A Chronology of Development by Daniel E. Watters
Colt writes TACOM claiming that they incorrectly quoted the price in the proposal for their latest M16A4 contract. TACOM ultimately refuses to approve a price increase for the rifles on order.
TACOM terminates Bushmaster’s contract for US Navy M16A3 production. The difficulty appears to be due to disagreement over whether Bushmaster qualifies for a Small Business classification.
US Army Sustainment Command awards a $11,687.37 contract to St. Marks Powder for production of 1,200 pounds of 5.56mm Green Ammunition propellant.
ATK Lake City is awarded a $17,316,753 contract for 5.56mm M855 Ball.
Picatinny awards a $1,387,879.52 contract to Olin Winchester for 5.56mm M862 Short Range Training Ammunition.
NSWC-Crane awards a $4,956 contract modification to Back Hills Ammunition for packing 5.56mm Dim Tracer ammunition.
The Republic of Georgia announces its adoption of the M4 carbine.
The US Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity awards a $16,100 contract to DPMS for M16 to M4 conversion kits.
MKE unveils the Mehmetçik-1, a variant of the HK416.
On behalf of LWRC, Paul Leitner-Wise receives US Patent #7,313,883 titled “Modular receiver system.” (Paul Leitner-Wise was ousted from the company in the summer of 2006, but the patent remains assigned to LWRC, now renamed Land Warfare Resource Company.)
HK‘s Ernst Wössner and Heinz Matt file another US patent application for the detachable barrel system for the MG4.
The Dutch Ministry of Defence’s Defence Materiel Organization Procurement Branch issues a solicitation for 5.7x28mm ammunition (Ball, Subsonic, and Training) for use with the FN P90.
TACOM issues a sources-sought notice for a COTS/NDI collapsible stock conversion kit for the M16 rifle. The conversion kit must be capable of being employed in a variety of conditions and perform functions typical of infantry units. The collapsible stock conversion kit must meet or exceed the following requirements: 1) Must not degrade M16 reliability; 2) No less than three position stock with sling attachment points; 3) Must include all hardware necessary to convert standard M16 stock, i.e. extension tube, buffer assembly, action spring, etc.; and 4) Maximum weapon length of 35.95 inches in the collapsed position, with a stock similar or equivalent to the M4 Carbine stock.
NSWC-Crane issues a sources-sought notice for a COTS/NDI Miniature Reflex Sight (MRS). Technology solutions should include a small, reflex sight for SOF weapon applications that is reliable, rugged, waterproof, adjustable for windage and elevation, and economical. Weight and size minimization and battery life are important attributes. Waterproofing to a depth of 66 ft for 2 hours is desired.
NAVICP awards a $67,821 delivery order to Trijicon for telescopic sights.
NAVICP awards a $37,026 contract to Aimpoint.
NAVICP awards $402,636, $158,340, and $339,300 delivery orders to Insight Technology for infrared illuminators.
Aberdeen awards a $2,306 contract to H-S Precision for a 5.56mm accuracy test barrel.
US Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity issues a solicitation for 35 EOTech 553.
The Dutch Ministry of Defence’s Defence Materiel Organization Procurement Branch issues a solicitation for a variety of marking ammunition including red and blue 5.56mm cartridges linked for use in the FN Minimi.
Picatinny awards a contract worth $50,722,701.93 to FN Manufacturing for M249. The first delivery order, worth $10,728,822, is for 3,419 M249.
US Army Sustainment Command awards a $20,522,073.50 delivery order to General Dynamics for production of 5.56mm and .50 caliber cartridges.
NSWC-Crane awards a $6,706,846 delivery order to Federal Cartridge for 5.56mm Frangible Cartridges.
NSWC-Crane awards a $1,499,947 delivery order to Olin for 5.56mm frangible ammunition.
The New Zealand Defence Force announces planned upgrades for the NZDF’s small arms. Approximately 3,000 Steyr AUG will be modified in regard to accessory rails for attachment of new sights and other add-ons. Officials believe that they have another 10 years of life left in their rifles. Rechambering to a more powerful cartridge will also be considered. However, the FN Minimi is slated for outright replacement as it is believed that their lifespan has only 18 months left.
