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Archive for the ‘USMC’ Category

Marine Corps Issues Pre-Solicitation for Squad Common Optic Contract

Tuesday, August 20th, 2019

Back in May we told you of the Marine Corps’ desire to field a Squad Common Optic for the M27 Infantry Assault Rifle which is becoming the standard weapon for Marines in the Infantry Squad. The Marines envision the SCO as a magnified optic to improve target acquisition and probability of hit P(h) between 0-600 meters (m).  The SCO includes a non-caliber specific reticle, is variable power, and incorporates a user selectable illuminated or non-illuminated aim-point. 

Marine Corps Systems Command (MCSC), Portfolio Manager Ground Combat Element Systems (PfM GCES), Program Manager Infantry Weapon just released a pre-solicitation to industry, which serves as a Warning Order that they plan to open a Full and Open Competitive solicitation for the SCO on or about September 13, 2019 with proposal due date on or about October 21, 2019.

USMC Selects INVISIO for Hearing Enhancement Program, First Order Received

Friday, August 16th, 2019

The United States Marine Corps (USMC) has selected INVISIO to provide a suite of hearing enhancement solutions over the coming years that will protect Marines’ hearing while increasing their situational awareness in a variety of training and combat environments. A first order of SEK 43 million has been received that will be delivered during the next 6 months.

The INVISIO systems are compatible with Marine Corps radios and the Marine Corps Enhanced Combat Helmet. The systems consist of both communications enabled versions and as well as hearing protection only. The Program Manager for Infantry Combat Equipment (PM ICE) at Marine Corps System Command is the procuring office.

The new headset systems will allow Marines to wear hearing protection, yet still provide the opportunity to communicate and understand what is going on around them. Infantry, artillery, reconnaissance and combat engineer Marines decided on INVISIO systems based on fit, form, function and comfort. PM ICE will field a suite of hearing protection systems, and Marines will get what they need based on their specific role and unit.

The headset systems are rugged and capable of operating in a wide range of environments a Marine might encounter, from cold weather to extreme heat. In the future, MCSC will release new weapon systems that could potentially cause a greater risk to Marines’ hearing. To be prepared, PM ICE wants to ensure Marines ears are protected in advance. The goal is to field a hearing system that will help Marines communicate better and increase their capabilities on the battlefield.

”We are very excited and pleased to have won the competition for the Marine Hearing Enhancement Program. We look forward to providing Marines with a suite of hearing protection and tactical communications systems combining both protection and capability”, said Ray Clarke, CEO of INVISIO Communications Inc. in the U.S.

“Winning the Marine Hearing Enhancement Program is a milestone for INVISIO and a further strengthening of our already market leading position in the U.S. We are very proud and ready to support the United States Marine Corps over the coming years”, said Lars Højga?rd Hansen, CEO of INVISIO Communications.

The Corps’ JLTV Achieves Initial Operational Capability

Monday, August 12th, 2019

MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. —

The Marine Corps’ Joint Light Tactical Vehicle is officially ready to deploy and support missions of the naval expeditionary force-in-readiness worldwide.

Marine Corps Combat Development Command, Combat Development and Integration declared the JLTV program—part of the Light Tactical Vehicle portfolio at Program Executive Officer Land Systems—reached initial operational capability, or IOC, on Aug. 2, nearly a year ahead of schedule.

Photo by Cpl Juan Bustos

“Congratulations to the combined JLTV Team for acting with a sense of urgency and reaching IOC early,” said Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition James Geurts. “Changing the speed in which we deliver, combined with coming in under cost and meeting all performance requirements, is a fine example of increasing Marine Corps capabilities at the speed of relevance which enables our Marines to compete and win on the modern battlefield.”

The JLTV, a program led by the Army, will fully replace the Corps’ aging High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle fleet. The JLTV family of vehicles comes in different variants with multiple mission package configurations, all providing protected, sustained, networked mobility that balances payload, performance and protection across the full range of military operations.

Photo by Cpl Matthew Kirk

“The warfighting capabilities the JLTV provides our Marines far exceed the capabilities offered by its predecessor,” said PEO Land Systems John Garner. “I’m proud of what our team, in collaboration with the Army, has accomplished. Their commitment to supporting the warfighter delivered an exceptional vehicle, ahead of schedule, that Marines will use to dominate on the battlefield now and well into the future.”

Several elements need to be met before a program can declare IOC of a system, which encompasses more than delivery of the system itself. The program office also had to ensure all the operators were fully trained and maintenance tools and spare parts packages were ready.

