Protonex Technology Corp

Archive for the ‘Contracts’ Category

NSWC-Crane Issues Presolicitation For New Optics – Miniature Aiming System – Day Optic Squad – Close Quarters Sight and Clip-On Magnifier

Tuesday, June 20th, 2017

The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division, which manages small arms development for USSOCOM, has issued a presolicitation, informing industry that it intends to issue a solicitation contract for a full and open competition for an anticipated Firm Fixed Price Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract that will cover a five year ordering period with five (5) additional one (1) year options that may be exercised at the Governments convenience. When you see the minimum and maximum for the IDIQ, your eyebrows will raise a little, but it will make sense.

The anticipated requirement is for a Miniature Aiming System – Day Optics (MAS-D) Squad – Close Quarters Sight (CQS) and Clip-On Magnifier (CM). The sights will be used on both compact and assault rifles. The anticipated contract minimum quantity is thirty (30) units OR $36,000 and the anticipated contract maximum quantity is thirty-nine thousand three hundred units (39,300) OR $47,160,000. These numbers give the command a great deal of flexibility, allowing them to select more than one contract awardee. Additionally, there is room for other organizations to purchase from this contract.

This slide comes from COL Samuel Ashley’s (USASOC G8) briefing at last month’s NDIA Armaments Symposium. Many know that USASOC divested itself from the use of EOTech Holographic Weapon Sights due to their thermal shift issue. What many don’t know is what they replaced them with as an interim solution. The 75th Ranger Regiment had an immediate need and a shoot off of Commercial Off The Shelf red dot sights was conducted at Ft Bragg, NC. The sights evaluated included the EOTech as a baseline, Aimpoint T2, Leupold LCO and Trijicon MCO. I am told that the EOTech performed very well but that it was not a candidate for selection due to its thermal shift problems. I am also told that the user evaluation preferred the Leupold LCO. However, in a second phase of the evaulation conducted at Crane, the LCO had some reliability challenges, so ultimately, the Rangers got the Aimpoint T2. Interestingly, 1st Special Forces Command (Airborne)(Provisional) chose to field the Army’s service common M68 optic, also by Aimpoint. The use of service common equipment saves the command’s MFP-11 Dollars for other capabilities.

Below is another slide from that same briefing that shows, in generalities, what USSOCOM expects from a Close Quarters Sight and how many they want to buy.

The anticipated timeframe for the release of the solicitation is expected to be in the Fall of 2017. For full details, visit www.fbo.gov.

Marine Corps Systems Command Awards Contract to Produce Enhanced Combat Helmet

Sunday, June 11th, 2017

Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va. — Marine Corps Systems Command has awarded a $51 million contract to provide Enhanced Combat Helmets to every Marine – a move that will help keep Marines safe throughout training and deployments.



Marine Corps Systems Command has awarded a contract to provide Enhanced Combat Helmets to the fleet. The ECH exploits lightweight material technology to provide enhanced ballistic protection against select small arms and fragmentation. The helmet consists of a ballistic shell, suspension pads, and four-point retention system. In addition to the above components, a reversible helmet cover, night vision goggle bracket and attachment hardware will be provided for wear. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Isaac Ibarra)

Gentex Corporation, of Simpson, Pennsylvania, was selected to produce and deliver the helmets. Gentex was awarded a five-year, indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract.

Since 2014, Marines have only been issued the ECH when they prepare for deployment. This purchase will enable Marines to use the helmet during training as well, eliminating the need to trade helmets before and after deployments.

“Right now, we have three helmets fielded, but the future vision is a single helmet for all operating forces, which greatly simplifies logistics considerations and increases cost savings,” said Nick Pierce, team lead, Body Armor and Load Bearing Equipment.

Also used by the Army and Navy, the ECH provides the most ballistic protection beyond any other Department of Defense helmet. It exploits lightweight material technology to provide enhanced ballistic protection against select small arms and fragmentation. The helmet consists of a ballistic shell, suspension pads and four-point retention system. In addition to those components, a reversible helmet cover, night vision goggle bracket and attachment hardware will be provided for wear.

Helmets were tested as part of the source selection process in January 2017.

First Article Testing will begin in September 2017 and support delivery of the first order for 35,424 helmets. Fielding is scheduled for the spring of 2018 and will include I, II and III Marine Expeditionary Forces.

The ultimate future vision for the ECH is to safeguard Marines in training and deployments with one helmet, Pierce said.

“The ECH is the helmet of the future Marine,” said Maj. John Draper, ECH project officer. “It’s important for Marines to train with the same gear they will bring into combat.”