Jane’s announces that the Uruguayan military has decided to acquire Steyr AUG A3 rifles.
Metal Storm announces that it has successfully conduct a live fire demonstration of its 18mm Multi-Shot Accessory Under-barrel Launcher (MAUL) weapon system. The latter is being developed for the USMC as a compact, lightweight, four-shot shotgun attachment for the M16A4.
ARDEC announces its intent to intent to award a sole source contracts to Manufacturing Support Industries, Inc. and Kaeper Machine Inc. for M249 Short Barrel Blank Firing Attachments.
Picatinny awards a contract to Grip Pod Systems for 15,000 to 1,375,000 forward grip bipods. The first delivery order for 86,182 bipods is worth $8,488,927.
Grip Pod Systems, LLC’s Joseph R. Moody and Joseph D. Gaddini file another patent application for the design of the Grip Pod.
NAVICP awards a pair of $67,821 delivery orders to Trijicon for telescopic sights.
The DLA awards a $5,768 delivery order to Tango Down for forward pistol grips.
Naval Special Warfare Group 2 awards a $24,880 contract to JP Enterprises for Microelectronic Reflex Sights.
ACA-Army Reserve Contracting Center – East awards a $6,320 contract to MPRI, Inc. for M16 weapon parts.
TACOM awards a contract to Insight Technology for up to 20,000 AN/PSQ-18A Day/Night Sights for the M203. The first delivery order worth $1,197,000 is for 1,000 AN/PSQ-18A.
Metal Storm Limited enters into a Collaboration Agreement with Singapore Technologies Kinetics (ST Kinetics) for the latter to manufacture Metal Storm’s 3GL three-shot grenade launcher and 40mm ammunition.
Due to a claimed error in their proposed price, TACOM allows Colt to back out of their delivery order of 20,000 M16A4 for the USMC. To keep the contract on life support, TACOM adds a mere 154 M16A4 for FMS. As a result, the value of the contract drops from $15,925,000 to $122,430. TACOM is under no obligation to order any more rifles on this contract.
US Army Sustainment Command awards a $87,751,597.69 delivery order to General Dynamics for production of 5.56mm (DODIC A059) and .50 caliber (DODIC A555 and A557) cartridges. This includes cartridges for FMS.
US Army Sustainment Command awards a $1,642,699.28 delivery order to General Dynamics for production of 5.56mm M855 cartridges.
Jane’s announces that India is planning to order an additional 1,000 Tavor rifles for its special forces to supplement the 3,070 it already has.
HK‘s Ernst Wössner and Heinz Matt receive US Patent #7,347,023 titled “Machine guns having detachable barrels and methods of operating the same.”
TACOM awards a $617,284.80 delivery order to Polymer Technologies for 28,578 M249 100 Round Soft Pack Magazines.
TACOM awards a $2,856,500 contract option to Grip Pod Systems for 29,000 bipods.
Picatinny awards a contract to Fire Force Tactical Gear for up to 1,375,000 CQB Kit tactical slings. The first delivery order for 111,405 slings is worth $985,934.25.
Picatinny awards a contract to Command Arms Accessories (CAA) for 15,000 to 1,375,000 CQB Kit Multi-Magazine Holders (MMH). The first delivery order is worth $435,000.
Picatinny awards a contract to Thor Defense for 15,000 to 1,375,000 CQB Kit Multi-Magazine Holders (MMH). The first delivery order is worth $387,900.
Picatinny awards a delivery order to Design West Aratech for 11,158 M249 Collapsible Buttstock Assemblies.
USSOCOM issues a solicitation for 25 Aimpoint Micro T-1 Red Dot Sights and 75 EOTech 553.
The SOPMOD Program Management Office (PMO) issues a notice regarding failures of battery contacts in the SU-231/PEQ Reflex Sight. Further fielding of the sight is suspended until sufficient testing has been completed on sights with upgraded battery contacts . As an interim solution, the SOPMOD PMO is testing a field replaceable grommet that will mitigate the risk of failure. For those field units that have already received the SU-231/PEQ, the SOPMOD PMO strongly recommends not using those sights until they can be replaced or repaired.
NSWC-Crane issues a solicitation for 10 to 3,000 Crew Served Multipurpose Thermal Weapon Sights.
