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Archive for the ‘Disruptive Tech’ Category

Special Warfare TISC Opens Doors to Solve Tomorrow’s Problems, Dedicated to ST Founder

Sunday, April 7th, 2019

HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. (AFNS) — The Special Warfare Technical Integration Support Center opened its doors during a ribbon cutting and dedication ceremony in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, Jan. 11, as the newly named Col. John T. Carney Center of Excellence.

With the name of “Coach,” Carney embodied within the 25,000-square-foot facility, the roots of special tactics aim to inspire employees of the SW-TISC every day.

“Every special tactics leader strives to give their men the best equipment and training to fight our enemies,” said Col. Spencer Cocanour, 24th Special Operations Wing vice wing commander. “Coach Carney pushed the envelope to get the very best for his people. He fought the bureaucracy with the same ferocity he fought the enemy.”

The wearable communication equipment that special tactics operators carry in the field needs to be the best that the Department of Defense can offer to fight tonight and tomorrow’s battles and this starts with the work of the men and women within the SW-TISC.

“This building is unique It will bring together a diverse group of professionals with different backgrounds to collaborate, develop, test, field and operationalize concepts to maintain our competitive edge,” said Brig. Gen. William Holt, the Air Force Special Operations Command special assistant to the commander. “This rapid response integration will create a tangible repeatable innovation rhythm to reduce the timeline from innovative concept to operational implementation.”

With the National Defense Strategy of 2018 outlining the Department of Defense objectives to include delivering performance with affordability and speed, the SW-TISC will aid AFSOC by streamlining development to fielding.

“The TISC will push the envelope on fielding technology,” Cocanour said. “That means placing cutting edge technology into the hands of the most lethal special operators this nation has ever produced.”

By integrating technologies, ensuring interoperability and providing appropriate updates and training on the equipment used in the 24 SOW, special tactics operators are able to answer U.S. Special Operations Command’s call to deliver tactical air-to-ground integration and conduct global access, precision strike, personnel recovery, and battlefield surgery operations.

“There’s a SOF principle of the hyper enabled operator that is a highly trained individual with elite skills, but they also have a network of systems on them that they wear and that they interact with,” said Todd Weiser, the chief technology officer and director of innovations with AFSOC. “The future is that operator is going to have the ability with their kit to inter-operate with an F-35 [Lightning II], with an F-22 [Raptor], with an Army vehicle. That network, the sharing of information and internet of things, micro sensors, micro small unmanned aircraft system; all of that stuff is coming together.”

As a special tactics officer with years of experience in the field and operations, Lt. Col. Eli Mitchell, the branch chief of special tactics requirements with AFSOC, sees tomorrow’s battle requiring a more accurate and efficient way of delivering capabilities.

“(The SW-TISC) is a game changer — really what it does is speeds up bombs on targets and increases situational awareness on the battlefield,” Mitchell said. “You’re talking about reducing the potential for fratricide, increasing target engagement timelines and also increasing your munitions effectiveness by more precisely striking the appropriate target.”

By evolving for tomorrow’s fight, the special tactics enterprise is leading from the front with technology and equipment used on the battlefield on a global scale within the Air Force, SOCOM, and the DOD.

“The world’s more complex than it ever has been and it’s continuously getting more complex and we need to get ahead of it in a timely manner,” Wieser said. “That’s what this facility will help us do, get ahead of it so that we can compete with our near peers as well as other adversaries.”

Holt left the most recent addition to the AFSOC team with some motivations to do exactly what Air Commandos are known for; thinking outside the box.

“You are in the business of making the impossible, possible. Your mission is to get out of the box,” Holt said. “When someone tells you it’s impossible, double down to prove them wrong. Never forget there is always a way.”

By Senior Airman Joseph Pick, 24th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs

goTenna Releases goTenna Pro X, an Open Platform, Interoperable Tactical Mesh Networking Device

Thursday, March 28th, 2019

goTenna Pro X extends situational awareness capabilities for the professional sector

BROOKLYN, NY (March. 28, 2019) — goTenna, the world’s leading mobile mesh networking company, today released goTenna Pro X, a tactical-grade device that enables scalable mobile mesh networking and total situational awareness for professionals in the field. goTenna Pro X is designed to be used with the world’s leading situational awareness applications as well as open platform ecosystems.

goTenna Pro X used with situational awareness applications supports the efforts of military, law enforcement, wildland firefighters, and disaster response teams, when no service is not an option. goTenna Pro X builds on the functionality of Pro and enables seamless integration with other Android, iOS, Windows, and Linux applications. Current applications include ATAK and AGIS LifeRing with several more in development.

