Prime aims to accelerate and “prime” emerging commercial markets and bring military interests that accelerate nascent technologies within the commercial market, benefiting commercial industrial base and military capability.

In addition to funding, Prime leverages other unique Department resources, like test infrastructure, certification authorities, interagency relationships, and early operational use cases, bringing the Department of the Air Force’s full value proposition to bear by becoming an early adopter to de-risk emerging markets.

Our Mission: Expand technology transition paths to accelerate emerging dual-use markets by leveraging government resources for rapid and affordable fielding.

Click on the topics to learn more about Prime.


Accelerates development of key dual-use technology sectors that advance U.S. national security and competitiveness, fielding rapid and affordable capability within a 2-4 year timeframe. Prime programs collaborate across academia, industry, investors, interagency, international, acquisition, laboratory, and warfighter communities.
Provide focus for specific technology areas at a smaller scale than designated Prime programs. Initiatives provide emphasis, acceleration, and fielding in selected emerging technology areas. Initiatives may directly support Department of the Air Force acquisition program requirements by utilizing AFWERX portfolio companies.
Facilitates collaborations with the AFWERX Spark Division by supporting acquisitions integration through development, program management, and fielding opportunities for specific Department of the Air Force Spark Tank submissions.

Current Prime Programs

AFWERX Agility Prime logo
AFWERX Orbital Prime logo

Becoming a Prime Program

Writing - Line

Evaluating Prime Programs

  • A defined path to success and transition exists
  • Measurable, initial milestones are established
  • Ignites the imagination of the public and private sector
  • Known external threat or potential ‘Sputnik moment’
  • Significant, potential international market impacts
  • Adversarial competition in both private and government sectors
  • The DoD could be an early adopter/initial customer
  • Potential for quantifiable impact to strengthen national security
  • Aligned with the DoD investment thesis and strategic priorities
  • Potential for the US, and its allies, to be global market leaders
  • DoD resources and funding could enable rapid development
  • Investor and industry collaboration opportunities abound
  • Clear path to a possible Program of Record
  • Operationalization timeframe is 2-4 years
  • An opportunity for a viable commercial market transition

USAF Space Force AFRL and AFWERX Logo Block

afwerx 2.0 overview