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Archive for the ‘PEO-Soldier’ Category

US Army Seeks To Purchase 167,195 M4 Carbines

Thursday, March 7th, 2019

The US Army May have it’s eye on a Next Generation Squad Weapon System, but it’s not done buying M4 Carbines.

Yesterday, Army Contracting Command – New Jersey (ACC-NJ) At Picatinny Arsenal, NJ issued a pre-solicitation to industry, on behalf of Project Manager Soldier Weapons (PM-SW). They intend to issue a request for proposal (RFP) W15QKN-18-R-0219 to procure approximately 167,195 M4 Carbine (NSN: 1005-01-231-0973/Part Number 9390000) and M4A1 Carbine (NSN: 1005-01-382-0953/Part Number 12972700) built to print using the Technical Data Package (TDP). This procurement action will be a Full and Open competition in accordance with FAR 9.104-2(a), special standard of responsibility and the M4/M4A1 must be manufactured exclusively within the United States or its Territories.

This is a huge opportunity for industry. The anticipated contract minimum guarantee of $10,000.00 will apply to each contract and will be met with the first delivery.

To meet this requirement for FY 2020 through 2024, the United States Government intends to award up to two (2) Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) Contracts with Firm-Fixed-Price Delivery Orders. This procurement will be awarded to the Offeror (s) whose proposal(s) represent the best value to the Government using Trade-Off Processes.

For full details, visit www.fbo.gov.

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.

Soldiers Test Squad Designated Marksman Rifle At Fort Bliss

Wednesday, January 30th, 2019

Manufacturer of the new Squad Designated Marksman Rifle, Heckler & Koch began delivering weapons last fall. This rifle is based on the HK 417 (German Army designation G28) which was selected by the US Army in 2016 as the M110A1 Compact Semi Auto Sniper System. It fires the 7.62mm NATO cartridge.

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Last week, 16 Soldiers assigned to Alpha Company, 4-17 Infantry Battalion, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, took to the ranges on Fort Bliss, Texas to provide feedback to Program Executive Office Soldier (PEO Soldier). This information will be analyzed and used to make any changes to the SDM-R, accessories and ammunition before full fielding commences.

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While the maximum effective distance of the new optic (SIG Optics TANGO6T) hasn’t been fully verified yet, Soldiers were able to positively engage targets at a distance of 800 meters. Other than the optic, both CSASS and SDM-R are the same configuration. The SDM-R also includes a Suppressor by OSS and an Image Intensifier Night Vision Sight (AN/PVS-3) and bipod. The rail is MLOK compatible.

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Eventually, over 6000 SDM-Rs are expected to be fielded as part of the Directed Requirement, validated last year. This is a separate purchase than the M110A1 CSASS buy and this is an important distinction as this version is sometimes referred to as the M110A1 DMR.

Photos by US Army SSG Kimberly Jenkins and SGT Brian Micheliche, 1st Stryker Brigade, 1st Armored Division, Public Affairs.

Natick Evaluates New Boot Technologies

Thursday, January 10th, 2019

NATICK, Mass. — The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command Soldier Center at Natick is testing new Army Combat Boot (ACB) prototypes at three different basic training and active duty installations over the next four months. The effort will gather Soldier feedback toward development of improved footwear.

The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command Soldier Center at Natick is testing new Army Combat Boot (ACB) prototypes at three different basic training and active duty installations over the next four months. The effort will gather Soldier feedback toward development of improved footwear. Pictured, a U.S. Army Soldier from the 1-114th Infantry Regiment stands in the mud holding 7.62mm ammunition during M240 machine gun weapons training on Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., Nov. 6, 2018. (Photo Credit: Master Sgt. Matt Hecht)

The Army’s current inventory of boots includes seven different styles designed for different environments and climates. The boots issued initially to recruits are the Hot Weather and Temperate Weather Army Combat Boots. Requirements for these are managed by the Army Uniform Board as part of the recruit “Clothing Bag.” The Program Executive Office Soldier’s Project Manager Soldier Protection and Individual Equipment maintains and updates the specifications for both boots.