Today’s release builds on the success of goTenna Pro, the company’s tactical-grade mesh networking device that launched in June 2018. Developed by the Department of Defense, the ATAK app is used to support complex communication and coordination needs of more than 100,000 customers worldwide, including the military, Air Force, Army, Special Operations, National Guard, the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security. Developed by AGIS Inc., LifeRing allows users to easily and rapidly establish secure ad hoc digital networks that include all within a selected range.

“goTenna Pro X extends the edge of mission-critical connectivity, enabling operators’ phones to create a resilient peer-to-peer mesh mobile network,” said Daniela Perdomo, goTenna’s co-founder and CEO. “Users can more effectively command and control their missions by remaining connected and contextually aware even in comms-denied environments.”

Smartphones with specialized tactical mapping applications are vital equipment for today’s tactical operators to maintain real-time situational awareness. As seen in the recent spike of climate-related natural disasters, however, responders cannot rely on centralized cellular or wifi connectivity to communicate.

“During the 2018 wildfire season, goTenna Pro X units proved invaluable for communications among our crews and the sharing of vital incident information including personnel location, escape routes and temporary refuge areas,” said Ari Delay, La Honda, CA Fire Chief. “goTenna Pro X was easy to integrate with Tablet Command, the application our crews already use, enhancing operational capability, enabling command and control, and improving responder safety.”

From the Camp Fire in California to Hurricane Michael in Florida, vulnerabilities in central communications infrastructure were exposed. In 2018 alone, traditional communications failed tactical teams due to damage cables and fibers and even data throttling by carriers. Critical failures and loss of service for extended periods of time, compounded with the ever-present threat of cyberattacks, make the front lines where first responders operate particularly susceptible to danger.

To combat this vulnerability, experienced tactical teams including the U.S. military, CALFIRE, and the Texas Department of Public Safety have turned to goTenna for its mesh networking devices and software that enable smartphone connectivity independent of traditional communications infrastructure.

Developed for military and public safety applications, goTenna Pro X is packed with a suite of powerful features:
? Mesh Networking: Users can extend signals through other devices to expand network reach
? 5-Watt RF Transmissions: Power to perform in the most extreme environments
? Tunable: Operate on any frequencies in the 142-175 MHz (VHF) & 445-480 MHz (UHF) ranges
? Advanced Encryption: Up to 384 ECC end-to-end Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) encryption
? Extended Battery Life: Lasts up to 30 hours on a single charge
? ATAK Plug-in: compatible with the leading situational awareness mobile app developed by the DoD.
? goTenna Pro Team Awareness App: includes goTenna’s native app for off-grid situational awareness

How goTenna Pro X Works  
goTenna Pro X combines long-range burst data transmitted over VHF/UHF with iOS and Android devices. Even when unpaired to a smartphone, goTenna Pro X can serve as a multi-hop mesh node for all other Pro X devices – eliminating or reducing the need for base stations and repeaters.

The pocket-sized device pairs to a smartphone via Bluetooth or USB, and all data is displayed in the smartphone application.

Pro X is priced at $849, which includes one mesh-networking radio, the user’s choice of UHF or VHF antenna, the goTenna Pro Team Awareness App, ATAK plug-in (if required) and unlimited service user accounts for field administration and configuration of the Pro X

Pro X Deployment Kits are also available priced at $24,999 per kit. Deployment Kits come standard with 20 Pro X devices, and can charge and maintain up to 30 all in one rugged tactical briefcase. At 25 pounds, Deployment Kits can be easily be transported and deployed anywhere in the world.

Professional users interested in learning more about goTenna Pro X can request more information by visiting gotennapro.com.