“IOC is more than just saying that the schoolhouses and an infantry battalion all have their trucks,” said Eugene Morin, product manager for JLTV at PEO Land Systems. “All of the tools and parts required to support the system need to be in place, the units must have had received sufficient training and each unit commander needs to declare that he is combat-ready.”

For the JLTV, this means the program office had to fully field battle-ready vehicles to the Marine Corps schoolhouses—School of Infantry East at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina; School of Infantry West at Camp Pendleton, California; The Basic School at Quantico, Virginia; and the Motor Transport Maintenance Instruction Course at Camp Johnson, North Carolina—and to an infantry battalion at II Marine Expeditionary Force. The program office started delivering vehicles to the schoolhouses earlier this year and started delivering vehicles to the infantry battalion last month.

Photo by Sgt Timothy R. Smithers

On Aug. 2, Lt. Col. Neil Berry, the commanding officer for 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines, notified Morin and his team of the unit’s combat readiness with the JLTV. On Aug. 5, The Director, Ground Combat Element Division at CD&I notified PM LTV of its IOC achievement. The JLTV is scheduled to start fielding to I MEF and III MEF before the end of September.

According to LTV Program Manager Andrew Rodgers, during the post-acquisition Milestone C rebaseline of the JLTV schedule in January 2016, IOC was projected to occur by June 2020.  

Rodgers says that detailed program scheduling, planning and, most importantly, teamwork with stakeholders across the enterprise enabled the program office to deliver the vehicles and reach IOC ahead of schedule.

“It was definitely a team effort, and we built up a really great team,” said Rodgers. “In terms of leadership, our product managers’—both Gene Morin and his predecessor, Dave Bias—detailed focus and ability to track cost, schedule and performance was key. Neal Justis, our deputy program manager, has significant prior military experience working for the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology, so having him on board knowing how to work the Pentagon network was a huge force multiplier.”

Rodgers is quick to note that, although the team has reached IOC, this is really only the beginning of the JLTV’s future legacy.

“We are really at the starting line right now. Our grandchildren and great-grandchildren will see JLTVs in the DOD,” said Rodgers. “We’ll easily still have these assets somewhere in the DOD in the year 2100. Welcome to the start of many generations of JLTVs.”

By Ashley Calingo, PEO Land Systems Public Affairs | Marine Corps Systems Command

Point Blank Enterprises, Inc. Awarded Lightweight Body Armor Insert Contract by the United States Marine Corps Systems Command

Tuesday, June 25th, 2019

POMPANO BEACH, Fla., June 24, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Point Blank Enterprises, Inc. has been awarded a $215.9 million USD body armor contract by the United States Marine Corps Systems Command (MARCORSYSCOM). The Marine Corps Low Intensity Threat Environment (LITE) body armor insert is a new small arms protective insert that is designed to improve the survivability and mobility of Marines by maximizing ballistic protection at a reduced weight.

“We are honored to be selected by the United State Marine Corps to provide this new lightweight body armor solution. Reducing Marine burden by providing innovative and lightweight armor solutions along with our high quality manufacturing capabilities is our expertise.” said Brian Kopan, Senior Vice President of Engineering and Technology. “Whether we are designing armor systems for vehicles or individual protection equipment, our mission is always focused on saving the life of those that protect us.”

For over 43 years, Point Blank Enterprises, Inc. has been the industry’s leading innovator of advanced products and designs engineered to maximize ballistic protection. The Company has shipped millions of body armor solutions to America’s service men and women, law enforcement professionals, corrections officers, Federal agents, and other key national and international customers. Point Blank will be exhibiting the full range of armor systems at this year’s AUSA Annual Meeting and Symposium in Washington, D.C. 14-16 October 2019.

www.pointblankenterprises.com

US Marine Corps Adoption of M18 Underscores Success of SIG SAUER Modular Handgun System Program

Monday, June 17th, 2019

NEWINGTON, N.H., (June 17, 2019) –SIG SAUER, Inc. is honored to announce that the United States Marine Corps (USMC) is set to adopt the M18, the compact variant of the U.S. Army’s Modular Handgun System (MHS), as their official duty pistol.

“The Marine Corps announcement to put the M18 in service with the Marines is a very exciting development for SIG SAUER, and a true testament to the success of the MHS program,” began Ron Cohen, President & CEO, SIG SAUER, Inc. “The Marine’s procurement of the M18 brings the adoption of our Modular Handgun System full circle, as this means, beginning in 2020, either the M17 or the M18 will be officially in service with every branch of the U.S. Military.”