NSWC-Crane issues a solicitation for a minimum of 182 each of Trijicon RX01-10 and RX01-11 Reflex sights. The projected contract will be worth from $110,466 to $5,999,000.
NSWC-Crane awards a $77,970 delivery order to EOTech for Model 552 sights.
Grip Pod Systems, LLC’s Joseph R. Moody and Joseph D. Gaddini file an additional patent application for the design of the Grip Pod.
NAVICP awards a $163,404 contract to Aimpoint for reflex sights.
NAVICP awards a $170,404 delivery order to Insight Technology for infrared illuminators.
The Naval EOD Technology Division awards a $14,604 delivery order to EOTech for sights. Later, $100 is deallocated from the order.
ACA-Fort Benning awards a $4,775.95 contract to Armalite for National Match Free Floating Barrel Sleeve Kits.
ACA-Fort Carson issues a solicitation for 488 Single Point Attachment Rings. The rings attach between the buttstock and the lower receiver of the M4. The items are required to be ambidextrous and collapsible.
USPFO for Louisiana awards a $6,201 contract to Botach Tactical for M16 Butt Stock Magazine Pouches.
The British MOD awards contracts for railed handguards and vertical foregrip/bipods for the L85A2. While the contracts are awarded to British firms, the actual items selected are reportedly from Daniel Defense and Grip Pod respectively.
JM&L LCMC issues a broad area announcement to request project proposals in support of the research areas of Advanced Fire Control Technology and Advanced Lethality Armament Technology for Small Arms. The main purpose of the Advanced Fire Control Technology is to address several issues. Sixty percent of aiming involves a soldier standing in an unsupported firing position. In addition, precision engagement is limited due to inaccurate tactical range determination. Threat targets move and seek cover behind objects. Currently, weapon system weight and the multiple batteries required to provide power to advanced sighting systems lead to reduced weapon availability.
The main purpose of the Advanced Lethality Armament Technology is to provide improved maneuver capability and munition effectiveness on targets. The targets in question are those which the warfighter cannot incapacitate as they are hidden behind objects and/or under cover. Incapacitation with bursting munitions is limited by small payload and spray alignment effectiveness at defilade targets. Weight reduction, sound/audio signature reduction, and recoil reduction/mitigation also ties into the problem at hand and must be considered. Solutions to the previously described problem will arise from filling in technology gaps, which can then be integrated in order to provide an effective system to the warfighter.
USSOCOM issues a sole source modification to FN to refine the Fire Control System for the EGLM. FN will also act as the integrator between the EGLM and enhanced 40mm ammunition. The latter will be enhanced/medium range 600m (T) and 800m (O) 40mm ammunition that can be safely and effectively employed from a shoulder fired grenade launcher. The enhanced ammunition will also display increased accuracy in the EGLM over current 40mm low velocity ammunition utilized in the M203.
NSWC-Crane awards a $1,840 delivery order to Colt for M4A1.
Picatinny awards a $36,792,000 delivery order to FN Manufacturing for M249.
Colt’s Kevin Langevin, Paul Hochstrate, and Grzegorz Kuczynko file a patent application for alternative handguard designs for the M16/M4. Of note is their mention of possible future product improvements for the M16/M4 series, including: gas piston operation, a rate regulator, OTB capability, folding stock, and “greaseless” self-lubricating coatings such as UCT Defense’s UltraCem.
NAVICP awards a $425,169 and two $299,314.80 contracts to Back Hills Ammunition for 5.56mm ammunition.
ACA-Fort Benning awards a $98,055 contract to Back Hills Ammunition for 130,000 rounds of 5.56mm Mk 262 ammunition.
US Army Sustainment Command awards a $17,000,000 contract to Lake City for modernizing and enhancing production capability for 5.56mm “Green” Ammunition.
USAF Air Education and Training Command, Lackland AFB – 37 CONS issues a pair of separate solicitations for 500 M16A2 Training Weapons each. This is a brand name or equal requirement for the Olympic Arms Cobalt Trainer.
USSOCOM awards a $49,611.75 contract to Milli Micro Systems Inc. for Aimpoint Micro T-1 Red Dot Sights and EOTech 553.
