Fairlead Receives Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I Award

22 May 2020


On May 11, 2020, the U.S. Department of the Navy informed Fairlead we were one of three successful offerors selected for a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I award.

The SBIR program was established by Congress in 1982 to strengthen the role of innovative small business concerns (SBCs) in Federally funded research or research and development (R/R&D).  On a schedule coordinated by the Department of Defense, the Navy issues SBIR Broad Agency Announcements (BAAs), usually three per year, that contain a series of “Technical Topics” that describe the areas of interest and needs of the Navy and its System Commands (SYSCOMS). Small businesses are invited to submit proposals targeted at one or more of the technical topics listed in the announcement.

SBIR Phase I is a feasibility study to determine the scientific or technical merit of an idea or technology that may provide a solution to the Department of the Navy’s need or requirement. Fairlead submitted a proposal for the Navy’s request to research the subject topic, “Mine Countermeasures Unmanned Surface Vehicle Common Deploy and Retrieve System.” Fairlead will analyze the system challenges between the AN/AQS-24B Deploy and Retrieve System (designed and manufactured by Northrop Grumman Corporation and Fairlead), and the AN/AQS-20C Deploy and Retrieve System (designed and manufactured by Raytheon) as a starting point of our design concept for a common system.

The SBIR submission was a strategic action of Fairlead leadership to respond to a Broad Agency Announcement and become familiar with the SBIR process.  Fairlead President Fred Pasquine expressed excitement at the news of the award and is confident there will be other SBIR contracts in Fairlead’s future.

Fairlead is a veteran-owned small business supplier of integrated electrical and control systems, large-scale mechanical fabrications and structures, precision machined metal components and subsystems, and advanced mobile containerized products. Fairlead’s products are part of mission critical systems in the U.S. Navy’s Nimitz and Ford-class aircraft carriers, Virginia and Columbia-class submarines, all classes of surface combatants and amphibious ships including Arleigh Burke Class DDGs, San Antonio Class LPDs, LHA-8, the Littoral Combat Ship class, and many classes of support and Auxiliary ships of the Military Sealift Command, the Maritime Administration, and the U.S. Coast Guard. Additionally, Fairlead provides repair and maintenance services to vessels, small boats and craft through its ship repair facility in Newport News, Virginia.  Fairlead provides Down River services to the U.S. Navy and Auxiliary Fleet world-wide.  Fairlead is headquartered in Portsmouth, Virginia with other facilities in Portsmouth and Newport News.