By Kaitlin Kelly, MCSC Office of Public Affairs and Communication | Marine Corps Systems Command |

Armor Express Awarded Major Contract with Florida’s Orange County Fire Rescue Department to Outfit Firefighters and EMS Officers with Personal Protection Equipment

Friday, June 9th, 2017

Hundreds of first responders to benefit from state-of-the-art body armor, including ballistic resistant vests and helmets certified to NIJ requirements and tested against special threats

CENTRAL LAKE, MI, June 8, 2017 – Central Lake Armor Express, Inc. (“Armor Express”), a leading manufacturer and distributor of high-performance body armor solutions, is pleased to announce today that the Company has been awarded a contract with the Orange County Fire Rescue Department (OCFRD) in Florida to outfit Officers with its advanced HardcoreTM SU carrier and QuantumTM Level IIIA armor featuring ballistic cummerbund inserts for full wrap-around protection. Additionally, Armor Express will provide OCFRD with its high-performance BUSCH AMP-1 E Level IIIA ballistic helmet, featuring uni-size capability.

“We are very excited by this incredible opportunity with Orange County Fire Rescue and our vital partnership to ensure that their firefighting, rescue and medical emergency officers have the most reliable personal protective equipment required,” stated Rex McGrath, Armor Express’ Channel Manager for Fire/EMS. “As the largest fire and rescue agency in Central Florida, serving roughly 1,000,000 citizens and visitors and responding to more than 119,000 service calls annually, we’re honored to support OCFRD with advanced body armor solutions. We’re committed to addressing the unique needs of their first responders, who often don’t know what level of threat they’re responding to. These men and women put their lives on the line every day when there’s a crisis and they ensure our communities are safe. In turn, we stand ready to safeguard them.”

Under the terms of the contract, Orange County Fire Rescue purchased 350 ballistic armor systems and helmets respectively, along with 160 carry bags for proper equipment storage. The award is sponsored in part by the County and by a grant from the Office of the Medical Director.

“Given the extensive history of fire and EMS response to active shooter events, from 1999 at Columbine High School to the Pulse nightclub tragedy last year, and ongoing events throughout the nation and the world, Orange County Fire Rescue is ensuring our first responders are properly equipped and prepared to safely respond and render care to those impacted by violent incidents in our community,” said Chief Otto Drozd III. “All positions on field response units are now equipped with ballistic vests and helmets. Crew members are authorized to deploy the vests and helmets any time they determine there is a risk of violence or explosive threats. When crews are dispatched to a Potentially Violent Situation (PVS), our new procedures require they don the vests and helmets prior to response.”

The equipment has been issued department-wide, and it has already been put to use. First responders from Orange County Fire Rescue recently arrived on scene in ballistic equipment to a deadly workplace shooting. “With the equipment deployed on responding crews, we were prepared to provide victims with the best chance of survival,” continued Chief Drozd.

OCFRD selected Armor Express’ HardcoreTM SU carrier which accommodates soft concealable body armor, while external plate pockets give the first responder the option of adding hard armor protection at any time. It is intended for use as an external garment—worn visibly over a uniform, for example, and consists of two primary components—the BALLISTIC PANELS and the TACTICAL CARRIER or “outer shell”. The Hardcore SU has a lightweight, low profile design with fully adjustable shoulders and waist; it is designed not to hamper the movements required while rendering first aid and extraction. The Dynamic Cummerbund System allows the user to breathe and move much more efficiently. The shoulder strap geometry offers enhanced ergonomics and the liner shell material uses 3D spacer mesh for improved heat, moisture and debris dissipation. The plate pocket offers MOLLE webbing for modularity and optional attachments.

Paired with the Hardcore SU carrier, Armor Express’ QuantumTM Level IIIA ballistic package will provide OCFRD officers with the kind of robust protection leveraged by numerous federal law enforcement agencies. The armor is ideal for firefighters and EMTs in need of a light, flexible, yet sturdy solution. Viewed as a workhorse in the industry, the Quantum is capable of stopping special threats such as the 5.7 x 28 Sporting Round (both Level II and IIIA) and the 5.7 x 28 Lead Free. It is also uniquely certified to the Department of Defense’s standards for fragmentation protection.

Additionally, OCFRD personnel will benefit from the BUSCH AMP-1 E Level IIIA helmet. This ACH/MICH-shaped helmet is made of aramid fibers in a composite matrix. It features fragmentation protection and is tested to V50 > 2130 f/s (650 m/s) 17gr. Another significant feature of the BUSCH AMP-1 E helmet from Armor Express is its uni-size capability, which will enable OCFRD to address the multiple sizing needs of its broad staff in a single solution – making it an extremely affordable option.

In related news, Chief Drozd’s proposal to establish a clear, concise, operational standard to guide fire and emergency service response to active shooter events and other violent incidents was accepted by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standards Council. The new Technical Committee for Cross Functional Emergency Preparedness and Response begins meeting this month. The committee will establish criteria for all components of emergency response, including ballistic equipment.

