Tactical Tailor

Archive for the ‘Contracts’ Category

Textron Systems To Develop Prototype For US Army’s Next-Generation Squad Automatic Weapon

Friday, July 13th, 2018

Textron Systems has over 14 of experience developing Case-Telescoped weapons and ammunition.

In fact, it’s their Lightweight Small Arms Technology demonstrator (6.5mm box fed version seen below) which served as the inspiration for the US Army’s Next-Generation Squad Automatic Rifle program.

Earlier this year, the Army released a Production Opportunity Notice for NGSAR, which is intended to replace the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon in Brigade Combat Teams. Based on program requirements, the prototype must weigh less than 12 pounds, with ammunition weighing 20 percent less than an equivalent brass case.

Textron Systems is one of six companies selected by the Army to develop a weapon under the PON. Textron Systems’ prototype will be an intermediate caliber, high-velocity, magazine-fed system.

This builds upon two related awards that Textron Systems recently received from the Army for advanced weapons and fire control technologies; one for Next Generation Squad Weapon Technologies (NGSW-T), and another for fire control capability development.

On a final note, I’d like to point out that this is an answer and not the answer to the Army’s requirement. There are several other solutions which will be looked at which include ammunition. What’s more, there will be a couple more times at bat before the Army picks its solution.

NGSAR is the most ambitious small arms program ever. A lot will be learned and much can happen in the ensuing years; new materials developed and scientific breakthroughs. On the other hand, new priorities may take hold in the years it will take to develop this requirement and solution.

US Army Cancels Sub Compact Weapon Sole Source Awards

Saturday, July 7th, 2018

In May, the US Army issued a sources sought notice for a 9mm Sub Compact Weapon to be used by Personal Security Detachments. In June, the Army issued sole source purchase notices for numerous examples of various commercial examples of the weapon.

Earlier this week, the Army cancelled the opportunity.

This Synopsis of Contract Award is amended on 02 July 2018 to notify industry that due to changes in the Government’s requirement, this opportunity is hereby cancelled effective immediately.

The Government is in the process of establishing new requirements for the Sub Compact Weapon Program and will announce the changes on fbo.gov within the next two weeks. Vendors interested in being notified for this new opportunity are encouraged to sign up under the “Interested Vendors List” tab of this announcement.

At one point during development of this requirement, the Army is said to have considered adoption of 300 BLK weapons to fulfill the need, but decided against it as the round is not readily available within DoD or with NATO allies. However, as USSOCOM’s Personal Defense Weapon, a 300 BLK upper receiver kit fit the M4, requirement takes shape, the Army may once again look at M4 compatibility, rather than a completely new weapon.

US Customs and Border Protection Releases Solicitation for New Pistol

Friday, July 6th, 2018

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the parent agency of the United States Border Patrol, has issued a solicitation for a family of lightweight, striker-fired, semi-automatic handguns chambered in 9mm.  With a 10-year period of performance and a contract ceiling listed at $85M, this is likely to be the largest handgun contract in the history of US law enforcement.

What We Know So Far

Unlike other agencies in recent contracts, CBP is looking for a family of firearms.  In their own words, the contract “shall include three distinct variations of sizes”.  This sounds like it will leave CBP the option of purchasing full-size, mid-size, or compact handguns for their agents.  Of particular note is that the full and mid-size handguns are required to include an optics ready slide cut, allowing the firearm to be compatible with both the Trijicon RMR and Delta Point Pro Mircro Red Dot Sights (MRDS).

Testing protocols are also unique for this solicitation.  The government is requiring manufacturers to foot the bill for all testing at a National Institute of Justice (NIJ) laboratory, prior to the close of the solicitation.  While it is not readily apparent what CBP’s motivation is for this, it certainly seems to make the process more fair and transparent than some of the typical closed-door government testing done in secret.

