TYR Tactical

Archive for the ‘PM-SOF’ Category

SOCOM Begins Procurement Of Communications Accessory Suite Land

Monday, April 8th, 2019

Over the weekend, the US Army’s Program Management Office for Special Operations Forces Survival, Support and Equipment Services issued two J&As for the purchase of Communications Accessory Suite Land (CASL) components via GSA. CASL was envisioned as a technologically advanced Communications Accessory Suite compatible and interoperable with the Next Generation Handheld (NGHH) radio (and other legacy radio systems), consisting of a Push-To-Talk, high noise Headset (circumaural or in-the-ear) and associated cables.

Specifically, SOCOM plans to purchase the Ops-Core AMP Communications Headset, Invisio X5 Headset and V60 PTT.

Although, both components of the system were selected almost a year ago, there were apparently software issues which needed to be worked out with SOF radio manufacturer Harris Corp, before fielding could begin.

USSOCOM Awards Contract To Hardwire, LLC For Soft Armor

Monday, September 24th, 2018

Back in January of last year, the Unites States Special Operations Command released a requirement for soft body armor in support of the Special Operations Forces Personal Equipment Advanced Requirements (SPEAR) program.

For those of you who are fixated on price being the government’s number one factor for selection of a solution, this isn’t always the case. For this solicitation, they were intent on the best value with appropriate consideration given to the major factors listed in descending order of importance: Technical/Management, Past Performance, and Price. Technical/Management is significantly more important than Past Performance, which is significantly more important than Price.

Specifically, the Technical/Management Factor (Factor 1) is significantly more important than the Past Performance Factor (Factor 2), which is significantly more important than the Price Factor (Factor 3). With regard to Factor 1, Subfactor 1 is significantly more important than Subfactor 2 which is significantly more important than Subfactor 3 which is significantly more important than Subfactor 4:

Subfactor 1: Weight?Subfactor 2: Soft Armor Limited User Evaluation?Subfactor 3: Technical Approach and Independent Ballistic Test Data
Subfactor 4: Delivery Schedule and Production Capacity/Capability


Factor 3 – PRICE

They cancelled this initial solicitation at the end of April of this year because none of the offerors could meet the spec, which remains classified.

The solicitation was re-released in July of this year and an award was announced on September 20th to Hardwire, LLC of Pocomoke City MD. The award is a five-year, IDIQ, Firm Fixed Price contract for a minimum of $100,000.00 and a ceiling of $8,000,000.00.

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.

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
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.

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


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.