive of Electromagnetic Environmental Effects (E3) and Tempest Test Plans.
  • Evidence of where and how your organisation has integrated a Communication and Information System onto a soldier.
  • Evidence of where and how your organisation has worked towards or contributed to a Communication and Information System that has been security accredited.
  • Evidence of where and how your organisation has worked in a Defence Acquisition environment delivering a Communication and Information System.
  • Evidence of where and how your organisation has worked with a project team to develop supporting artefacts for the Defence approvals process.
  • Evidence of where and how your organisation has put in place successful collaborative working practises/processes with clients and third-parties.
  • Evidence of where and how your organisation has successfully implemented continual improvement measures or value creation across a collaborative working relationship.
  • Evidence of where and how your organisation has conducted system performance modelling (radio, network).
  • Evidence of where and how your organisation has delivered in an agile environment.
  • Evidence of where and how your organisation has assisted with/set up shared working environments for a client.
  • Evidence of where and how your organisation has successfully exited/handed over from a contractual relationship.
  • Evidence of where and how your organisation has experience of practical use of the Tactical Assault Kit (TAK) software.
  • Evidence of where and how your organisation has experience of integration and knowledge of the TAK Software Development Kit.
  • Evidence of where and how your organisation has acted as or on behalf of a System Design Authority for a Communication and Information System.

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
6
Proposal criteria
  • Summary - Provide a summary of the issue or problem to confirm your understanding of the SOR content - 5 %
  • Proposed Approach - Provide a high level description of your approach and methodology to deliver the contract. Describe how you’ll meet the SOR business requirements and deliverables - 30 %
  • Design Methodology - Describe your proposed design methodology and design process, which will include associated tools and methods - 30 %
  • Delivery Timeframes (1) Detail when you can deliver the work. Highlight any areas of efficiencies to be made and/or risks or concerns to the Authority's indicative timelines - 5 %
  • Delivery Timeframes (2) Break down the work into phases and say when each phase will be done - 5 %
  • Team Structure (1) Roles/responsibilities/skills/experience of proposed team, what work they'll be doing at each stage, how you'll mobilise the team quickly and retain key resources for the duration - 5%
  • Team Structure (2) Evidence your ability to flex up/down resources to meet the demand requirement throughout the duration of the contract, whilst ensuring quality and consistency throughout - 5 %
  • Value for Money - Describe how your proposal will optimise costs and generate savings through the design solution and during contract delivery - 10 %
  • Risks and Dependencies - Identify the risks and dependencies associated with delivering this requirement and your proposed mitigations - 5 %
Cultural fit criteria
  • Explain how you will work collaboratively with and manage relationships with the Authority (including contractors), the multi-participant vendors, your supply chain and the Authority stakeholders to achieve the required outcomes.
  • Explain how you will ensure a transparent and collaborative approach when making decisions and the proposed governance model for the decision making process.
  • Explain how you will share knowledge and experience with other Authority team members and partners.
  • Explain how you will assure the quality of your work, benchmarking against best practice/other organisations and share these improvements with the Authority and its third-parties.
Payment approach
Fixed price
Additional assessment methods
Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

70%

Cultural fit

10%

Price

20%

Questions asked by suppliers

1. Can it be confirmed that the application questionnaire only requires responses to the ‘Essential’ and ‘nice to have’ skills questions and the proposal criteria questions pertain only to the next stage of the selection process?
Correct. The ‘Essential’ and ‘Nice to Have’ skills and experience responses must be submitted by Tuesday 23 March 2021 at 11:59pm GMT.

A proposal template, presentation template, pricing template, security aspects letter and statement of requirement will be issued to shortlisted suppliers who are taken forward to the next stage.
2. Could we please request an extension to the submission date to Friday 30 April?
For Digital Outcomes the closing of applications is mandated at 2 weeks from publication of the requirements. The Authority has no control over this and is therefore unable to extend the submission date for this opportunity.
3. Can the Authority please provide additional clarification with respect to the: ‘D&IP contract shall NOT be eligible to bid for the DSA equipment supply contracts or make up any part of the supply chain of these contracts.”
This definition could have un-intended consequences of limiting the options available and detrimentally impacting elements including through life support and low level sub-component supply chains.
Industry is well used to adopting formal information ‘firewalls’ and compartmentalisation which can be assured and even audited if required. Would the Authority be prepared to consider alternative models (eg formal firewalls).
The Authority stands by the decision to segregate the design and equipment supply roles for the DSA capability. This intent has been stated throughout our communications with industry via the Defence Share Page and industry have been provided with the opportunity to provide feedback through the Delivery Strategy Survey issued in January 2020 (prior to competition launch).
4. The DSA Deliver Strategy document doesn’t make explicit mention of integration of DSA with the rest of Morpheus. Is this excluded from the scope of this programme? If not, which Morpheus Target Systems architecture building blocks are included please?
DSA Capability Delivery Drop 1 will be standalone capability which will not initially integrate with MORPHEUS. Further information on the continual service improvement approach can be found in the Statement of Requirement. Further background technical information will be issued to shortlisted suppliers.