McGrath concluded, “Our work with the Orange County Fire Rescue team is a big step in Armor Express’ commitment to working more closely with the Fire & EMS markets and expanding product and service reach to agencies that are depending on personal protection more than ever before. First responders are facing increasingly dangerous environments with the rise of active shooter/mass casualty incidents. On June 12, we will be reminded of the Pulse nightclub attack and remember all those who were lost. We will also acknowledge the important lessons learned and re-affirm Armor Express’ pledge to supporting communities and the first responders who answer the calls for help. Through our continued investment in next-gen armor systems and protection technologies, we will continue to bring the peace of mind they deserve.”

www.armorexpress.com

GAO Denies GLOCK Protest For US Army M17 Modular Handgun System Award To SIG SAUER

Tuesday, June 6th, 2017

Yesterday was the deadline for the Government Accoutability Office to issue a ruling on GLOCK’s protest of the US Army’s Modular Handgun System award to competitor SIG SAUER of February 24th. The GAO denied the protest, meaning the Army’s planned fielding of the M17/18 will move forward, starting with the 101st Air Assault Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, later this year.

Below is the GAO’s statement.

The following is a statement from Ralph O. White, Managing Associate General Counsel for Procurement Law at GAO, regarding today’s decision resolving the protest filed by Glock, Inc., of Smyrna, Georgia, B-414401, June 5, 2017.

On June 5, 2017, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) denied a protest filed by Glock, Inc., of Smyrna, Georgia, against the award of a contract by the Department of the Army to Sig Sauer, Inc., of Newington, New Hampshire. The solicitation, issued under request for proposals (RFP) No. W15QKN-15-R-0002, is for the procurement of a modular handgun system. The protester challenged the Army’s interpretation of the solicitation regarding the minimum number of contract awards required by the RFP. The protester also alleged that the Army improperly evaluated its proposal. The maximum contract value, including all options, is approximately $170 million.

GAO denied the challenge to the interpretation of the solicitation, finding that the RFP allowed the Army to make only one award, although up to three awards were permitted by the RFP’s terms. GAO also denied the challenge to the Army’s evaluation of Glock’s proposal on the basis that any errors did not prejudice Glock in the competition.

GAO’s decision expresses no view as to the merits of the protester’s proposal. Judgments about which offeror will most successfully meet the government’s needs are reserved for the procuring agencies, subject only to statutory and regulatory requirements, such as full and open competition, and fairness to potential offerors. GAO’s bid protest process is handled by GAO’s Office of General Counsel and examines whether procuring agencies have complied with procurement laws and regulations.

Today’s decision was issued under a protective order because the decision may contain proprietary and source selection sensitive information. GAO has directed counsel for the parties to promptly identify information that cannot be publicly released so that GAO can expeditiously prepare and release a public version of the decision. When the public version of the decision is available, it will be posted to our website, www.gao.gov.

INVISIO receives a SEK 30 million order from partner MCL to support the British hearing protection program THPS

Saturday, June 3rd, 2017

INVISIO (IVSO) has received an order from partner MCL to provide hearing protection and communication systems for the British Tactical Hearing Protection System program (THPS). The order value amounts to approximately SEK 30 million and deliveries are planned for the second half of 2017.

The order for the INVISIO system is part of a contract awarded to Marlborough Communications Ltd (MCL) by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) in 2015 covering the delivery of systems to the British Army, the Royal Navy, the Royal Air Force and the Army Reserve. THPS, Tactical Hearing Protection Systems, is the modernization program for hearing protection and communications systems of the UK Ministry of Defence.

The 2015 contract is for four years with options for a further three years and comprises INVISIO’S hearing protection and communications system INVISIO S10. The solution provides the user with the ability to communicate and collaborate effectively in noisy environments, providing first rate hearing protection and situational awareness to personnel on operations, whilst offering more comfort.

INVISIO has previously supplied the THPS program with equipment corresponding to sales of approximately SEK 150 million.

www.invisio.com

USSOCOM Alerts Industry To Aviation Body Armor Vest Requirement

Friday, June 2nd, 2017

Natick released a Sources Sought Notice to industry for a new Aviation Body Armor Best to support SOF aviation customers.