About goTenna:

goTenna is the world’s leading mobile mesh networking company and provider of off-grid connectivity solutions for smartphones and other devices. goTenna’s innovative mesh networking protocol is embedded into low-cost, low-power devices and paired with easy-to-use mobile apps enabling mobile, long-range connectivity even without cell, wifi or satellite. The goTenna vision to create resilient connectivity was ignited during Hurricane Sandy in 2012, when approximately a third of cell towers and power stations were knocked out. Based in Brooklyn, goTenna is backed by notable investors including Union Square Ventures, Walden Venture Capital, MentorTech Ventures, BBG Ventures (a subsidiary of Verizon), and Bloomberg Beta. For more information, visit gotenna.com.

About ATAK:

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) deployed the Android Team Awareness Kit (ATAK) to support the complex communication and coordination needs of the multi-jurisdictional responders. ATAK is one of those game-changers that dramatically alters the user’s understanding of the action in any given area of operation (AO). A government-off-the-shelf app for Android smartphone, ATAK is available to all government agencies for free. The app uses GPS and maps to give the user a real-time view of the AO. This new situational awareness capability includes “Blue Force Tracking” to see where team members are (which reduces friendly fire incidents and helps with coordinating movements), “Red Force Tracking” to see where the bad guys are (obvious advantages), as well as terrain, weather, and other topographical elements. ATAK gives operators in the field a dramatically enhanced real-time situational awareness. It provides them with enterprise information sharing capabilities that will further increase safety, collaboration and mission successes. For more information or to request a copy, visit atakmap.com.

About LifeRing

LifeRing software enables Smartphone, Tablet and PC users to easily and rapidly establish secure ad hoc digital networks that include all within a selected range. Once the AGIS LifeRing Smartphone Icon is selected, LifeRing appears on screen as a map based display. This display provides all on the network with “a sense of where you are”, allowing all users to easily see their present location while enabling them to view the location and status of all other users. Once the visual is in place, LifeRing then provides the means to collaborate, and communicate via PTT, Text Messaging and Voice. The exchange of information occurs in real-time between the participants. For more information, visit agisinc.com/lifering.

USSOCOM Awards Contract to Sarcos Robotics for Delivery of Full-Body, Autonomously Powered Robotic Exoskeleton

Tuesday, March 19th, 2019

SALT LAKE CITY and BELLEVUE, Wash. – March 18, 2019 – Today, Sarcos Robotics, a global leader in robotic systems that augment, rather than replace humans working in the industrial, public safety and military sectors, announced that it has been awarded a contract by the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) to deliver a pre-production version of its Guardian™ XO® (“XO”) full-body, autonomously powered robotic exoskeleton. The XO is capable of operating for up to eight hours per battery charge, while walking at three miles per hour and carrying up to 200 pounds of payload. With the ability to “hot swap” rechargeable batteries in the field, XO run-time is essentially unlimited.

The USSOCOM XO contract follows Sarcos’ recent announcements regarding collaborations with both the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Navy to develop and evaluate variations of the Guardian™ XO® for use cases specific to these services. With 17 years of development efforts and more than $175 million invested in R&D, Sarcos has been laser-focused on ensuring the Guardian XO Max is safe, intuitive and power efficient. Sarcos recently shared significant power and performance enhancements to the XO, including significant improvements in power consumption, control system functionality and load transfer.

Marine Corps seeks ideas, information for Optical Communication Transmission System

Wednesday, March 6th, 2019

MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. —

Marine Corps Systems Command released a Request for Information March 5, to identify a non-developmental solution to provide a complete Line of Sight Optical Communication Transmission System.

A U.S. Marine with Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force-Crisis Response-Africa performs a radio check during a training event with German soldiers in Seedorf, Germany, Dec. 6, 2018. Marine Corps Systems Command released a Request for Information March 5, to identify a non-developmental solution to provide a complete Line of Sight Optical Communication Transmission System. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt Katelyn Hunter)

According to the RFI, released on the Federal Business Opportunities website, the OCTS system must be capable of providing a high-bandwidth transmission path used for voice, video and data communications.

For program officials, this capability will consolidate capabilities into a complete LOS transmission capability.

“The adage, ‘Move, shoot, communicate’ hasn’t changed, but how we communicate is rapidly changing,” said Maj. Eric Holmes, MCSC project officer. “Given the rapid pace of innovation in technology, the Marine Corps is currently evaluating maturing capabilities.”

