WHAT IS AN OTA?
Originally launched during the Space Race of the 1950s, Other Transactions provide the Government an ability to execute contracts outside of the standard Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) process in order to attract nontraditional defense contractors, quickly leverage advancements in the commercial domain and expand the industrial base, while reducing risk through collaborative prototype iteration. And yes, while called an Agreement, it is a formal contract with the Government.
Contract vehicles powered by the NSTXL platform are authorized by 10 U.S. Code § 2371b, Authority of the Department of Defense to Carry Out Certain Prototype Projects. The prototype projects pursued under the Other Transaction Agreements we manage are individually tailored based on mission objectives, the specific capability gap being addressed, and the maturity of the applicable technology. The resultant project agreements are flexible and can adapt to include unique terms & conditions related to various topics, such as intellectual property, payable milestones, or programmatic phasing.
Based on recent updates to the authority, the Government is now able to take advantage of competed projects and transition a successfully completed prototype into full-scale production without additional competition.
Application of the authority is intended to cultivate an environment that allows innovation to flourish and the best technology to rapidly reach the end user.