KEY PERFORMANCE PARAMETERS (KPPs)
1. Must be capable of supporting the following items:
a. Spear Cut Level 5 Stand-alone, Swimmer Cut Front, Back, and Side Plates
b. Under-Arm Flotation System Modular Water Wing Design
c. SEA LV2 (Emergency Breathing Device)
d. M-4 Magazines (Qty: 3 with the ability to increase to a quantity of 6)
e. M-9 Magazines (Qty: 2 with the ability to increase to a quantity of 3)
f. CAT Tourniquet
g. Individual Medical Aircrew Kit (5.5″L x 5.5″W x 3.25″D)
h. Individual Survival Aircrew Module (5.5″L x 5.5″W x 3″D)
i. Universal radio pouch capable of holding the CSEL or 148 series Radio with Thales GPS
Side Mate Module Assembly
j. IZLID
k. Modular holster for M-9 Beretta capable of being mounted and reconfigured between the vest and belt, and capable of being mounted vertically, horizontally, or angled on the vest.
2. Must be interoperable with Swimmer Cut Generation V SPEAR Body Armor Plates
3. Must have an integrated extraction / retention system consisting of:
a. Belt shall be capable of being used independently as a method of extraction and retention
b. Chest connection point shall be capable of being used independently for retention. It shall be capable of being used for extraction in conjunction with the belt while maintaining the chest connection point as the single point of attachment to the hoist line.
This system should be capable of being used as a single point for both retention and extraction.
c. Capable of supporting a 400lb load for rescue hoisting from both belt and chest connection points and provides retention through a chest connection point compatible with lanyard part numbers AMTC-S1379 (7′) & AMTC-S1380 (12′) & 001-HSLSOCOM.
d. The belt must be rated in accordance to meet NFPA 1983-2012 – 3000lbs for 1.5min.
The criteria for the static pull test of the belt is a minimum break strength of 3000 lbs in an upright and inverted position. Pull Test (two iterations): Horizontal & head-down with a max buckles slippage of 25 mm (1 in.). The criteria for the static pull test of the chest connection is a minimum break strength of 3,000 lbs. for 1.5 minutes in horizontal, vertical, and angular directions.
e. Any harness worn with the belt must not diminish the pull strength in any way.
4. Must be available in Multicam and be capable of being printed in other patterns. ABAV must meet minimal requirements for not creating Visual and Near IR (VIS/NIR) offenders. If nonprinted materials are used, they must be in Tan #499 and meet VIS/NIR Tan #499 compliance.
5. ABAV must be flame resistant, no melt /no drip, and be self-extinguishing. The items shall be tested in both the warp and fill directions. The average melt / drip that occurs after removal of the source flame shall be less than 1 droplet. The average after flame in each direction (warp and fill) shall be no longer than 3.0 seconds, the average afterglow in each direction shall be no longer than 2.0 seconds, and the average char length in each direction shall be no longer than 4.5 inches for samples prior to laundering (0 washes) and after laundering (5 washes). Laundering shall be conducted according to AATCC Method 135, and the vertical flame testing shall be conducted according to ASTM D 6413
6. Environmental conditions cannot degrade the ABAV to the extent they cannot be used for its intended mission (e.g. buckles and fasteners must operate in extreme cold and hot conditions and be resistant to sand and debris).
7. Must withstand the effects of full climatic range of operations ranging from -50F to 130F.
8. Must withstand storage temperatures ranging from -50F to 185F.
9. Must be resistant to rot, mildew, DEET, Petroleum, Oil and Lubricants (POL), chlorine, UV light, and salt water.
10. Shall have a shelf life of not less than five years in a sealed package.
11. The ABAV must be easily usable and adjustable while wearing a wet suit, exposure suit, and/or cold weather gloves to the maximum extent practicable.
12. Must be backward compatible with all currently issued SPEAR Load Carriage items.
13. Shall provide adequate amount of surface area for carrying mission essential equipment tailored to duty position (e.g. rifleman, medic, engineer, etc). The ABAV shall be compatible with existing
USSOCOM equipment when minimally or fully loaded in accordance with operational practices.
Existing USSOCOM equipment includes Military Free Fall (MFF) equipment, fast rope and static line parachute equipment, combat swimming equipment, backpacks, equipment belts, and NBC gear (MOPP 4).
14. Shall have a handle capable of dragging or supporting 400 lbs. during dynamic motion in combat.
15. Fine adjustments to fit shall be easily made while in minimally and maximally loaded configurations. This includes the need for fine adjustments of any straps, harnesses, cummerbunds, or any other type of adjustment system while wearing the entire ensemble without removing it.
16. Provide equal weight distribution, be configurable for additional load carriage, and provide shoulder-hip distribution capabilities. These capabilities shall not interfere with any others, and should only add additional capability without detrimental aspects.

KEY SYSTEM ATTRIBUTES (KSAs)
1. Must be easily and quickly releasable when unloaded or fully loaded in all combat environments, including submerged / maritime environments where crashed aircraft is possible.
2. All aspects of the design and integration of the ABAV and its Accessories shall be simple, easy, and intuitive to use. The ABAV must be easily setup prior to use, and easily adjustable during use.
3. The holster must be capable of being transitioned from mounting on the vest in a horizontal, angled, or vertical configuration, to mounting on a belt.
4. Materials and designs of the ABAV must provide maximal comfort, full range of dynamic anatomical motion, and maximal agility during movement in all environments.
5. The ABAV shall minimize water retention, maximize drainage, and minimize drying time.
6. When fully loaded, the ABAV must allow the operator to bring and maintain all weapons to a good firing position or adjust firing position. These weapons include M-9, M-4, and crew served weapons.
7. Must not hinder or significantly interfere with the operator entering or exiting SOF ground vehicles, aviation platforms, movement through hatches or doorways, and must maximize comfort while riding on SOF/Service aviation platforms.
8. The Accessories should be simple to use, minimize bulk, retain necessary equipment, and allow easy access for removal and replacement of equipment into the pocket or pouch.
9. All Accessories should firmly attach to the ABAV in a way that minimizes relative motion between equipment-filled pockets and the ABAV. Fastening mechanisms shall be simple, easy to use, and durable for all operational environments.
10. Shall be capable of fitting the 5th to 95th percentile chest size (33″ circumference, 16″ torso length to 49″ circumference, 24 ¼” torso length
11. ABAV and Accessories must be able to integrate with a low profile, modular floatation system that has an easily installable bladder capable of providing no less than 70 lb. of positive buoyancy when inflated on the surface with 40 lbs. at 1 ATM. Modular flotation sub-components shall not reduce or will only minimally reduce the area available for Accessory attachment. Bladders and floatation capability must be easily removable.
12. ABAV and accessories must have durability and abrasion resistance during extended land operations.