Optical communications support greater bandwidth, and provide additional relief for frequency allocations in an already constrained spectrum.

“The Marine Corps is turning to industry to help rapidly develop and field this technology to protect vital command and control emissions from advanced adversaries,” Holmes said.   

Responses to the RFI must be received by 1 p.m. on March 19.

By Maj Kenneth Kunze, MCSC Office of Public Affairs and Communication | Marine Corps Systems Command

USSOCOM Innovation Foundry Summit Seeks Predictions Of Future Technologies

Monday, March 4th, 2019

The 2019 USSOCOM Innovation Foundry Summit is soliciting your ideas about what lies ahead for the world 10 years from now, and what challenges or opportunities will be presented to Special Operations Forces (SOF). We are interested in the impacts of technological innovation in the civilian society within the Texas Technology Ecosystem. What new or evolved technology will have the greatest impact, either as a challenge or as an opportunity, for SOF in 2029? How is daily life for humans around the world going to differ from today? What innovations will industry invent, which will shape society 10 years from now? How will technologies become disruptive by themselves or converged with other technologies? What are the Diplomatic, Information, Military and Economic (DIME) actions and their Political, Military, Economic, Social, Information, and Infrastructure (PMESII) effects created by this technological evolution? We want to know how you see the world in 2029 and the critical impacts it might pose for SOF.

To enter, submit a short summary paper (American Psychological Association (APA) Format, up to 2-5 pages total) describing any technology, how it will be proliferated and the basis for your position. The technology can be an advancement of an existing technology that exists today or a new technology that does not exist today. You should show how this technology will affect the world 10 years from now and what challenges and or opportunities it might present for Special Operation Forces at that time. Your solutions should at a minimum answer the following questions (not necessarily in order):

1 What technology lies ahead for the world 10 years from now, and what challenges or opportunities will be presented to SOF.

2 What are the impacts of technological innovation in the civilian society around the globe?

3 What new or evolved technology will have the greatest impact, either as a challenge and/or as an opportunity, for SOF in 2029?

4 How is daily life for humans around the world going to differ from today?

5 What innovations will industry invent, that will shape society l 0 years from now?

6 How will technologies become disruptive by themselves or converged with other technologies?

7 What are the PMESII effects created by this technological evolution?

8 How do you see the world in 2029 and the critical impacts it might pose for SOF?

Things to avoid:

1 The Seeker is not looking for a review article on the subject of futuristic predictions. Your submission needs to be about a possible technology based on facts and current research and not a summary of all speculations that exist.

2 The Seeker is not interested in pointing towards 3rd party ideas. They want your thoughts and not to just point out someone else’s. You can use others as references, but the bulk should be your own thoughts.

They are doing this via a prize challenge which is a conceptualized essay-written event, created by a “Seeker”, United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), where participants, the “Solvers”, provide an answer or solution to a Prize Challenge question or concept ideation. Solvers, will attempt to solve a future task and/or a current physical/mechanical/conceptual limitation and provide a 3-5 page essay, based off of preset evaluation guidelines and their research, to answer the Prize Challenge question. Essays will be ranked against each other and inputted into an Order of Merit (OML) placement. USSOCOM will review and analyze the essays and award set rewards, once the event is closed.

Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on Mar 8, 2019. Late submissions will not be considered.

To apply, visit info.capitalfactory.com/ussocominnovationfoundry fir more information.

3D Printing Technology Enhancing Logistics for Army

Wednesday, February 27th, 2019

FORT MEADE, Md. — As 3D printing increases both in the field and at depots, the Army’s Center of Excellence for Additive and Advanced Manufacturing is slated to reach initial operating capability this year at Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois.

A Soldier holds a cap used to protect the fire extinguishing system housed in the wheel wells of Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles. Without the cap, MRAPs are deemed non-mission-capable. Soldiers in Korea saved 1,472 operational days for their MRAPs by 3-D printing the caps for about $2.50 each. (Photo Credit: Sam Curtis)

Lt. Gen. Aundre Piggee, the Army’s deputy chief of staff, G-4, outlined the Army’s current 3D printing capabilities at the 2019 Military Additive Manufacturing Summit and Technology Showcase Feb. 6, in Tampa, Florida.