The performance testing standards seem to cover all the standard procedures we are used to seeing, but CBP takes things a step further by adding tests like rough handling, “Linear Guided” drop tests, and extreme sand and salt-water exposure tests.  The handguns will be tested to over 10,000 rounds each using two types of ammunition (Winchester Ranger 147gr. JHP, and Speer Gold Dot 124gr.+P JHP), and nearly half of those rounds will be fired with a SureFire X300U-A attached to the pistol.

To make things even more interesting, it seems as though CBP will be allowing actual field agents to rate the handguns as part of what they’re calling an Operational Personnel Handgun Evaluation.  The solicitation shows law enforcement personnel rating the guns on: Ease of Disassembly; General Ergonomics; Vehicle Entry and Obstacle Clearance exercises; Perceived Accuracy; Trigger Pull; Fast Fire Control; Ease of Reloading; and Slick Grip Firing.  By the look of the solicitation, this portion of the evaluation will happen only after CBP narrows down the submissions to the top four highest scoring vendors.

Who Meets The Requirements?

At first glance, no one currentky meets all of the requiremenes, at least with what we know is on the market.  CBP effectively rules out everyone at some point in the requirements, while leaving the door open for any manufacturer who is willing to put in a little effort.  As it stands right now, there doesn’t seem to be a single manufacturer with handguns meeting every specification.  While the biggest limitation may be the requirement of three sizes of the same type of gun (as well as red-inert and blue-marking variants), most others would only require simple modifications to an existing line of guns.  With a contract this size, it seems reasonable that most companies would be willing to make a few small changes for a chance to wind up in the holsters of the county’s largest law enforcement agency.

Specs:

·         Three sizes of handguns, with 70% overall interchangeability
·         Preferred that a trigger pull is not required for disassembly, and shall not require the use of tools
·         Matte black or dark grey finish (FDE and Ranger Green should be available as an option)
·         Polished internal components
·         No external safety (trigger safety OK)
·         Consistent trigger pull between 4.5 and 8 pounds
·         Aggressively textured polymer frame capable of accepting Streamlight and SureFire weapon lights
·         Multiple grip sizes for each pistol
·         Beveled magazine well, which is equal in height across the front edge
·         Integral magazine well flare is preferred
·         Magazine floor plate “toe” must extend past the front of the grip
·         Low Bore Axis
·         Full front and rear slide serrations
·         Optics ready with cover plate, compatible with Trijicon RMR and Delta Point Pro
·         Full ambidextrous controls
·         Trijicon HD style sights

CBP is also requiring extended magazines and suppressor-height sights to be available on contract.

All in all, this sounds like it could be an interesting duty handgun designed to include all the best features a shooter could ask for in a single package.  The solicitation closes on September 19, 2018, so before long we may be seeing some new guns on the market.

To read the solicitation in full, check it out at www.fbo.gov.

Army Launches Technology Competition For Small Business Entrepreneurs

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2018

WHAT: The U.S. Army is getting out of its comfort zone and wants to see the best technology out there from small businesses/start-ups. Recently, the U.S. Army launched its first ever Expeditionary Technology Search, or xTechSearch, with prizes ranging from $1,000 to $200,000. Prizes increase during each successive round with a potential for up to 25 finalists being invited to participate in a major national event in Washington, D.C. where they can directly engage with Department of Army officials, industry partners and academia.

The U.S. Army is using  xTechSearch as a catalyst for the Army to engage with the non-defense traditional business sector, driving American innovation for Army challenges and modernization efforts and spurring economic growth. Aimed at attracting game-changing innovation, xTechSearch will make additional access for small business entrepreneurs to pitch novel technology solutions directly to Army leadership.

Dr. Bruce Jette, Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics and Technology), launched the nation-wide competition to revolutionize the way the Army attracts and encourages innovation.

“Our Army of the future must be ready to deploy, fight and win decisively against any adversary, anytime and anywhere, in a joint, multi-domain, high-intensity conflict, while simultaneously deterring others and maintaining its ability to conduct irregular warfare,” he said.