Responses are due, NLT 7 June 2017. Visit www.fbo.gov for full details.

US Army Announces Industry Day For Next Generation Squad Automatic Rifle

Friday, June 2nd, 2017

The PM Soldier Weapons has announced a classified (yes, classified) Industry Day at Ft Benning on 25-27 July 2017 for the Next Generation Squad Automatic Rifle (NGSAR) which a single incremental program to replace the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW) in Brigade Combat Teams (BCT) and select support units during the next decade. Remember, NGSAR is one of the Army’s budget priorities.

IMG_2148

It will combine the firepower and range of a machine gun with the precision and ergonomics of a carbine, yielding capability improvements in accuracy, range, and lethality. The weapon will be lightweight and fire lightweight ammunition with improved lethality. The NGSAR will help to reduce the heavy load that burdens Soldiers and that has a significant negative impact on their mobility, survivability, and firing accuracy. Soldiers will employ the NGSAR against close and extended range targets in all terrains and conditions. The NGSAR will be compatible with and dependent on legacy optics and night vision devices to meet required capabilities. It will also be compatible with the Small Arms Fire Control system currently in development and possess back-up sights. It is anticipated the NGSAR support concept will be consistent with (comparable to) that of the predecessor M249 SAW involving the Army two level field and sustainment maintenance system. The NGSAR will achieve overmatch by killing stationary, and suppressing moving, threats out to 600 meters (T), and suppressing all threats to a range of 1200 meters (O).

Loads of technical data and requirements follow.

Mandatory Key Performance Parameters (KPP) described below identify the mandatory system capabilities for the NGSAR. These KPPs are essential to the development and improvement of an effective military capability that will make a significant contribution to the characteristics of the future joint force.

KPP 1 System Survivability:
The NGSAR is a mission critical system that must be survivable to chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear (CBRN) exposure to include effects of electromagnetic pulse and cyber-attacks. The NGSAR must be operational after exposure to chemical, biological, radiological, and cyber-attack (T). The NGSAR must be operational after exposure to chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, cyber threats and electromagnetic pulse (O).

KPP 2 Operator System Training:
Soldiers will be trained to comply with the accuracy requirements in this document under simulated combat stressful conditions. Training on the system will be standards-based, leveraging technology in system design to minimize the training time and resources needed for operators/maintainers to achieve system competency. The following criteria will help to ensure system trainability:
1. TASK STEPS: 85% (T) to 95% (O) of tasks to operate and maintain the system will require less than 10 steps (including sub steps).
2. JOB/MEMORY AIDS: 85% (T) to 95% (O) of tasks that require 10 or more steps (including sub steps) will have job/memory aids that provide written procedures or diagrams to enable operators to perform the tasks without the need for extensive memorization.
3. MEMORIZATION: No more than 8 (T) and preferably 3 or less (O) discrete facts, terms names, rules, or ideas will be required to be memorized on any system task.
4. Instrumentable Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System (I-MILES) Small Arms Transmitter (SAT) Tactical Engagement System (TES) Small Arms Transmitter (SAT). The NGSAR sight system must not interfere with the design, installation, or operation of the current I-MILES SAT and future Army-Tactical Engagement Simulation System (A-TESS) SATs when installed for Live Force-on-Force training.

KPP 3 Accuracy:
The NGSAR will have the capability to provide the P(i) metrics on the target sets located in the classified annex. This will require accurate P(h) along with ammunition capability.

KPP 4 System Weight:
The NGSAR combat configured weapon including sling, bipod and sound suppressor will weigh no more than 12 pounds (T) 8 pounds (O). This does not include ammunition or magazine.

KPP 5 Ammunition Weight:
The NGSAR ammunition will weigh 20 percent less than tactical brass equivalent caliber ammunition (T) 50% (O). Note the NGSAR ammunition could be a caliber not currently in use by the US Army. In that case the equivalent weights will be calculated through interpolation by the USG.

Key System Attributes (KSAs) described below are considered essential to achieving a balanced solution/approach to a system, but not critical enough to be designated a KPP.