At the summit, defense, academia, and industry officials were privy to the latest additive manufacturing technologies, event officials said. The Army will leverage these improved 3D printing capabilities to bolster equipment readiness and reduce logistics burdens, Piggee said.

The forum served as an opportunity to hear from military leaders and subject-matter experts on the future of additive manufacturing to support warfighter readiness and achieve operational effectiveness.

SAVING OPERATIONAL DAYS

Back in December 2017, Army G-4 released an executive order allowing commanders in the field to invest up to $10,000 of their operating budgets in 3D printers, software, and training, Piggee said.

3D printing technology “enables our Soldiers to explore and implement creative solutions to problems we can only imagine, but they live with on a daily basis,” he said. “We wanted to give them flexibility and the power to innovate.”

In Korea, for example, Soldiers identified a fire-suppression cap degradation issue, impacting their fleet of Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles known as MRAPs. These caps protect the fire extinguisher nozzles, housed in the MRAP’s wheel wells, and blow off when the fire extinguishing system activates.

“There are 20 caps per vehicle. Without them it makes the MRAPS non-mission capable,” Piggee said. “Soldiers put an order in October for replacements — estimated delivery: five months later.”

“Without the caps, Soldier safety would be an issue. We do not need to add any extra risk to Soldiers,” he added.

In turn, Soldiers in Korea turned to 3D printing technology and requested engineering support from the Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center at Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey.

The team in Korea went on to produce 284 fire-suppression caps, which are currently in use until replacements arrive, the general said.

“We fixed a readiness problem with our MRAPs. It was only a small cap that was the issue, and we 3D printed a fix for it. Just 1,472 non-mission-capable days saved — for about $2.50 per part — and some creative thinking.”

FUTURE CHALLENGES

While the Army has seen success through its additive manufacturing processes, there are several key challenges the military must face before moving forward, Piggee said.

This photo shows a 3D printer producing six-inch cap, used to protect the fire extinguishing system housed the wheel wells of Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles. Soldiers in Korea identified a fire-suppression cap degradation issue and turned to 3D printing technology for help. The team requested engineering support from the Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center at Picatinny Arsenal, N.J. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army)

For example, intellectual property rights could restrict the Army’s authority to reverse engineer a part, or produce a component locally, he said.

“Almost everything we use in the field is designed by contractors, using federal dollars,” Piggee said. “This is more legal, than technical. IP is an important issue as we modernize, and we will work with industry to find solutions.”

Cybersecurity is another concern moving forward, he added.

The additive manufacturing community employs a digital library of 3-D printed parts, called the “Repository for Additive Parts for Tactical and Operational Readiness,” or RAPTOR. As Soldiers or engineers produce parts, they put the blueprint in the system.

“The repository now has more than 140 certified parts, and it is growing,” Piggee said.

“We don’t want adversaries to get into our files and download our spare parts. Or to make counterfeit parts that … are engineered to fail,” he added. “And we do not want internal flaws in the printing that could degrade our weapon systems.”

Aside from their cybersecurity concerns, the Army needs to find a way to certify and standardize all 3D printed parts and materials, to meet a product’s predetermined safety standards.

“This takes a lot of labor, and there is a price tag on that, but this is crucial for Soldier safety,” Piggee said.

In spite of all the challenges, combining innovative thinking with today’s technology will help the Army evolve and prepare the force for combat against a near-peer threat, he said.

“Logistics will be contested in every domain. We need every innovation to set a theater and sustain Soldiers in future missions — whether it is artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles dropping off supplies, or a 3-D printer at the point of need,” Piggee said.

By Devon L. Suits, Army News Service

US Army Issues Prototype Project Opportunity Notice (PPON) for Next Generation Squad Weapons (NGSW)

Thursday, January 31st, 2019

Late last night, the U.S. Army Contracting Command – New Jersey (ACC-NJ), on behalf of Project Manager Soldier Weapons, released a much anticipated solicitation seeking proposals in regards to a Prototype Project Opportunity Notice (PPON) for Next Generation Squad Weapons (NGSW).