The Army’s current inventory of boots includes seven different styles designed for different environments and climates. The boots issued initially to recruits are the Hot Weather and Temperate Weather Army Combat Boots. (Photo Credit: Mr. David Kamm (RDECOM))

The current generation of Army Combat Boots has not undergone substantial technical or material changes since 2010. New material and technologies now exist that may improve physical performance and increase Soldier comfort.

“Great strides have been made recently in the Army’s environment specific footwear, for jungle, mountain, or cold weather locations, but there is substantial room for improvement in the general purpose boots which are issued to new recruits,” explains Anita Perkins, RDECOM Soldier Center footwear research engineer and technical lead for the Army Combat Boot Improvement effort. “Most components of these combat boots have not been updated in almost 30 years.”

Surveys conducted by the Soldier Center report Soldier satisfaction with ACBs is lower than that with commercial-off-the-shelf, or COTS, boots, leading many Soldiers to purchase and wear COTS boots.

“The survey of over 14,000 Soldiers world-wide discovered that almost 50% choose to wear COTS combat boots instead of Army-issued boots,” Perkins said. “Many Soldiers reported choosing combat boots from the commercial market because the COTS boots are lighter, more flexible, require less break-in time, and feel more like athletic shoes than traditional combat boots or work boots.

Unfortunately, these characteristics often come at the cost of durability and protection.”

The Soldier Center’s Footwear Performance team believes new technologies can bridge the gap between the lightweight, comfortable, COTS boots and the durable, protective, Army boots. Recent advancements in synthetic materials and rapid prototyping can produce a boot with potentially the same protection, support, and durability of current Army boots, but lighter and more comfortable out of the box. To reach this goal, the Soldier Center is evaluating new types of leather and even some man-made materials which are much more flexible than the heavy-duty, cattle hide leather used in the current boots.

“Also included in the prototypes we are testing are new types of rubber and outsole designs, which are more than 30% lighter than the outsoles on the current boots,” said Al Adams, team leader for the Soldier Clothing and Configuration Management Team at the Soldier Center.

When working with industry to develop the prototype boots for this effort, Adams and Perkins put an emphasis on cutting weight. The boots being tested are up to 1.5 pounds lighter per pair than the ACBs currently being issued.

“In terms of energy expenditure or calories burned, 1-pound of weight at the feet is equivalent to 4-pounds in your rucksack,” Adams said.

The test boots will be fitted and fielded to 800 basic trainees at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri and Fort Jackson, South Carolina, followed by 800 pairs going to infantry Soldiers at Fort Bliss, Texas. The Soldier Center team will be hand-fitting each pair of prototype boots throughout the month of January and then return in March and April to collect surveys and conduct focus groups to gather specific feedback.

“Soldiers live in their boots and many will tell you that there is no piece of equipment more important to their lethality and readiness,” said Adams. “A bad pair of boots will ruin a Soldier’s day and possibly result in injuries, so we really believe that each of these prototype boots have the potential to improve the lives of Soldiers”.

Simultaneous to the field testing, lab testing will be conducted on the boots at the Soldier Center to quantify characteristics like flexibility, cushioning, cut/abrasion resistance, and breathability. The combination of lab testing and Soldier recommendations will identify Soldier-desired improvements to the boot prototypes and rank the state-of-the-art materials and designs for Soldier acceptance, durability, and safety. The Soldier Center will then provide recommendations to PM SPIE and the Army Uniform Board to drive the next generation of Army Combat Boots.

“The development of new boots take advantage of the latest materials technology, and are functional and comfortable, is critical to ensuring that our Soldiers are ready to fight and win in any environment,” said Doug Tamilio, director of the RDECOM Soldier Center. “Soldiers are the Army’s greatest asset, and we owe it to them to make them more lethal to win our nation’s wars, and then come home safely.”

By RDECOM Soldier Center Public Affairs

Well Played PEO Soldier, Well Played

Sunday, December 9th, 2018

This photo was posted to Facebook by PEO Soldier showcasing their display at yesterday’s Army-Navy game in Philadelphia.