KSA 1 Sustainment:
1. Operational Availability (AO): The NGSAR at the system level will be no less than 94.2% (T), 95.1% (O) measured over an extended period of operations consistent with (and indicative of) the annual wartime system usage cycle.
2. Reliability: The NGSAR will be functional in all operational environments (hot, basic, cold, severe, extreme sand/dust). Reliability of the NGSAR, measured at the system level (functions of weapon plus ammunition addressed collectively as an integrated capability) during equipment operation in accordance with wartime usage.
2.1 Class I (Immediately Operator Clearable) Failures: The NGSAR will demonstrate 94.5% (T), 99.3% (O) probability of successfully completing a day of wartime operations (daily average of 450 rounds fired per weapon) without incurring more than one immediately operator clearable (Class I) EFF as defined in the NGSAR Reliability FDSC (EFFs of Class I severity are clearable in 10 seconds or less).
2.2 Class II (Operator Clearable) Failures: The NGSAR will demonstrate not less than 90.1% (T), 99.2% (O) reliability of successfully completing each individual wartime mission specified in the OMS/MP (most demanding mission involves 293 rounds fired per weapon) without incurring a Class II operator clearable EFF (which requires more than 10 seconds to clear).
2.3 Class III (Non-Operator Clearable) Failures: The NGSAR will demonstrate not less than 90.6% (T), 92.0% (O) reliability of successfully completing the 72-hour wartime scenario specified in the OMS/MP (1,349 rounds fired per weapon) without incurring a non-operator clearable (Class III) EFF.
2.4 Barrel Life: The NGSAR will have a barrel life capable of meeting KPP accuracy/dispersion requirements with no more than a 10% degradation for 10,000 (T) and no degradation for 20,000 rounds (O).

KSA 2 Total Ownership Cost (Weapon Only):
Intentionally left blank.

KSA 3 Size:
NGSAR will have a maximum length of 38 inches and no longer than 35 inches with the buttstock in the stowed configuration (T); 35 inches maximum length and no longer than 32 inches with the buttstock stowed (O).

KSA 4 Rate of Fire:
NGSAR shall be capable of a rate of fire of 60 rounds per minute for 16 minutes and 40 seconds without a barrel change or risk of cook-off. Cyclic 200 rounds without cook off (T). NGSAR will be capable of 108 rounds per minute sustained for 9 minutes and 16 seconds without barrel change or risk of cook off. Cyclic 300 rounds without cook off (O).

KSA 5 Controllability:
NGSAR shall enable the Soldier to maintain a clear sight picture during automatic fire engagement of moving targets from the prone position with bipod (T). NGSAR will allow the Soldier to maintain a clear sight picture during engagement of moving targets from the kneeling position (O). Low recoil will allow the Soldier to better control the weapon and remain on target improving probability of hit. Recoil energy limitations will be in accordance with Test Operations Procedure 3-2-045 and Table 1 of TOP 03-2-826A.

KSA 6 Firing Modes:
NGSAR will have the capability to fire in automatic and semi-automatic modes (T). NGSAR will be capable of firing two rounds with one trigger pull with both rounds impacting the target within 1 inch at 100 meters in automatic or semi-automatic modes (O).

KSA 7 Weapon Signatures:
1. Suppressed sound signature at the shooter’s ear will be less than the suppressed M249 (T). The NGSAR will be unable to localize by sound beyond 300m (O). Localize is defined as the detection and subsequent identification of the weapon system, to include the type of weapon, and its location to the degree that an enemy could return effective fire on it. Improved suppression is for combat ammunition only and will not interfere with Training Aids, Devices, Simulators, and Simulations (TADSS.)
2. Suppressed flash signature will be less than the M249 (T). The NGSAR will be unable to be localized by flash out to 300m (O). First round flash will not be greater than the flash from subsequent rounds. Improved suppression is for combat ammunition only and will not interfere with TADSS.
3. The NGSAR thermal signature will be equal to or less than the M249 (T). NGSAR will possess advanced signature management capability to reduce thermal signature (O).
4. The NGSAR suppressed will produce less toxic gasses than the M249 unsuppressed firing M855A1 ball ammunition. The NGSAR suppressed will produce less toxic gases at the shooter than the M249 unsuppressed firing M855A1 ball ammunition (O).