The Army recently identified its six modernization priority lines of efforts as Long-Range Precision Fires, Next Generation Combat Vehicle, Future Vertical Lift, The Army Network, Air and Missile Defense and Increasing Soldier Lethality.

xTechSearch will host its competitive outreach events across the country to engage with American innovators and spur the development of leap-ahead technologies for the Army of the Future. The Army will provide cash prizes for the companies to demonstrate proof of concept for their technology in an Army-relevant challenge area.

HOW TO PARTICIPATE: The Army is looking for proposals aligned to its modernization priorities: www.challenge.gov/challenge/army-expeditionary-technology-search-xtechsearch. Interested small business participants submit a white paper and xTechSearch registration before July 11, 2018 via email to usarmy.pentagon.hqda-asa-alt.mbx.xtechsearch@mail.mil. The white paper should be no more than 1,000 words describing the novel technology concept, innovative application concept and integration with the Army’s modernization priorities.

NEXT STEP: If you make it through the first round, you will be invited to pitch in person to some of the Army’s top scientists, engineers, program managers and Soldiers at one of the following locations of your choice U.S. Army Research Laboratory in Adelphi, Maryland or one of its regional locations in Austin, Texas; Boston, Massachusetts; Chicago, Illinois; and Playa Vista, California.

MORE INFORMATION:

Phase I

•June 15, 2018. Publish Request for Information with target technology areas and outreach events.

•July 11, 2018. Deadline for proposal submissions.

Phase II

•July 23, 2018. Adelphi Regional Semifinalists notified and invited to Tech Pitches.

•Week of July 30. Adelphi xTechSearch panel. Venue: ARL Open Campus, Adelphi, Maryland.

•July 30, 2018. Austin Regional Semifinalists notified and invited to Tech Pitches.

•Week of August 6-10. Austin xTechSearch panel. Venue: ARL South Campus, Austin, Texas.

•August 6, 2018. Chicago Regional Semifinalists notified and invited to Tech Pitches.

•Week of August 13-17. Chicago xTechSearch panel. Venue: ARL Central Campus, Chicago, Illinois.

•August 13, 2018. Boston Regional Semifinalists notified and invited to Tech Pitches.

•Week of August 20-24. Boston xTechSearch panel. Venue: ARL Northeast Campus, Boston, Massachusetts.

•August 20, 2018. Playa Vista Regional Semifinalists notified and invited to Tech Pitches.

•Week of August 27-31. Playa Vista xTechSearch panel. Venue: ARL West Campus, Playa Vista, California.

Phase III

•September 17, 2018. Phase III finalists notified and invited to AUSA annual meeting.

•October 8-10, 2018. Phase III AUSA Innovators’ Corner, Washington, D.C.

Phase IV

•April 2019. Capstone demonstration with senior Army leadership.

QUESTIONS: More information on xTechSearch is available at https://www.challenge.gov/challenge/army-expeditionary-technology-search-xtechsearch/. Visit the “Discussions” section for commonly asked questions and answers, or send email inquiries directly to: usarmy.pentagon.hqda-asa-alt.mbx.xtechsearch@mail.mil

DEADLINE FOR PROPOSAL SUBMISSIONS:  Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Ballard Subsidiary Protonex Receives Further $1M Power Manager Order for US Army

Tuesday, June 26th, 2018

VANCOUVER, B.C., CANADA and SOUTHBOROUGH, MA, USA – Ballard Power Systems (NASDAQ: BLDP; TSX: BLDP) today announced that the Company’s subsidiary, Protonex, has received a further $1 million order for the supply of SPM-622 Squad Power Manager Kits to support U.S. Army brigades that are being deployed overseas.

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“The U.S. Army’s focus on providing power management solutions for deployed forces shows how ‘power’ has become just as important as water, food and ammunition in the modern operating environment” said Ray Summers, Protonex Director of Military Sales. He continued, “Having an SPM-622 Squad Power Manager Kit is like having a multi-tool for power in your rucksack. With such a system, troops can easily scavenge power from any DC source to keep their batteries and devices constantly operational – no matter where they are.”

