Earlier this month a solicitation closed for new Commercial Off The Shelf, Maritime Assault Suit Systems for use by US Naval Special Warfare. Seen below is the current version of the FR dry suit for surface swimmer ops. Interestingly, the new version may not be in the traditional Sepia color that has long been a hallmark of the MASS. The requirement has opened the design up to other subdued colors or even a camouflage print. Here’s an idea so what they’ll be buying.
USSOCOM’s Directorate of Procurement, on behalf of the US Natick Soldier Research and Development Center (US Army – NSRDEC) and Program Manager – SOF Survival, Support and Equipment Systems (PM-SOF SSES), Natick MA, has a requirement for a Maritime Assault Suit System (MASS).
This program is seeking surface dry suit variants: (1) MASS and (2) Lightweight MASS (L-MASS), each consisting of an over-garment with neck relief/ring, repair kit and user manual, which can be used as a combat suit in maritime, land, airborne, shipboard, and transitional environments of the US Navy. To keep the user comfortable, the MASS and L-MASS shall provide the greatest degree of water vapor management and must be durable enough for rugged field use. The MASS and L-MASS shall keep the operator dry in maritime and terrestrial extremes and all weather conditions without interfering with typical mission movements or compromising range of motion for activities including swimming, running, assault movements and weapons manipulation. Both versions must be lightweight, fit comfortably, and must be able to keep the operator dry while immersed in water without significant weight gain.
The neck ring, neck, and wrist gaskets shall be comfortable, shall not interfere with individual clothing or equipment, and shall be adequately protected from weather conditions and physical damage. The MASS and L-MASS must have front entry and relief zipper, integrated socks, non-fixed optional use internal suspender design, be easily accessible, and have shoulder, thigh, and calf pockets. The suits must be designed in a manner that reduces the effects of abrasion on key garment stress areas, be adequately quiet during typical mission movements with ease in donning and doffing. Face fabric must be capable of being dyed with a subdued color if specified by the government.
The MASS shall have a standard operational life of at least three (3) years. The L-MASS shall have a standard operational life of at least one (1) year. Both must be repairable and the contractor shall be capable of providing repair services for components typically damaged by routine wear and tear.
Full performance characteristics can be seen here.