KSA 8 NGSAR Ammunition:
1. NGSAR Combat Ammunition: NGSAR combat ammunition must provide the probability of incapacitation as listed in the NGSAR CDD classified annex. There must be a Tracer and Ball variant; the Tracer ammunition must provide a visual signature observable by the shooter with unaided vision during both daylight and night conditions (30-degree oblique from either side of the weapon) out to 600 meters (T). The ammunition must provide a visual signature observable by the shooter with unaided vision during both daylight and night conditions (30-degree oblique from either side of the weapon) out to 1200 meters (O).
2. Live Fire Training Ammunition: NGSAR live fire training ammunition must be accurate enough to hit single “E Type” silhouettes at 600 meters with 50% probability of hit (Ph) using conventional weapons zeroing techniques, with a maximum range that does not exceed 2400m. The ammunition must provide a visual signature with unaided vision during both daylight and night conditions to 600 meters. The objective version of this round possesses sufficient accuracy to be used for qualification on reduced range scenarios. Normal weapon wear and tear caused by the live fire training ammunition shall be equivalent to or less than the legacy M855 cartridge. Penetration performance of the M855 at 600 meters and the associated testing procedure was quantified for industry in MIL-C-63989. The penetration performance sought is worse performance than the M855 against AISI steel targets at all ranges over 5 meters. The objective live fire training cartridge penetration performance shall be less than the legacy M855 cartridge at all distances over five meters. This shall be demonstrated using the maximum thickness of AISI 1010 steel plate that the legacy M855 is expected to reliably perforate (V50; zero obliquity) at five meters. No perforation of that target is what is sought. For safety purposes, plate thickness may be extrapolated by suitable precision penetration experiments done at greater distances.
3. Force-on-Force Training Ammunition: NGSAR force-on-force training ammunition shall replicate the flash and noise of NGSAR combat ammunition. The NGSAR will possess a feature (such as a training bolt) that precludes the use of combat ammunition. The ammunition will have distinct, identifiable markings to enable identification under both normal and reduced visibility conditions. The operator will not be required to bore sight or zero the weapon to effectively use the force-on-force training ammunition. Any projectile fired must be accurate to hit single “E Type” silhouettes at 30 meters with 50% probability of hit using conventional weapons zeroing techniques. Any projectile shall be made in at least three colors that will wash off with the use of water. The ammunition shall not contain heavy metals, volatile, or ozone depleting chemicals and shall be non-toxic to allow for firing indoor without creating a toxicity problem. The use of this ammunition shall in no way degrade the weapon’s current performance (when the weapon is reconfigured for combat/service ammunition) or degrade the useful life of these weapons. The operator and other soldiers must be able to visually identify that force-on-force training ammunition is loaded into the weapon from a distance of 5 meters under daylight conditions (T). Force-on Force training ammunition must not penetrate human skin clothed in the standard Army issue uniform nor fracture or break the standard Sun, Wind, Dust (SWD) Goggle lens (LEXAN 1.52mm thick) when fired at a distance of 1.0 meter (39.3in) from the muzzle of the weapon. Force-on Force training ammunition must not penetrate human skin nor fracture or break the standard Sun, Wind, Dust (SWD) Goggle lens (LEXAN 1.52mm thick) when fired at a distance of 0 meters from the muzzle of the weapon (O).
4. Blank Training Ammunition: The NGSAR blank ammo will be utilized for force-on-force skill development and will have distinct identifiable markings to enable identification under both normal and reduced visibility conditions. The use of NGSAR blank ammo shall not degrade the weapon’s current performance (when the weapon is reconfigured for combat/service ammunition) or degrade the useful life of these weapons. The NGSAR blank ammo, when fired at one meter will not penetrate human skin clothed in the standard Army issue uniform. NGSAR blank ammo must fully complement all current and planned TADSS devices relying on blank ammunition for force-on-force training devices (i.e. I-MILES) (T). The NGSAR blank ammo, when fired at zero meters, must not penetrate human skin clothed in standard Army issue uniform (O).
5. Drill Ammunition: NGSAR drill ammunition must facilitate the performance of weapon operator tasks similar to live ammunition to include chambering weapons, clearing weapons, weapon maintenance tasks (including verification of proper weapon setup after maintenance procedures) and ammunition familiarity without risk of activating energetic materials. It must be standardized and easily discernible from other types of ammunition by Soldiers under training representative conditions (T=O).

KSA 9 Mobility:
Soldier mobility has a direct correlation to combat effectiveness. The lightweight NGSAR and ammunition with improved ergonomic features will not result in a reduction in Soldier mobility, agility, responsiveness, as measured by time to complete an Army obstacle course, such as the LEAP-A course, relative to the current baseline system with a combat load of ammunition (T). Soldiers carrying the NGSAR with a combat load of ammunition shall demonstrate a 10% improvement in Soldier mobility as measured by time to complete an Army obstacle course, relative to performance with the baseline system (O).

Additional Performance Attributes (APA) listed below are performance attributes of a system not important enough to be considered a Key Performance Parameter (KPP) or Key System Attribute (KSA), but still appropriate to include. Details to be provided during Industry Day.

APA 1 Integration
APA 2 Protective Materials
APA 3 Shot Counter
APA 4 Operational Controls
APA 5 Back-Up Sight
APA 6 Field Stripping and Tools
APA 7 Compatibility with Personal Protection Equipment
APA 8 Visual Signature
APA 9 Sling
APA 10 ID Markings
APA 11 Cleaning Kit
APA 12 Blank Firing Adaptor (BFA).
APA 13 Data Transfer (Intelligent Rail)
APA 14 – Weapon System Maintenance Ratio (MR)
APA 15 – Mean Time to Repair (MTTR)
APA 16 – Special Tools

It’s unfortunate that the Army has chosen to conduct this program at the classified level as they will preclude the vast majority of the industrial base. Few actual firearms manufacturers have facility clearances, let alone employees with active DoD security clearances. Let’s hope they sort this out.

