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Archive for the ‘Contracts’ Category

Armor Express Awarded Five-Year ID/IQ Hard Armor Contract from U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Wednesday, October 11th, 2017

CENTRAL LAKE, MI, October 11, 2017 – Central Lake Armor Express, Inc. (“Armor Express”), a leading manufacturer and distributor of high-performance body armor solutions, announced today that the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has awarded the Company a five-year, multimillion dollar Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (ID/IQ) contract for its state-of-the-art plate armor.

“We are excited about this latest hard armor award and are honored to outfit the dedicated officers of CBP with ballistic plate solutions that offer the modularity, protection and size options for special threats they may encounter,” stated David Jones, Director of Federal Sales. “We continue to make it our mission to develop and deliver highly-engineered personal protection equipment – both hard and soft armor solutions – backed by revolutionary material science and innovative designs that meet the quality and performance requirements of the various branches of the Department of Homeland Security. We are committed to ensuring all officers have the most reliable equipment so they can perform at the highest level and with peace of mind knowing that their armor keeps them safe.”

Under the terms of the contract, Armor Express will provide its NIJ 0101.06 Level III front, back and side armor plates custom-designed to support the needs of CBP. Made in the USA, the plates were developed in conjunction with strategic partner, Hesco, and engineered to provide ultimate protection, ease of mobility and speed when encountering fast paced special-threat situations. Built with some of the strongest composite materials created in partnership with Honeywell Spectra Shield® technology and using next-generation processing techniques, these exceptionally thin and lightweight plates enable the user to leverage weight savings, without compromise in operational protection.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is one of the world’s largest law enforcement organizations – with more than 60,000 employees – and is charged with keeping terrorists and their weapons out of the U.S., while facilitating lawful international travel and trade. As the United States’ first unified border entity, CBP takes a comprehensive approach to border management and control, combining customs, immigration, border security, and agricultural protection into one coordinated and supportive activity. The men and women of CBP are responsible for enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws and regulations. On a typical day, CBP welcomes nearly one million visitors, screens more than 67,000 cargo containers, arrests more than 1,100 individuals, and seizes nearly 6 tons of illicit drugs. Annually, CBP facilitates an average of more than $3 trillion in legitimate trade while enforcing U.S. trade laws.

Scott Wyatt, Vice President of Sales for Armor Express continued, “This latest purchase order for Customs and Border Protection is testament to DHS’ continued trust in our field-tested and industry-proven solutions. We look forward to greater collaboration with the department as our success is only possible by the input received from actual end-users. We will continue to drive innovation to safeguard the life of every officer who wears our body armor.”

For more insights on the Company’s plate offerings and all other body armor solutions, go to the Armor Express website at www.armorexpress.com.

Crane “Contaminates” SURG Test Samples By Crosspolinating Weapon Components Between Vendor Submissions, Calls On Offerors For New Samples

Friday, October 6th, 2017

Naval Surface Warfare Center – Crane in Indiana is responsible for the testing and procurement of USSOCOM’s weapons. One of the projects they have been working on for SOCOM is the Suppressor Upper Receiver Group, an upgrade of the M4A1 Lower Receiver Group will allow the Warfighter’s weapon to be optimized for continuous suppressed use.

Earlier this year, the program had its second go around after an initial attempt at identifying a system failed last year. Performance parameters were adjusted from the earlier effort to more accurately reflect what was possible, and vendors submitted three sample SURG candidates each.

Unfortunately during recent testing, sample weapons were incorrectly assembled using parts from different vendor submissions, undermining the integrity of the results.

Last week, Crane contacted vendors and informed them that any offeror which had passed Phase I could resubmit three samples by 26 October in order to continue participation in the solicitation.

The government will then reaccomplish Phase I and then move on to Phases I & III with the resubmitted samples.

Additionally, Crane has outlined measures it will take to prevent future crosspollination of parts between vendor submissions.

Unfortunately, this information has not been made public via Fed Biz Opps as was the case with the original solicitation, which catalogued 11 updates.

Interestingly, United States Army Special Operations Command, the largest SOF component, is not one of the stakeholders for this capability. Hopefully, this program will result in a new Suppressed URG for the requesting warfighting community which includes other SOCOM components. As of now, USASOC plans to stick with its current suppressor capability, provided by SureFire.

NSWC Crane Announces Advanced Naval Technology Exercise – 2018 Urban 5th Generation Marine Exploration and Experimentation Exercise

Thursday, October 5th, 2017

The Deputy Commandant for Combat Development & Integration (CD&I) and Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development, Test and Evaluation (DASN(RDT&E)) are soliciting mature prototypes from industry, academia, and government research and development (R&D) organizations to participate in the Urban 5th Generation Marine Exploration and Experimentation 2018 (U5G 18) exercise. 

