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Archive for the ‘PM-SOF’ Category

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.

USSOCOM Issues Pre-Solicitation for SPEAR Family of Tactical Headborne Systems Coxswain Helmet

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017

The United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) recently issued a pre-solicitation notice to industry pursuant to their requirement for a multi-year contract to procure Special Operations Forces Personal Equipment Advanced Requirements (SPEAR) Family of Tactical Headborne Systems (FTHS)-Coxswain Helmet System. The Coxswain Helmet system is the most interesting helmet system from a technical standpoint and more closely resembles the recent Next Generation Helmet work done for SOF by Ops-Core and Revision.  Although Ops-Core is keeping their’s under wraps, Revision recently released their candidate commercially, as the Batlskin Caiman Head System.


DoD Photo by MSG Timothy Lawn.

The coxswain helmet will consist of a non-ballistic helmet system with modular accessories which will consist of a visor, ballistic mandible, non-ballistic (i.e. impact) mandible, and two piece ballistic appliqué. Additionally, the helmets require a variety of VAS Shrouds, Helmet Covers, Accessory Rails, Pads, Exterior Velcro sets, and Peltor Adapters.

The helmets will be offered in five sizes in Tan, Neutral Grey, AOR 1, AOR 2 and MultiCam.

The government intends to award a five-year Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) Firm Fixed Price (FFP) production contract for a fully developed item to the offeror with the best value to the Government. They are looking for Commercial-Off-The-Shelf items. The actual solicitation should be issued in June and the minimum contract value will be $150K and the maximum contract value will be $95M.

Because of the scalability of the Coxswain Helmet I wonder how long it will be before other SOF personnel want it instead of the standard SOCOM helmet already in solicitation.  

For full details, visit www.fbo.gov.

USSOCOM Issues Presolicitation for SPEAR Family of Tactical Headborne Systems

Friday, April 14th, 2017

Recently, United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) issued a presolicitation notice to industry for a Commerical-Off-The-Shelf Special Operations Forces Personal Equipment Advanced Requirements (SPEAR) Family of Tactical Headborne Systems (FTHS)-Ballistic and Non-Ballistic Helmets. The FTHS-Ballistic and Non-Ballistic Helmets will consist of a ballistic helmet system as well as a non-ballistic helmet system.  

The government intends to award a five-year Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) Firm Fixed Price (FFP) production contract for a fully developed item to the offeror with the best value to the Government. This is not a R&D contract; the offeror must be the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) and have an existing U.S. verifiable production line for any product proposed under this solicitation. All offerors must submit a proposal for both helmet systems; partial proposals will not be accepted. The helmet systems must meet the performance requirements as outlined in the Performance Specification and meet the requirements set forth in the Berry Amendment.

The acquisition will utilize full and open competition and the final solicitation is expected to be released this month. The minimum contract value will be $150K and the maximum contract value will be $95M.

Offerors will be required to submit Product Demonstration Models (PDMs) with proposal submission for evaluation. In addition, the Government may procure additional PDMs for testing purposes as part of this solicitation. These PDMs will be purchased from only those vendors remaining in the competitive range. Word is, the Government wants each offeror to submit in excess of 300 sample helmets, cost free. That’s a serious outlay to participate, considering the offeror may walk away empty handed.

It is important to note that these helmets are not the same as the Next Generatin SOF Helmet examples produced last year by Ops-Core and Revision.  Instead, these will be much more evolutionary in nature, bringing new materials and improved fit in packages much more like SOF currently use.  For example, this procurement is looking for solutions that include ballistic and bump shells, suspension systems including left and right eye dominant straps, accessory rails, exterior Velcro kits, 3M Peltor Accessory Rail Kit, and helmet covers.  Interestingly, SOCOM is said to be looking for a new hearing protection system soon making the interest in a 3M Pelton mount interesting.  Additionally, the offeror must propose a 3-Hole VAS shroud, provide the Wilcox G24 VAS mount, 4-Hole GSGM VAS Shroud, Wilcox GSGM VAS Mount, and the helmet itself must be compatible with currently fielded shrouds.  Kind of makes you think there should be a move to a more common VAS Shroud.  However,  another procurement is expected later this year for a separate SOF coxswain helmet which will likely include a bump helmet with ballistic appliqué upgrades as well as a mandible guard.