For full details on the industry day event, visit www.fbo.gov.

Program Manager Individual Weapons Issues Request For Information To Industry For 7.62mm Interim Combat Service Rifle

Friday, June 2nd, 2017

For the last couple of months we’ve been talking about the US Army’s 7.62 rifle requirements.

For quite awhile it looked like they were going to leverage the M110A1 Compact Semi Automatic Sniper System program by purchasing additional Heckler & Koch G28s like they are doing for the Squad Designated Marksman Rifle’s directed requirement for 6069 rifles. Unfortunately, the CSASS weapon would need some changes for the ICSR role. For instance, it’s semi automatic and we understand that was a major sticking point. Consequently, they’ve released a Market Survey to industry in order to identify companies capable of producing a rifle which meets their requirements.

This slide was briefed by PM Soldier Weapons at the recent NDIA Armaments Conference and shows the ICSR as a directed requirement and has been in development for awhile.

IMG_2148

Desired Attributes of Interim Combat Service Rifle:
• The rifle must be a Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) system readily available for purchase today. Modified or customized systems are not being considered.
• Caliber: 7.62x51mm
• Available barrel lengths, to include 16 and 20 inch barrels, without muzzle device attached.
• Muzzle device capable of or adaptable to auxiliary devices for:
— Compensation of muzzle climb
— Flash suppression
— Sound Suppression
• Fire Control: Safe, Semi-automatic, and fully automatic capable.
• All controls (e.g. selector, charging handle) are ambidextrous and operable by left and right handed users
• Capable of mounting a 1.25 inch wide military sling
• Capable of accepting or mounting the following accessories.
— Forward grip/bi-pod for the weapon
— variable power optic
• Detachable magazine with a minimum capacity of 20 rounds
• Folding or collapsing buttstock adjustable to change the overall length of the weapon
• Foldable backup iron sights calibrated/adjustable to a maximum of 600 meters range
• Weight less than 12lb unloaded and without optic
• Extended Forward Rail

This requirement was initially driven by a need to defeat a threat at 600m, but Army Chief of Staff GEN Mark Milley’s recent testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee indicates that the proliferation of inexpensive armor which defeats out 5.56mm ammunition by our adversaries to be the current culprit. GEN Milley testified that the Army had developed a 7.62 round which will defeat that body armor. The ICSR is intended to fire that cartridge.

While the RFI mentions the production 10,000 rifles, remember, that’s a nice round number and not indicative of the actual requirement. Basis of Issue has been tossed around, ranging from four per squad to pure fleet fielding for IBCTs.

Naturally, this move to a full and open competition also means that the ICSR may not be the same rifle already selected for use as CSASS and SDMR. From a logistics standpoint this seems unwise to have two different (three if you count the legacy M110s) 7.62mm rifles in service at the same time with few, if any, compatible parts.

We’ve already discussed how the basic load goes from 210 rounds for 5.56mm to 104 rounds for 7.62. Now, consider a 12 lbs rifle with additional optic and other accessories, further driving the weight up. In addition to the load bearing burden, there is another issue at hand which must be considered. Not only is the rifle and ammunition heavier, it’s also more arduous to shoot, and that’s just on semi. The Soldier must hold the weapon on target and deal with the increased recoil impulse. Anyone who shoots both 7.62 and 5.56 regularly will tell you that they just don’t shoot as much 7.62 at a time as they do 5.56. When we add full automatic fire into the equation, we begin to enter relatively unknown  territory. Even when the US Army last issued a 7.62 rifle, the M14, only one Soldier per squad had a full automatic rifle (M14E2) which was configured slightly differently than the semi auto M14 carried by his squad mates. Go back further to the days of the M1 Garand and its .30-06 M1 cartridge and you find a completely different weapon for full auto fire, the M1918 Browning Automatic Rifle.


However, finding a COTS, fully automatic 7.62 rifle will be a challenge. Aside from FN’s Mk17 SCAR Heavy and HK417, there aren’t many others. We suspect the Army will end up looking at a bunch of AR10esque “COTS” guns which coincidentally have just recently been modified to fire full auto. They’ll be reliable guns in semi auto fire, but unproven for long-term full auto use.

Granted, it’s easier to get to an intermediate cartridge (6.5mm family) with a 7.62 platform, if that’s the actual, ultimate goal. The impending release of the Small Arms Caliber Study and USASOC’s current evaluation of 6.5 rounds will certainly inform such a move, but it’s still years off.

Based in these factors, there are many who would understandably prefer to just wait it out for the development of an intermediate cartridge and build a gun around that.

 However, as we recently wrote, the US military currently finds itself at the nexus of a US small arms renassiance. Requirements exist. Solutions, although not perfect, exist. And most of all, political will exists to resource the acquisitions. Rarely do we find ourselves in this position, so we must capitalize on the opportunity. Hopefully, the Army fully considers the full impact of fielding this weapon and make wise choices.

To read the full Sources Sought Notice, visit www.fbo.gov.