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The PTX SPM-622 Squad Power Manager intelligently manages energy between batteries and electronic equipment. It works as an intelligent power harvester and scavenger, an automatic voltage converter, a universal power hub, and it’s safe and easy-to-use.  It is also robust and waterproof to support missions in harsh environments with extreme temperatures and no infrastructure.

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The Squad Power Manager has proven itself as a mission-essential tactical tool because it reduces a units’ battery burden, while increasing up-time and operational effectiveness.  The SPM-622 supports a wide range electronic systems, including solutions for; Medical / Prolonged Field Care; Explosive Ordinance Demolition; Unmanned Air and Ground Systems; HF / UHF Radios and SATCOM Terminals; Recon, Surveillance and Targeting; Smartphones, Tablets and Computers; and more…

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The PTX SPM-622 Squad Power Manager system is manufactured Protonex’s facility in Southborough, Massachusetts. The PTX series of Power Management Systems are in operation with United States, NATO, and Other Partner Nations forces around the world.

For further information about PTX Power Management Solutions from Protonex, go to www.PTXnomad.com.  If you’re attending Warrior East on the 11th and 12th of July, visit the PTX crew at Booth # 103.

P320 X-Carry to Become the Standard Service Pistol for the Danish Ministry of Defense

Monday, June 25th, 2018

We just got this announcement from SIG. It’s a pretty big deal for them and Denmark isn’t the only recent adoption of the P320 X-Carry.

Newington, N.H. (June 25, 2018) – SIG SAUER, Inc. is pleased to announce the Danish Ministry of Defense (MoD) has selected the SIG SAUER P320 X-Carry to replace their standard service pistol covering the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Special Operations Command (SOCOM). The Danish MoD is the ministry within the Danish government charged with ensuring peace and security, both nationally and internationally, and is comprised of the Danish armed forces, the Danish Defense Intelligence Service, and the Danish Emergency Management Agency.

The procurement process for the Danish MoD’s new standard service pistol lasted four weeks in which the Glock 17 Gen 5, Beretta APX, Canik TP 9 SF, and the SIG P320 X-Carry, were tested under all possible conditions and varying circumstances that the pistol would be used. Testing for accuracy, night shooting, and field testing were conducted by the Army, Navy, Air Force, and SOCOM. Additional drop, penetration, and precision testing were conducted by various selected experts for each of the contenders.

“By far SIG SAUER’s P320 X-Carry outperformed the competition throughout our rigorous and stringent testing process,” Tom Elvius-Brisson, Chief of Weaponry Branch, Danish Defense Acquisition and Logistics Organization. “The P320 X-Carry pistol is the modern firearm we were looking for to support our soldiers. The P320 X-Carry has a larger magazine capacity, comes reflex red-dot ready for sighting, and has the ability to incorporate a suppressor – all extremely important features to our soldiers for their sidearm today and are all features which were missing on the current pistol in service in the Danish Defense.”

The P320 X-Carry is a modular, striker-fired pistol with a serialized trigger group available in varying grip sizes and adaptable to multiple calibers. The standard service P320 X-Carry pistol that will be issued by the Danish MoD comes with an enhanced X-carry polymer grip, flat trigger, extended beaver tail, extended removable magwell, and a deep trigger guard undercut. The pistol will come standard with XRAY 3 Night-Sights with the option to easily interchange reflex red-dot sights. The intuitive 3-point takedown requires no trigger pull for disassembly, and safety features include a striker safety, disconnect safety, and optional manual safety.

The SIG SAUER P320 X-Carry will replace all pistols currently in service across the Danish Ministry of Defense.

“At SIG SAUER we are committed to manufacturing and providing firearms for the global military and defense community that surpass expectations in quality, performance, and safety. We are very proud that the P320 continues to be the top choice by military and law enforcement from around the world as their standard issue pistol.” added Ron Cohen, President and CEO of SIG SAUER, Inc. “It’s an honor to earn the confidence of the Danish Ministry of Defense, to support their mission, and to strengthen our partnership through this selection of the SIG SAUER P320 X-Carry.”