The NGSW PPON details how the Government intends to award up to three prototype Other Transaction Agreements (OTAs) under the authority of 10 U.S.C. § 2371b, with each vendor developing two weapon variants under the NGSW program and 6.8 millimeter ammunition common to both weapons (this is NOT the 6.8 SPC cartridge evaluated by USSOCOM in the early 00s).

The weapons include the Next Generation Squad Weapon-Rifle (NGSW-R) and the Next Generation Squad Weapon-Automatic Rifle (NGSW-AR). The NGSW-R is the planned replacement for the M4/M4A1 Carbine and the NGSW-AR is the planned replacement for the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW) in the Automatic Rifleman Role in the Close Combat Force.

Unlike the current PON for the Next Generation Squad Automatic Rifle currently underway, this PPON seems to be for all the marbles.

The companies currently involved in the NGSAR PON include:
W15QKN-18-9-1017 – AAI Corporation Textron Systems
W15QKN-18-9-1018 – FN America LLC. (Design 1)
W15QKN-18-9-1019 – FN America LLC. (Design 2)
W15QKN-18-9-1020 – General Dynamics-OTS Inc.
W15QKN-18-9-1021 – PCP Tactical, LLC W15QKN-18-9-1022 – Sig Sauer Inc.

We would suspect that they all stand a good chance of competing for this latest bid.

Curiously, the NGSAR PON currently underway was intended to inform this new solicitation, but none of these companies has even delivered a weapon, let alone ammunition yet. However, we have seen glimpses of what these weapons might look like.

SIG famously unveiled their Next Generation candidate and hybrid ammunition at AUSA and then demonstrated an upscaled 338 Norma Mag variant at SHOT Show.

Likewise, GD has shown their 338 NM machine gun design for years giving us some insight into their capabilities.

Although FN has held their cards close to the chest, we understand they have both belt fed and box fed designs and demonstrated a derivative of the SCAR HAMR for PEO Soldier, BG Potts during a visit to their facility last year.

But the weapon we’ve all seen the most of is Textron’s Lightweight Small Arms Technology demonstrator with its radical Case Telescoping ammunition.

Over the years, they’ve shown a great deal of adaptability in configuring the technology as carbine as well as Belt Fed Machine Gun in several calibers.

According to the solicitation, the duration for each prototype OTA is estimated to be up to eight years. The first 27 months will be for prototyping the NGSW-R, NGSW-AR, and ammunition. Following this prototyping effort, there may be additional iterative prototyping efforts for the NGSW-R, NGSW-AR, and ammunition. These iterative prototyping efforts will each have separate durations and will occur within the eight year duration.

Furthermore, in accordance with 10 U.S.C. 2371b(f), and upon a determination that the prototype project (or any subsequent iterative prototyping efforts) was successfully completed under the competitively awarded OTA(s), a follow-on production contract(s) or OTA(s) may be awarded without the use of competitive procedures.

Because of the duration of the OTA, and that prototype OTA will undergo two prototype test events including Soldier Touch Points, they are asking for a lot more weapons and ammunition than in the current NGSAR PON. Deliverables for each prototype OTA include 53 NGSW-R weapons, 43 NGSW-AR weapons, 845,000 rounds of ammunition, spare parts, test barrels, tools/gauges/accessories, engineering support, and iterative prototyping efforts as defined in the Statement of Work.

The follow-on production award(s) is planned to be an Indefinite Delivery / Indefinite Quantity Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) based contract with Firm Fixed Price Delivery Orders up to ten years or a fixed amount OTA up to ten years. The production award(s) may include 250,000 total weapons system(s) (NGSW-R, NGSW-AR, or both), 150,000,000 rounds of ammunition, spare parts, tools/gauges/accessories, and engineering support. The value of this follow-on production award(s) is estimated to be $10M in the first year and estimated $150M per year at the higher production rates. While the Government intends to make one production award for the NGSW-R, NGSW- AR, and Ammunition, it reserves the right to: 1) make one award for NGSW-R with Ammunition; or 2) make one award for NGSW-AR with Ammunition; or 3) make one award for NGSW-R with Ammunition to one Offeror and one award for NGSW-AR with Ammunition to a different Offeror.

