By Jessica Saunders  – Managing Editor, Atlanta Business Chronicle

Jul 22, 2019, 2:38pm EDT Updated Jul 22, 2019, 5:33pm EDT

The United States Air Force has awarded Georgia Tech Applied Research Corp. a $245.9 million contract for electronic warfare and avionics systems support.

The contract provides for essential engineering, research and development capabilities and services for the development and sustainment of systems, according to the Department of Defense. Work will be performed at Atlanta, Georgia, and is expected to be completed by July 8, 2029.

The indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract has a total ceiling of $491 million, with a performance base period of five years with a 5-year option, according to Georgia Tech, which is based in Atlanta.

The Georgia Tech Applied Research Corp. is a 501(c)(3) organization that supports Georgia Tech Research Institute, a business segment of Georgia Institute of Technology focused on applied research activities.

The contract was to be overseen by the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s Electronic Warfare and Avionics (EW&A) Division at Robins Air Force Base in Warner Robins, Ga.

The EW&A Division is responsible for software support for 460 systems installed on or supporting 60 models of aircraft.

“Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) has partnered with the Electronic Warfare & Avionics (EW&A) Program Office to provide important technological solutions to the U.S. Air Force for over 30 years,” said Col. James Wilson, senior materiel leader of the EW&A division. “As a University Affiliated Research Center (UARC), GTRI delivers essential engineering capability across the mission of EW&A and provides a long-term, strategic relationship beyond just the EW&A program office to include other parts of the USAF. This UARC contract will streamline the opportunity for the EW&A program office to leverage the capabilities of GTRI across USAF acquisition portfolios.”

Future orders under the contract may include foreign military sales to multiple countries, the DOD said. The award announced July 9 was the result of a sole-source acquisition. Fiscal 2019 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $3.82 million were obligated at the time of award.

The Office of the Secretary of Defense designated Georgia Tech Research Institute a university affiliated research center in 1995, based on its core competencies which include: electromagnetics and materials technologies, systems engineering, modeling and simulation, threat systems research, sensors and weapon system analysis, cyber security, and test and evaluation. The institute meets the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center requirements for technical and subject matter expertise to identify and mature appropriate technologies and develop operational prototypes for the rapid transition of maturing technologies to meet warfighter needs, according to Georgia Tech.

“This award affirms GTRI’s growing value to our nation’s defense. As the US faces increasingly more sophisticated technological threats from innovative and unconventional adversaries, this UARC contract will expand GTRI’s ability to quickly apply its breadth of emerging and advanced technologies and leverage the creativity and expertise of a major university to solve critical national problems,” Lora Weiss, Georgia Tech executive vice president and interim director of GTRI, said.

GTRI employs more than 2,000 engineers, scientists, and support staff, with facilities in Atlanta, Warner Robins, and other locations near U.S. military bases, laboratories, and test ranges.