Denmark is the first European NATO country to officially select a SIG SAUER P320 series pistol as the officially issued standard service firearm. The MOD contract will be serviced by our partner in Denmark, CT Solutions ApS.

www.sigsauer.com

L3 and Optics 1 Awarded Opportunity to Provide Small Tactical Optical Rifle Mounted Micro-Laser Range Finder to US Army

Friday, June 22nd, 2018

The Department of Defense recently announced that L3 Technologies and Optics 1 are the two vendors who will compete for each one the of Small Tactical Optical Rifle Mounted Micro-Laser Range Finders (STORM) for the US Army.

L3 Technologies Inc., Londonderry, New Hampshire (W91CRB-18-D-0007); and Optics 1 Inc., Bedford, New Hampshire (W91CRB-18-D-0008), will compete for each order of the $236,019,734 firm-fixed-price contract for the Small Tactical Optical Rifle Mounted Micro-Laser Range Finder. Bids were solicited via the Internet with two received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of June 20, 2025. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, is the contracting activity.

The program has been around for many years. This 2013 video from PEO Soldier goes over the basic attributes of STORM. Hoever, new systems procured from this contract will offer improved performance.

Seen here is the STORM PI by L3 Insight Technologies.

It offers integrated infrared (IR) illumination and aiming lasers (IR and variable), and a Digital Magnetic Compass (DMC). When operated in conjunction with a GPS, may be used to display target location as geo-spatial coordinates (grid or slant). When weapon-mounted, the visible aim laser enables the STORM to be co-aligned with existing optics, and the IR illuminator and IR aim laser facilitate target acquisition and aiming in low ambient light conditions.

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The Optics 1 offering is said to be a larger version of their Integrated Compact Ultralight Gun-Mounted Rangefinder (I-CUGR), seen above, with improved capabilities.

Texas Department of Public Safety Selects SIG SAUER P320

Friday, June 22nd, 2018

NEWINGTON, N.H., (June 20, 2018) – Today, SIG SAUER, Inc., announced the Texas Department of Public Safety (TXDPS) has integrated the SIG SAUER P320 as its official service firearm throughout its divisions.

The Texas Department of Public Safety is the statewide agency responsible for law enforcement and vehicle registration headquartered in Austin, Texas. The TXDPS is one of the largest law enforcement agencies in the country and is comprised of thirteen divisions including the Texas Highway Patrol, and the Texas Rangers.

“We are proud to continue our long-standing relationship with the Texas Department of Public Safety and honored that they have chosen the SIG SAUER P320 as their official service firearm,” began Tom Jankiewicz, Executive Vice President, Law Enforcement Sales, SIG SAUER, Inc. “The modularity and ability to customize the P320 pistol, combined with the ultimate in reliability and accuracy, made it the right choice for the diverse needs, across all divisions, for the Texas Department of Safety.”

The P320 is a modular, striker-fired pistol available in full-size, carry, compact, and subcompact sizing. The serialized trigger group makes the P320 adaptable to multiple caliber, size, and grip options. The P320 is available in 9mm, .357SIG, 40S&W, and .45ACP, with a choice of contrast, or SIGLITE Night Sights. The intuitive 3-point takedown requires no trigger pull for disassembly, and safety features include a striker safety, disconnect safety, and optional manual safety.

The Texas Department of Public Safety will acquire 4,000 SIG SAUER P320 pistols for official service use throughout the TXDPS Highway Patrol, Criminal Investigations Divisions (CID), Aircraft Division, Executive Protection Bureau, Intelligence and Counterterrorism, Texas Rangers, SWAT, and Special Operations Group.

“To earn the confidence of such a highly revered law enforcement agency is truly a privilege for all of us within the SIG SAUER organization. We value and appreciate the opportunity to assist the men and women of the Texas Department of Public Safety in carrying out its mission – to protect and serve the citizens of Texas,” concluded Jankiewicz.

www.sigsauer.com