They invite industry, academia, and Government R&D organizations to demonstrate innovative operational concepts, non-developmental technologies, and/or engineering innovations that provide cost-effective alternatives that enhance the ability to gain advantage and win in urban combat.

In particular, they are concentrating on:

Urban Situational Awareness
Counter-Reconnaissance
Fires and Effects
Command and Control
Maneuver

The U5G 18 exercise will be a progressive series of exercises conducted between March 2018 and February 2019. The first exercise will be held March 15-25, 2018 at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, San Diego, California. The exercise provides Warfighters the opportunity to assess the operational utility of emerging technologies and engineering innovations that improve the Marines survivability, lethality and connectivity in complex urban environments. The objective of the exercise is to provide technology enhancements that support the Marine Rifle Company and its subordinate elements. The focus is therefore enabling the small percentage of Marines who engage in close combat. Based on the results of the technical and operational assessments from the March exercise, participants may be invited to participate in future U5G exercises which will progress through more complex scenarios and environments.

The Advanced Naval Technology Exercises (ANTX) are a series of exercises led by the NR&DE where industry, academia, and Government R&D organizations are invited to demonstrate emerging technologies and engineering innovations in operationally relevant environments and scenarios. Each ANTX exercise, or series of exercise(s), is focused on mission essential tasks. This notice is for the U5G 18 exercises which will be conducted between March 2018 and February 2019. This notice will be updated with information related to future U5G 18 exercises.

The U5G 18 exercises are guided by a core team of operational, acquisition, and technical subject matter experts from: Marine Corps CD&I, Marine Corps Warfighting Lab (MCWL), and the Naval Research and Development Establishment (NR&DE). Technical and operational assessments will be incorporated into a final report that informs capability development, experimentation, studies, wargaming, proto-type development, rapid capability development, and future Marine Corps acquisition decisions.

For full details, visit www.fbo.gov.

Optics 1 Awarded $45 Mil Contract For Enhanced Clip-on Thermal Imagers and Enhanced Clip-on SWIR Imagers

Monday, October 2nd, 2017

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According to the Department of Defense:

Optics 1 Inc., Bedford, New Hampshire, is being awarded a $45,000,000 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for production of enhanced clip-on thermal imagers and enhanced clip-on short-wave infrared imagers in support of special operations forces. Work will be performed in Bedford, New Hampshire, and is expected to be complete by September 2022. Fiscal 2017 Navy working capital funds (Navy) in the amount of $220,000 will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the Federal Business Opportunities website, with one offer received. The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division, Crane, Indiana, is the contracting activity (N00164-17-D-JQ17).

Ft Benning Cancels Reverse Auction For 12,600 PMAGs

Monday, October 2nd, 2017

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In August US Army Mission and Installation Contracting Command at Fort Benning announced an intent to purchase 12,600 GEN M3 PMAGs from a commercial source via reverse auction.

For this solicitation, MICC End User intends to conduct an online competitive reverse auction to be facilitated by the third-party reverse auction provider, FedBid, Inc. FedBid has developed an online, anonymous, browser based application to conduct the reverse auction. An Offeror may submit a series of pricing bids, which descend in price during the specified period of time for the aforementioned reverse auction.

Reverse auctions sound like a great idea, at least for commodity items like ink pens and toilet paper. Essentially, the government outsources the buy to a third party and they host the reverse auction which sees companies compete with each other to fulfill the contract for less and less money until a winner emerges which will do it for less than anyone else. The thing is, you have to be very careful with this purchasing vehicle. Because the winner will be doing it for pennies on the dollar, there’s lots of incentive to cut corners and give the government exactly what they asked for.

Below is the description of what they intended to buy. Emphasis added is mine, to point out that just a few words give bidders an excuse to substitute the PMAGs with something else entirely, in order to underbid eveyone else.

M4 Magazine. Color preference is coyote tan, but gray/black is also considered. Fits 30 rounds of 5.56×45 ammunition. Transparent window on side to see the ammunition level. Strong and durable springs. Light polymer material. Warranty for defective items. Include shipping. PMAG 30 AR/M4 GEN M3 Window or equal., 12600, EA;

If the units at Fort Benning had received an “equivalent” when they expected PMAGs, it wouldn’t have been the first time a reverse auction has failed to deliver what the unit thought they were asking for.

Fortunately, they cancelled this purchase. The Army issued Maintenance Information (MI) Message 17-045, which authorized units to requisition GEN M3 PMAGS under NSN 1005-01-615-5169 (BLACK) and NSN 1005-01-659-7086 (COYOTE TAN) as Additional Authorization List (AAL) items. By ordering through the stock system, they’ll get exactly what they want, and at contract price.

