Sailor loads a sonobuoy aboard a P-8

A sailor loads an “A sized” sonobuoy which are encased in a standard Sonobuoy Launch Case (SLC).

New multiple award delivery order for production sonobuoys announced

The Air Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Systems Program (PMA-264) awarded a Multiple Award Delivery Order Contract (MADOC) for production sonobuoys on 20 July 2022.

A MADOC is a special type of Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract with multiple awardees. This format provides an ideal marketplace for qualified vendors to compete for annual quantities of production sonobuoys. The MADOC sonobuoy production ordering period will begin in FY23 and continue through FY27 for the U.S. Navy, international cooperative partners, and foreign military sales customers. The contract will also be used to replenish sonobuoys expended in daily ASW operations while maintaining inventory levels as required by the Navy munitions requirement process.

“This unique contract award is critical to the future of sonobuoy production,” said Capt. Dennis Lloyd, Anti-Submarine Warfare Systems program manager. “Sonobuoys are essential to the execution of air ASW mission within the US Navy and our allies. It is a testament to our team that these awards occurred in such a timely manner.”

The MADOC approach allows for long-term competitive dynamics and an environment to help foster and maintain the industrial base by opening up delivery order competitions to all qualifying offerors. This is to encourage new entrants, with qualified sonobuoys, to continuously enter the marketplace throughout the duration of the contract.

Sonobuoy qualification occurs by way of Other Transaction Authority (OTA) allowing the Department of Defense to carry out prototypes, research, and more. For sonobuoy development and production, the OTA process enables companies the opportunity to build and qualify independent designs and production lines of all sonobuoys variants without disrupting current supply.

PMA-264 is responsible for the manufacturing and delivery of sonobuoys. They are air launched expendable, electro-mechanical ASW acoustic sensors designed to relay underwater sounds associated with ships and submarines to sophisticated remote processors principally on P-3C Orion, P-8A Poseidon, and MH-60R Seahawk aircraft.


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