Even considering those numbers, that still isn’t enough weapons to replace the current inventory of small arms. Currently, the US Army alone owns almost 1,000,000 M4/M16s meaning that the Next Generation Weapons will at least initially be fielded to close combat forces and that M4 and the 5.56mm ammunition it fires will continue to soldier on for decades. This means that the Army has to seriously consider what ammunition technology it will adopt for the new next generation 6.8 round, lest it find itself manufacturing two radically different types of small arms ammunition.

The prototypes must have these characteristics:

a. allow for ambidextrous operation and controls;

b. include a flash hider, removable suppressor (with or without flash hider installed), and a tool for suppressor removal after firing or for maintenance;

c. include a tactical carrying sling with quick release attachments;

d. include selection positions for Safe, Semi-Automatic Firing, and Automatic Firing modes;

e. be resistant to corrosion, abrasion, impact and Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) defense contaminants, decontaminants, battlefield-chemicals, electromagnetic pulse and cyber-attacks;

f. reduce visual detection via a neutral non-reflective, non-black color not lighter than Light Coyote 481 and not darker than Coyote 499;

g. function in all environments and weather conditions, including ambient, cold, hot, marine, high humidity, rain, and desert conditions;

h. be compatible with combat clothing (including body armor and Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment), CBRN defense, wet weather, and cold weather gear;

i. provide interchangeable magazines between both weapons if NGSW-AR utilizes a magazine; and

j. include, at a minimum, a 12 o-clock position rail(s) that is compliant to Attachment 2- Picatinny Smart Rail Interface Control Documents. Weapon configurations include a non-battery and a battery configuration:

• A non-battery configuration: battery removed. This is the primary configuration for all weapon deliveries and is included in the overall weapon weight.

• Replaceable battery configurations: rechargeable battery assembly and non- rechargeable battery assembly that are fully contained within the envelope of the NGSW-R and NGSW-AR and common to both. The battery assembly shall operate at 6-32 volts. The rechargeable battery assembly shall interface with the Universal Battery Charger (NSN: 6130-01-659-7090). The weight of the battery assembly will not be included in the overall weapon weight.

Both the rechargeable battery assembly and the non-rechargeable battery assembly shall meet the requirements for safety and transportation per the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Dangerous Goods Regulation.

The Government will conduct the following tests on the NGSW-R, NGSW-AR, and the Ammunition:

Prototype Test #1 (PT#1)

This Government test will inform the COMPANY of current design compliance to select performance requirements. The test has an estimated duration of 3 months.

Soldier Touch Point A: Mobility & User Acceptance

This Government test will provide the COMPANY with Soldier feedback on areas related to mobility and maneuverability on Army relevant obstacles, and user acceptance scenario testing. Reference Attachment 6 – STP Mobility and Attachment 7 – STP User Acceptance.

Prototype Test #2 (PT#2)

This Government test will be used to assess compliance to the COMPANY proposed performance requirements and utilized in follow-on award decisions. The test has an estimated duration of six months.

Soldier Touch Point B: Mobility, User Acceptance, Controllability

This test is a Government conducted evaluation on areas related to mobility, maneuverability on Army relevant obstacles, user acceptance scenario testing, and controllability. Reference Attachment 6 – STP Mobility, Attachment 7 – STP User Acceptance, and Attachment 8 – STP Controllability

Soldier Touch Point C: Limited User Test

This test is a Government conducted limited evaluation with Soldiers in the loop to assess the suitability and effectiveness for combat operations. These evaluations may be conducted with multiple squads.

Live Fire Test and Evaluation (LFT&E)

This is a test and analysis effort required to support the ballistic lethality evaluation, focusing on the terminal ballistics of the system.

Written proposals are due on 24 April 2019 at 11:00AM EST and bid samples are due on 30 May 2019.

SOFWERX TechWatch

Friday, January 4th, 2019

TechWatch is a weekly UNLASSIFIED collaborative newsletter produced by SOF AT&L, J5 Donovan Group and SOFWERX. It is compiled using only open source information on technology topics which may be of interest to the SOF enterprise and to prevent technical surprise.

TechWatch is posted to their website and can be downloaded at www.sofwerx.org/techwatch