 

The M18 is a 9mm, striker-fired pistol featuring a coyote-tan PVD coated stainless steel slide with black controls.  The pistol is equipped with SIGLITE front night sights and removable night sight rear plate, and manual safety. 

Recently, the M18 successfully completed a MHS Material Reliability Test that consisted of firing three M18 pistols to 12,000 rounds each for a total of 36,000 rounds in accordance with the MHS requirements.  Comparatively, the U.S. Army’s legacy pistol was only tested to 5,000 rounds making the test duration for the M18 pistol 2.4 times greater than that of the legacy pistol.  In this testing, the M18 experienced zero stoppages despite being allowed up to twelve stoppages.  Additionally, the M18 passed a parts interchange test, and met stringent accuracy and dispersion requirements.

“The success of the MHS program is the direct result of the indisputable performance and superior quality of the M17 and M18 pistols, and the commitment and dedication of the men and women of SIG SAUER to those that serve in the defense of freedom,” continued Cohen. “We are very proud, and humbled, to have earned the trust of every branch of the U.S. Military through their acceptance of the MHS program and adoption of the M17 and M18 pistols.”

Currently, the M17 and M18 are in service with the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard.  The USMC will begin their acquisition of the M18 pistol in 2020. 

USMC Small Arms Update – 2019

Wednesday, June 5th, 2019

The Marine Corps is well under way with the Small Arms modernization initiatives announced last year.

USMC photo by Sgt. Aaron Henson

The biggest improvement for the Marine Infantryman isn’t a weapon, but it will make him much more effective. The Marines are moving very quickly to field the Squad Binocular Night Vision Goggle, with contract award mid-July.

The H&K produced M27 is being fielded to Marine Rifle Squads along with the M38 Designated Marksman variant.

The M320A1 40mm grenade launcher replaces the M203 and will be used in the stand alone mode.

Limited numbers of the Mk 13 Mod 7, sniper rifle have been brought over from SOCOM. The Marines consider this 300 WinMag Rifle as a bridge between the long serving M40 family and the Advanced Sniper Rifle in 7.62mm, 300 and 348 Norma Mag coming in the early 20s.

They are at the initial stages of replacing SMAW-D with the 84mm M3E1 Carl Gustaf. An interesting aside, the Marines are also making a T/O change. They will go from 8 to 4 TOW launchers per Battalion and increase from 8 to 12 Javelins.

Yes, that’s an M110A1 you see. The Marine Corps long ago signed up for the program, but there has been little indication of how many they plan to buy or how they will use them.

This is a slide indicating what the future holds for Marine Corps Small Arms. Some of these we have already seen draft requirements for, like the Squad Common Optic which is a variable power (6/8x). The SCO will go on every M27 currently being fielded to Marine Rifle Platoons. Expect a full Request for Proposals 1st quarter of 20.

The Marine Corps plans to suppress all of its M27s and eventually, its belt fed machine guns.

Army has lead on Next Gen weapons and the Marines are working with SOCOM to refine the Lightweight Medium Machine Gun requirement.

“Success is not found in contracts awarded…Success is found in confirmed kills”

PM IW

MARSOC To Conduct Combat Evaluation of SIG Lightweight Machine Gun in 338 Norma Mag

Wednesday, June 5th, 2019

During this week’s National Defense Industrial Association annual Armaments meeting, acquisition officials from both United States Special Operations Command and Marine Corps Systems Command announced that the Marine Corps Special Operations Command would be conducting a combat evaluation of the SIG Light Machine Gun (SL MAG) in the near future.

Unveiled at SHOT Show, this belt fed machine gun chambered in 338 Norma Mag offers ranges that rival the .50 M2 MG from a weapon lighter than the M240.

The Combat Evaluation is a limited user test, but first they need ammunition. SOCOM is currently working on the P-SPEC for 338 NM belt fed ammunition for what they are calling the Lightweight Machine Gun – Medium.

This Combat Eval will help refine requirements for the procurement of a 338 NM LMG-M in the FY 22-23 timeframe. Both Marine Corps and SOCOM are interested in this capability.

This Will Blow Some Minds

Saturday, May 18th, 2019

A US Marine with 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division, fires downrange amid an immediate action drill during exercise Platinum Ren at Fort Trondennes, Harstad, Norway, May 13, 2019.

(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Tayler P. Schwamb)

A note from Eric:

If I would’ve just posted this pic, without the caption, many would’ve exclaimed that this was an airsofter. We would have seen comments that all sorts of things were wrong and that “they don’t do it that way.”

Here’s another photo from that same event. Chew on this one. But remember, as long as it’s in the context of a joint range session with Norwegian troops, it makes perfect sense.