The Army ManTech Program is currently funded at approximately $55 million per year, displaying a relatively stable level of investment. Investments result in cost avoidance and reduced risk of transitioning military-unique manufacturing processes into production.
The Program process is structured to fund projects that are deemed high priority for the Army. Proposals are submitted through the laboratories , Research Development Centers (RDECs) and Army Command Centers (ACOMS) to RDECOM. ManTech proposals are vetted and prioritized through a series of stakeholder reviews and criteria based evaluations. Evaluation criteria are centered on alignment with the stakeholder-identified investment areas, the strength of the projected transition, the projected impact on end-item or system affordability and the overall benefit to the Army.
The Program supports process prototyping and pilot demonstration to develop or modify manufacturing technologies for the Army’s use. It does not acquire off-the-shelf capital equipment unless it is a minor portion of the investment and is required to establish the first-case application integral to the ManTech project. Prior to receiving Army ManTech funds, the Program Manager (PM) or organization responsible for transition and implementation must demonstrate a robust Acquisition Strategy that includes a realistic plan to transition and implement the technology in the industrial base. In support of this requirement, the PM must provide a Metrics Confirmation Memo (MCM) to validate project deliverables and alignment with acquisition milestones. The MCM provides the three key elements for transition planning (project deliverables, associated metrics that determine success of those deliverables, and a schedule that shows the planned transition point). The MCM assists with transition planning, feeds into Technology Transition Agreements (TTA’s), and facilitates implementation planning.
Specific initiatives are organized by the following portfolios:
― AIR ―
Improves manufacturing processes to include improved power-to-weight ratio, specific fuel consumption, and affordable manufacturing of lighter-weight, multi-functional coatings for wear resistance
― GROUND MANEUVER ―
Automates armor manufacturing, affordable vehicle protection and transparent armor
― LETHALITY ―
Addresses manufacturing cost and risks associated with energetic materials and component subsystems of missiles and munitions, cannon barrels and offensive weapon delivery systems
― COMMAND, CONTROL AND COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEMS ―
Addresses the manufacturing improvements for positional, navigational and timing devices (e.g. Global Positioning Systems), situational awareness displays, and electro-optics systems
― SOLDIER/SQUAD ―
Affordable manufacturing of lighter-weight, multi-functional materials, and power systems that directly benefit the Soldier
― INNOVATION ENABLERS ―
Utilization of digital product data, reverse engineering and robust supply chain tools to reduce acquisition lead times and system life cycle costs
Upon funding a project, the ManTech office tracks cost, schedule, performance and transition/implementation planning activities through semi-annual Internal Program Reviews (IPRs). These IPRs and other supporting program documentation inform future strategic planning and feed directly into the Army ManTech budget item justifications and success stories.