PEO Soldier Surveys Textile Industry for Army Green Service Uniform Manufacturers

Monday, December 3rd, 2018

Last week, Program Executive Office Soldier, Ft. Belvoir, VA issued a market investigation to identify domestic manufacturers as sources of the complete Army Green Service Uniform (AGSU).

The US Army announced adoption of the new dress uniform on Veteran’s Day. According to the announcement, the AGSU is part of an effort to help form a stronger connection between the Army and the country. The uniform invokes an image of our Army at its most popular and connects that heritage to today’s Soldier. Adopting the AGSU will enable the Army to re-establish a distinctive look, renew a strong uniform tradition in the Army and distinguish our Soldiers from the other services.

An complete AGSU includes dress coat, two pairs of pants, long sleeve shirt, short sleeve shirt, one tie, one pair leather oxfords, two pairs of socks, garrison cap, belt with buckle and all-weather coat.

This survey does not include optional items such as the service cap, Ike jacket, windbreaker, leather flight jacket or jump boots.

In addition to information on potential offerers’ manufacturing capabilities including equipment, facilities, and quality management systems, PEO Soldier wants to know if the could deliver the following quantities to the Government:

– Provide product demonstration models for the AGSU ensembles (including accessories) within 90 days of contract award?

– Provide 6,000 complete AGSU ensembles (including accessories) within 275 days of contract award?

– Provide up to 150,000 complete AGSU ensembles (including accessories) within 19 months of contract award?

– Offer subcontracts for like items to current manufacturers of Army Blue Service Uniform, supplying them fabrics, in lieu of GFM and meet the financial obligations required to do so?

– Make, stock, maintain and ship on order an tariff/inventory of 1,000 (minimum) and 50,000 (maximum) complete AGSU uniform ensembles for up to 36 months after contract award?

– Provide Special Fielding services for up to 5,000 uniform ensembles. Services may include off site sizing, alterations, make-to-fit, expedited production, expedited delivery, and full set up of uniforms.

Naturally, this requires domestic sourcing and all materials and work must be Berry compliant. Responses are due Dec 14, 2018 11:59 pm Eastern. For full details, visit www.fbo.gov.

US Army Announces Adoption of ‘Pinks and Greens’ Dress Uniform

Sunday, November 11th, 2018

Today marks not only Veteran’s Day, but also the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One. Fittingly, at 1100 hours, the Army is quietly celebrating the date by internally announcing that it is adopting the iconic Greens uniform as its new service uniform.

Army Message:

To help sustain the All-Volunteer Force, we must go to the American people and inspire confidence in our Army’s professionalism and readiness. To ensure we present a professional appearance, the Army is adopting the iconic Greens uniform as its new service uniform. This is the uniform worn by America’s Greatest Generation as they won World War II. Now, America’s Next Greatest Generation will wear it as they develop into the smart, thoughtful, and innovative leaders of character outlined in the Army Vision.

US Army Announces Industry Days for Next Generation Squad Weapons

Saturday, October 20th, 2018

Just two weeks ago the US Army issued a draft Prototype Opportunity Notice for the Next Generation Squad Weapons, their number one Lethality priority which consists of 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 Brigade Combat Teams (BCT). Both are planned to be chambered in 6.8mm, firing a completely new cartridge which does not currently exist. This program is more an ammunition program than a weapon program.

In a notice published earlier today on www.fbo.gov, the Army announced that it will hold industry days for the upcoming Next Generation Squad Weapons Prototype Opportunity Notice. They will be Wednesday to Friday, November 14 through 16, 2018. This pace shows how dedicated the Army is to the plan.

The NGSW program overview will be provided on November 14, 2018 beginning at 9:00 am and will be completed by 12:00 pm.

The one-on-one sessions will start November 14, 2018 at 1:00pm and continue through November 16, 2018 as necessary. One-on-one sessions will be limited to 45 minutes with a 15 minute break between sessions. Vendors may have partners join their one-on- one sessions.

Th Industry Days will be open to foreign companies but they must follow particular instructions.

Be sure to visit www.fbo.gov for full details.