Grip Pod Systems, LLC’s Joseph R. Moody and Joseph D. Gaddini file another patent application for the design of the Grip Pod.
On behalf of Abrams Airborne Manufacturing, Eric S. Kincel receives US Patent #7,363,740 titled “Modular firearm buttstock.”
NAVICP awards a $171,666 delivery order to Aimpoint.
The DLA awards a $17,486 delivery order to Tango Down for forward pistol grips.
Naval Special Warfare Group 2 awards a $24,904.86 contract to FN Manufacturing for Collapsible Buttstock Assemblies.
Naval Special Warfare Group 2 awards a $24,880 contract to JP Enterprises for Microelectronic Reflex Sights and adaptors.
Naval Special Warfare Group 2 awards a $17,500 delivery order to Simunition for FX M4A1 twenty round magazines.
ACA-Fort Stewart awards a $6,188 delivery order to Botach Tactical for Yankee Hill M16 Triple Mounts.
Metal Storm announces that it has completed live fire trials of its 3GL 40mm three shot grenade launcher. Over 120 rounds of inert and live grenades (including thermobaric grenades) were fired, both in a stand-alone configuration and while mounted to a M16.
JM&L LCMC issues a sources sought notice for potential sources for fabrication and delivery of approximately 19,800 M249.
JM&L LCMC, on behalf of PM-Maneuver Ammunition Systems, issues a sources sought notice for contractor developed designs for the 5.56mm M995 AP Cartridge. These items are currently procured in accordance with Government performance specifications, as there is no current US Government TDP available for this item. The Government contemplates soliciting from capable contractors a quantity of 2,000 each of the M995 AP cartridges for testing.
US Army Sustainment Command awards a $4,002,046.92 delivery order to General Dynamics for production of 5.56mm cartridges.
NSWC-Crane awards a $654 contract to Mullins Ammunition (Extreme Shock) for 100gr 5.56mm cartridges.
MARCORSYSCOM awards a $12,750 contract to Back Hills Ammunition for 5.56mm 80 Grain Moly-Coated Sierra Match ammunition.
MARCORSYSCOM Infantry Weapons Systems (IWS), Optics and Non-Lethal Systems (ONS) issues a presolicitation notice for a Squad Automatic Day Optic and Medium Machinegun Day Optic (SDO/MDO). MARCORSYSCOM anticipates an initial order of 10,847 SDO and 7,289 MDO.
RDECOM-Natick awards a $4,170 delivery order to EOTech for holographic sights.
NAVICP awards $40,014.39 and $101,731.50 delivery orders to Trijicon.
The DLA issues a solicitation for Trijicon RX01M4A1 worth up to $5.5 million.
ACA-Fort Carson awards a $94,222.40 contract to Neve’s Uniforms, Inc. for M4/M16 Simunition Conversion Kits. A month later $4.90 is deallocated.
Grip Pod Systems, LLC’s Joseph R. Moody and Joseph D. Gaddini file another patent application for the design of the Grip Pod.
TACOM issues a solicitation for M203A2.
The Czech Ministry of Defence’s Materiel Management and Acquisition Policy Branch, Materiel Management Division issues a solicitation for 40x46mm grenade ammunition including HE, HE-Frag, HEDP, and green smoke. These are to be used in the M203 and ST Kinetics 40GL.
TACOM awards a $5,062,088 contract to Sabre Defence for 4,952 M16A3 and 702 M16A4. These are for the US Navy and USMC respectively. This award originates from the same solicitation that resulted in contracts awarded to FN Manufacturing, Colt, and Bushmaster in December 2007. TACOM is under no obligation to order additional rifles from Sabre Defence.
NSWC-Crane awards a $786,760 delivery order to Back Hills Ammunition for 5.56mm Long Range ammunition.
NSWC-Crane awards a $193,725 delivery order to Back Hills Ammunition for 5.56mm Moly-Coated ammunition.
NSWC-Crane awards a $57,456 contract to Back Hills Ammunition for packing 5.56mm Dim Tracer ammunition.
JM&L LCMC announces that it intends to award a five year follow-on contract to AAI for the LFWA/LSAT Technology Base Project. The contractor shall continue the development and maturation of these technologies so that they can be transitioned to a System Development and Demonstration phase, to be executed by the PM-Soldier Weapons. The focus of this effort will be risk mitigation of the caseless ammunition, which offers the greatest weight and size reduction payoff, but still presents substantial risk at this stage of development.
