MUX Program Prize Challenge


The Navy announced a prize challenge May 22 for its future Marine Air/Ground Task Force, Unmanned Aerial System, Expeditionary (MUX), a ship-based, long endurance UAS. 

The MUX IPT intends to use all available methods of engineering and test to decrease time to field and increase first pass yield on its material solution. They intend to use best of breed model based systems engineering, capabilities based test and evaluation and mid-tier acquisition as tools to decrease cycle time. 

The Navy’s Multi-Mission Tactical UAS program office (PMA-266) at NAVAIR will oversee MUX.

In order for NAVAIR to meet its aggressive fielding date, PMA-266 will award prize challenges in two phases. The first phase will seek design concepts for payloads and modularity, emphasizing minimal size and weight while maximizing performance. The challenge submissions will be scored and evaluated by a panel of judges. Vendors will receive $700,000 for first place; $200,000 for second place; and $100,000 for third place.

The results of the first phase will inform a second prize challenge for airframe and power plants. The Navy expects to award a series of up to eight prize challenge awards for MUX.

The Marine Corps is looking to field MUX in 2026 on its guided missile destroyers. For more information on prize challenges visit

Official Rules for the MUX prize challenges

Airborne Early Warning (AEW) Payload Prize Challenge Official Rules

Data Relay (DR) Payload Prize Challenge Official Rules 

Electronic Warfare (EW) Payload Prize Challenge Official Rules

Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) Payload Prize Challenge Official Rules

(as of Sept. 4, 2019)

Frequently Asked Questions

Q:  On the NAVAIR website, there are detailed instructions for 4 of the 6 challenges (EW, Data Relay, AEW, and ISR Payloads) with an Initial Application date of 03 Jun.  However, the 2 remaining (Mission Systems Architecture and Payload Adapter) are not listed on the Challenge website yet.

Can you provide information on when these 2 challenge details/rules will be promulgated and when the Initial Applications will be due? 

A: The initial application period for the four challenges that have already been posted ends 11:59 pm EST on 03 June 2019. However, the initial application period for the two challenges you mentioned (Mission Systems Architecture and Payload Adapter) does not end until 11:59 pm EST on 26 September 2019 and therefore have not yet been posted. Please refer to the applicable FBO posts for all other dates related to those challenges and please continue to monitor for any additional MUX prize challenges.

Q:  Can participants submit one application to address more than one challenge or must they apply separately for each challenge?

A:  Yes, you can submit one application to cover multiple challenges. However, please explicitly address which challenges you are applying for and please note that some prize challenges request different information than others in the initial application.

Q: I cannot open the starter model that was delivered with the prize challenge invitation.

A: The instructions for opening .mdzip files are as follows:

  1. Open your Cameo Systems Modeler application (or Cameo Enterprise Architect)
  2. Go to "File", click on "Open Project"
  3. Navigate to the location on your computer where the .mdzip file was saved
  4. Click on the file and then click the “Open” button
  5. The file will then be opened

MUX Industry Day – 11 July 2019

Industry Day Presentation


The following provides answers and clarifications to questions that were received from industry, including questions that were posed during Industry Day on July 11, 2019. If any of the written responses contained below in any way contradict or conflict with responses previously provided by the Government, the written responses below shall take precedence and supersede any prior answers provided. In all cases, the Official Rules for the respective Prize Challenges shall take precedence and supersede any answers provided.

1. Q: What software should be used in developing the models?
A: Models must be developed in CAMEO Enterprise Architecture V19.0 or later versions.

2. Q: Will the government accept unsolicited white papers?
A: Yes, the Government will accept all feedback to inform the MUX requirements.
If you are considering submitting an unsolicited proposal as defined in FAR subpart 15.6, unsolicited proposals will be considered in accordance with FAR subpart 15.6, but will not be eligible for any prize challenge award. All unsolicited proposals must be submitted in accordance with FAR subpart 15.6. NAVAIR’s agency point of contact for unsolicited proposals is Mr. Brad Fields ([email protected]).
In order to be considered for the prize challenges, participants must provide submissions in accordance with the Official Rules of the specific prize challenge.