NSWC Crane Awards $10M Contract To SureFire For Muzzle Brakes And Suppressors

Monday, October 2nd, 2017

Late last week, Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane posted an award for a $10 million contract to SureFire for “SUPPORT/SUSTAINMENT FOR MUZZLE BRAKES, AND SOUND SUPPRESSORS IN SUPPORT OF THE MK13 MOD 7 SNIPER RIFLE, 10.3 AND 14.5 M4A1 UPPER RECEIVER GROUP (URG)”.

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This allows the units supported by Crane (primarily USSOCOM) to quickly procure additional muzzle brakes and suppressors.

Ballard Subsidiary Protonex’ Squad Power Manager Product Receives Go-Ahead For Full Rate Production By US Army

Monday, September 25th, 2017

VANCOUVER, CANADA and SOUTHBOROUGH, MA, USA – Ballard Power Systems (NASDAQ: BLDP; TSX: BLDP) and the Company’s wholly owned subsidiary – Protonex Technology Corporation (“Protonex”) – today announced that the U.S. Army Program Executive Office Soldier (PEO-Soldier) has received signature approval for its Mobile Soldier Power Program of Record to full rate production status, commonly known as “Milestone C”.

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This Program of Record includes a number of new devices focused on improving power and energy management on and around the soldier, including Protonex’ Squad Power Manager Kit (SPM-622), conformal wearable batteries, and man-worn power and data distribution devices, such as Protonex’ Vest Power Manager family.

SPM-622 Squad Power Manager
“With the digitization of the battlefield, the U.S. military identified a capability gap in energy and power management for its increasing array of electronic devices,” said Paul Osenar, President of Protonex. “Our Squad Power Manager is one of the solutions that fill this gap. Lightening the load of warfighters by eliminating many of the batteries, adapters and chargers they carry was a requirement that we identified years ago. We are excited to work with the Army to provide innovative and practical power solutions like our Squad Power Manager. The Milestone C designation now enables the U.S. Army to field the SPM-622 as part of the Mobile Soldier Power Program of Record in significant volume.”

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The SPM-622 is a tough, versatile and agile power management device, weighing less than a pound and enabling military forces to manage and prioritize power use for various electronics devices – including portable radios, GPS systems, Medical and EOD equipment, and computers – from any available power source. In addition, the SPM-622’s ability to scavenge from vehicles, other batteries, solar panels and other energy sources allows military units to recharge mission essential batteries when resupply is unavailable or delayed. As a result, the U.S. Department of Defense and Allied militaries have deployed more than 5,500 Protonex SPM Power Manager Kits through the limited production phase of the program.

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The small, light and intelligent SPM-622 system increases mobility and flexibility of the warfighter. The product fulfills a U.S. Army requirement that has been validated by deployed units engaged in combat operations in austere environments, delivering a number of high-priority benefits to military end-users that include: reliable power for a variety of electronic devices, including equipment for communications, medical, explosive ordinance detection and directed fires; lightened load due to reduced battery burden; reduced logistical strain in remote locations or austere environments as a result of the lower quantity and variety of batteries needed; increased energy independence; and increased operational and mission effectiveness.

The SPM-622 Squad Power Manager was developed by Protonex and is manufactured at production facilities located in Southborough, Massachusetts.

www.PTXnomad.com

UPDATED – CSASS Update

Friday, September 22nd, 2017

Naturally, if word gets out that the Interim Combat Service Rifle effort has stopped midstream, folks are going to wonder about other 7.62mm programs, especially CSASS.

Despite a contract award in early 2016 to H&K for a G28 variant, the US Army has yet to field any M110A1 Compact Semi Auto Sniper Systems. So far, the program has no funding. It’s not dead; it just doesn’t have money to buy anything.

However, a directed requirement for 6069 G28 rifles, which are essentially M110A1s minus the optic, is still rumored to be moving forward, albeit rather slowly. These rifles will be fitted with a different optic and used in the Squad Designated Marksman role. While the Army will not have a widespread capacity to bring 7.62 hate, the DMR guns and existing M110s, built by Knight’s Armament Co, offer a limited capability.

However, CSASS is still alive and well with the US Navy and US Air Force, who are reportedly still on track to field several thousand of the rifle system.

UPDATE
Within an hour of this post being published, The Army Contracting Command published an award on FedBizOpps entitled, “Compact Semi-Automatic Sniper System Engineering Change Proposal”.

The U.S. Army Contracting Command – New Jersey (ACC-NJ), on behalf of the Project Manager Soldier Weapons (PM-SW), awarded a modification to incorporate Engineering Change Proposals to the Compact Semi-Automatic Sniper System.

If I were a betting man, that ECP turns the CSASS into a DMR by eliminating the Optic and Suppressor as well as lengthening the Barrel, which results aggregately in lowering the price and producing the desired variant of the G28 specified in the Directed Requirement. If it includes a full-auto function, ICSR could still happen as an ECPed CSASS and offer the Army the 7.62 H&K G28, it wants.

We will update you as we learn the details of this ECP.