Recently, United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) issued a presolicitation notice to industry for a Commerical-Off-The-Shelf Special Operations Forces Personal Equipment Advanced Requirements (SPEAR) Family of Tactical Headborne Systems (FTHS)-Ballistic and Non-Ballistic Helmets. The FTHS-Ballistic and Non-Ballistic Helmets will consist of a ballistic helmet system as well as a non-ballistic helmet system.
The government intends to award a five-year Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) Firm Fixed Price (FFP) production contract for a fully developed item to the offeror with the best value to the Government. This is not a R&D contract; the offeror must be the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) and have an existing U.S. verifiable production line for any product proposed under this solicitation. All offerors must submit a proposal for both helmet systems; partial proposals will not be accepted. The helmet systems must meet the performance requirements as outlined in the Performance Specification and meet the requirements set forth in the Berry Amendment.
The acquisition will utilize full and open competition and the final solicitation is expected to be released this month. The minimum contract value will be $150K and the maximum contract value will be $95M.
Offerors will be required to submit Product Demonstration Models (PDMs) with proposal submission for evaluation. In addition, the Government may procure additional PDMs for testing purposes as part of this solicitation. These PDMs will be purchased from only those vendors remaining in the competitive range. Word is, the Government wants each offeror to submit in excess of 300 sample helmets, cost free. That’s a serious outlay to participate, considering the offeror may walk away empty handed.
It is important to note that these helmets are not the same as the Next Generatin SOF Helmet examples produced last year by Ops-Core and Revision. Instead, these will be much more evolutionary in nature, bringing new materials and improved fit in packages much more like SOF currently use. For example, this procurement is looking for solutions that include ballistic and bump shells, suspension systems including left and right eye dominant straps, accessory rails, exterior Velcro kits, 3M Peltor Accessory Rail Kit, and helmet covers. Interestingly, SOCOM is said to be looking for a new hearing protection system soon making the interest in a 3M Pelton mount interesting. Additionally, the offeror must propose a 3-Hole VAS shroud, provide the Wilcox G24 VAS mount, 4-Hole GSGM VAS Shroud, Wilcox GSGM VAS Mount, and the helmet itself must be compatible with currently fielded shrouds. Kind of makes you think there should be a move to a more common VAS Shroud. However, another procurement is expected later this year for a separate SOF coxswain helmet which will likely include a bump helmet with ballistic appliqué upgrades as well as a mandible guard.
For additional details, visit www.fbo.gov.