For additional details, visit www.fbo.gov.

SHOT Show 17 – Mystery Ranch SPEAR Packs

Friday, January 20th, 2017

Last year, Mystery Ranch won the contract for three of USSOCOM’s SPEAR family of packs. Because there is so much going on with these packs, we are just going to show them to you.

SPEAR Assault

SPEAR Patrol

SPEAR Recce


Additionally, all three packs come with a new common version of the NICE frame.

Once again, look for full details on these packs soon.

USSOCOM To Host Family of Tactical Headborne Systems Industry Day

Friday, October 14th, 2016

It’s full steam ahead for USSOCOM regarding development of a new helmet(s). On the heels of the final delivery of items developed under the Advancement Of Headborne Systems Technologies BAA effort, they will hold an industry Day for their planned Family of Tactical Headborne Systems.

The United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) will conduct a briefing to Industry in support of the FTHS program. This Industry Day will occur on Tuesday, 15 November 2016, from 0800 to approximately 1700 at the Natick Soldier Systems Center (NSSC), 15 General Greene Avenue, Natick, MA 01760.

Revision Military delivered their BAA prototypes first and unveiled the system during AUSA. Gentex previewed their system to us during Modern Day Marine. Both have some great features. 3M Ceradyne is said to also have participated in the project but no one in the booth at AUSA knew anything about their effort.

The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code for this procurement is 339999, with a Small Business size standard of 500 employees. Businesses with the following NAICS codes may also participate in the Industry Day: 339999, 314999, 326199, 315280, 39920, and 541712.

Interested parties must register. Visit www.fbo.gov for details.

AUSA – Family of Tactical Headborne Systems from Revision Military

Tuesday, October 4th, 2016

At AUSA, Revision Military unveiled their new Family of Tactical Headborne Systems which they submitted in response to USSOCOM’s requirement for a Next-Generation Helmet Program. Seen below on a mannequin set up as a 21st Century SWCC Operator, the helmet is impressive.

The core of the system is a bump helmet which can be upgraded with an appliqué offering ACH-level 9mm ballistic performance. Below, you can see the system as it will most commonly be used.

Revision’s ballistic shell has approximately .5 lbs reduction in weight from the current helmet. The helmet is also upgradable to 7.62 rifle protection with a two piece appliqué. These photos depict how the appliqué attaches to the bump helmet.

In addition to the ballistic upgrades, Revision has instituted a five size approach versus the existing four currently available sizes. This results in a better fitting helmet.

Above, you can see the rear of the helmet.

In addition to the actual helmet, Revision has introduced several accessories which include:

Comfort ready liner with removable dial fit band

The removable dial fit band has been asked for by numerous users. The liner can be worn with integral over the head communications by removing the center set of pads as seen above, or the helmet’s rail can be fitted with rail adaptor Peltors.

Daytime visor (smoke/clear)

The visor mounts to the Night Vision Shroud.

Laser Enabled NVG Splash Shield

The Splash Shields attach to the NVGs and protect the eyes from debris and sea spray in a maritime environment.  Revision also offers laser protective versions of the Splash Shield.

Bump and ballistic swing away mandible guard

The madible’s buckle is located at the rail.  When disconnected, it swings out of the way.

Skeletonized rails for weight reduction

Notice the bungee for cable management.

www.revisionmilitary.com

USSOCOM Awards Contract To Gentex For Advancement Of Headborne Systems Technologies

Monday, August 1st, 2016

It appears that USSOCOM has issued multiple contracts in response to their Broad Agency Announcement issued earlier this year to refine requirements for the next generation SOF helmet. The latest award is to Gentex, and we assume, much of the work to be accomplished by their Ops-Core business unit. The BAA can be seen below.

Revision

Click to view .pdf

Ops-Core FAST helmets have been SOCOM issue for many years and the fruits of this contract will be used by Natick to help  refine requirements for the next generation SOF helmet.  


Contract Award Dollar Amount: $370,365.51 Plus Option CLINs valued at $464,607.00.

The announcement is found at www.FBO.gov as long as they keep it there. Earlier award announcements to others have been deleted.

US SOF Seeking New Maritime Assault Suit Systems

Monday, March 14th, 2016

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.

img_1777.jpgUSSOCOM’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.