3. Q: Will the government be using OTA’s to access non-traditional companies?
A: The Government intends to open the aperture to non-traditional companies. OTA’s provide a potential path to reach these non-traditional companies. The Government has not yet determined what contract types will be used in the future, but is willing to consider all options.

4. Q: More details for the timeline for the Air Vehicle Prize Challenge. How do we get an invite to participate?
A: The Government anticipates that the Air Vehicle Prize Challenge Official Rules will be publicized in or around July 2020. The Government intends to follow the same process for the Air Vehicle Prize Challenge that it has used thus far for the various payload prize challenges. Interested participants will submit an initial qualification application to be considered for an invitation to participate. The Government will evaluate responses and invite qualified applicants to participate. The Government intends to release an initial announcement publicizing the prize challenge (e.g. FBO posting) in or around April or May 2020.
5. Q: Can the Government provide a list of attendees to help companies look for teammates?
A: The Government does not intend to provide a list of attendees, but will consider providing in future prize challenges.

6. Q: Information provided has indicated the MUX POR will be looking at ~ 80-100 AV for USMC requirements. Is the Government considering exportability?
A: For now, the focus is on USMC requirements and not FMS.

7. Q: The discussion for MUX has included looking at Cyber, but will the Government also focus on Anti-Tamper?
A: Yes, Anti-Tamper considerations will also be important in the future.

8. Q: How do companies get to source data? Will there be a secure library portal for Table 1? How will the Government transmit information, is there a central library for Table 1?
A: “Table 1” describes the MUX operational and functional desired capabilities for all payloads currently contemplated by the Government. This table is captured in the official rules for each of the four (4) payload prize challenges that were posted to and

9. Q: The Government is using MBSE and MOSA, but will it also be looking at other models to address high O&M (sustainment) costs (e.g. Virtual Digital Twin, automated conditioned based maintenance, ALIS, HUMS)?
A: The Government has not made those determinations yet. Requirements for the Air Vehicle Prize Challenge are still being defined. The Government will explore all possible solutions going forward.

10. Q: How much mission system definition will be provided in the AV prize challenge in July 2020? Also, will there be any capability/requirement updates or changes between the July 2020 Prize Challenge and the July 2021 award?)
A: The Government anticipates including the payload, architecture and modularity information in the model for the purpose of the AV prize challenge. The Government does not anticipate making additional updates to the model after July 2020.

11. Q: In 2021 will there be one award for Prototype development?
A: The current plan is to start the evaluation of AV responses in July 2021 and to choose a winner from evaluated responses. In FY22, the plan is to move to some form of contract or agreement to build the prototypes. The selection of a winner does not guarantee that the Government will proceed to a prototype effort. The Government is still determining how this acquisition process will proceed, and there will be multiple meetings with industry to ensure that there are no surprises.

12. Q: What is the value placed on modularity and SwaP-C considerations in input, value from providing subsets or combinations of payloads to meet/provide operational value. Can additional guidance be provided on how to mix and match as far as payloads on AV?
A: This will depend upon the results we receive from the current prize challenges that are underway. We are also conducting studies to determine what mix of capabilities will always be required in the aircraft. While the USMC would prefer to have all mission systems available at all times, we are currently seeking the realm of the possible from the results of the prize challenges.

13. Q: During the PEO Industry day, the Naval Aviation Consortium was discussed. Will MUX efforts fall under that?
A: We are currently not using the Consortium for the prize challenges, but will consider all possible avenues for future MUX requirements.

14. Q: How ironclad are the Navy requirements for MUX – the requirement to be compatible with the DDG hangar?
A: The current intent is that the MUX will be compatible with the DDG. However, there is nothing written that says this intent will not change in the future. However, it is likely an enduring requirement. Any changes to that requirement would be provided to industry.

15. Q: How can industry provide feedback on the prize challenges?
A: If industry has recommendations for how the Government can improve the prize challenges, we want to hear about it. Please submit all feedback to the MUX email address: [email protected]