Beretta officials reveal that their new ARX160 rifle has been selected by the Italian Army without competition. Beretta expects to deliver the first 30,000 ARX160 by mid-2009.
HK‘s Norbert Fluhr, Berthold Weichert, Stefan Doll, Ernst Wössner, and Martin Stussak file an US patent application related to the gas system of the MG4.
TACOM awards a $3,762,700 contract option to Grip Pod Systems for 38,200 bipods.
TACOM awards a $699,720 delivery order to Polymer Technologies for 30,000 M249 100 Round Soft Pack Magazines.
Picatinny awards $2,537,663.94 to Design West Aratech for 11,158 M249 Collapsible Buttstock Assemblies.
Picatinny awards a $28,816,825 delivery order to Trijicon for M150 RCO.
Picatinny awards a $172,500 delivery order to Samson Mfg. for CQB Kit Front Rail Brackets.
- With batteries, not weigh more than 1.75 pounds (Threshold), not weigh more than 1 pound (Objective);
- Provide fixed magnification not less than 3.5 and not greater than 4.5 power. The magnification apparatus shall not be separate from the body of the optic;
- Possess an illuminated reticle visible under all lighting conditions (Threshold). The reticle shall be illuminated for target engagements out to 300 meters; and
- Include a reflex sight that provides unlimited eye relief and varied reticle brightness.
RDECOM-Aberdeen awards a $1,681,578 delivery order to Aimpoint for magnifiers and Laser Filter Units.
MCB Camp Pendleton awards a $1,395 contract to Larue Tactical for Geisselle Service Trigger Mechanisms.
USAF Air Combat Command, 355 CONS – Davis Monthan AFB issues a solicitation for 30 each Aimpoint 3X Magnifiers, Aimpoint Twist Mounts, and Aimpoint Universal Spacers, and five each Aimpoint Concealed Engagement Units (CEU) and CEU High Mounts.
Picatinny awards $540,000 to ATK for XM25 program management support and hardware for government testing. Later in the month, Picatinny awards an additional $5,199,936 for XM25 program management support and hardware for government testing and user evaluation.
NSWC-Crane issues a sources sought notice for a 40mm standoff door breaching round. The candidate rounds must be compatible with the HK AG416/XM320 GLM. The requirement is breach doors from solid wooden to 18 gauge metal (threshold), up to 14 gauge metal (objective). The maximum range requirement is 35 meters (threshold), 50 meters (objective). The arming distance requirement is a range between 7 to 10 meters, with a minimum safe distance of 15 meters (threshold), 10 meters (objective). The system should be very low fragmenting, producing minimal rearward primary fragments. Damage to the door/target itself, while minimized, is not of primary concern. However, any explosive projectiles must not perforate the door prior to detonation. The round must be able to hit a 36 inch square target from a distance of 35 meters (threshold), a 24 inch square target from 50 meters (objective). The round must be able to function at impact angles up to 15 degrees (threshold) from perpendicular, 30 degrees (objective). The round its must not weigh more than 2 pounds (threshold), 1.5 pounds (objective).
ST Kinetics announces its 40x46mm Low Velocity Air-Burst Munition System (LV ABMS), comprising a fire control system (FCS) and HE air-bursting munition (ABM). Clipping onto a MIL-STD-1913 rail, the FCS features a laser rangefinder with a maximum range of 500m (with an option of 800m), with a red dot provided for aiming purposes. The ABM can be fired from current in-service 40x46mm grenade launchers such as the M203.
The TSWG, in conjunction with the FBI‘s Ballistic Research Facility (BRF) and the USMC, conducts the MURG Congressional Demo at Quantico. A 20 person delegation of Congressional aides attend a series of lectures on small arms design and cartridge evolution, followed by a live-fire demonstration. In particular, the program promotes the advantages of the 6.8mm SPC cartridge and piston-driven rifles. Barrett, FN, LWRC, HK, and Bushmaster provide rifles to demonstrate the differences between the 5.56mm NATO, 6.8mm SPC, 7.62x39mm, and 7.62mm NATO cartridges.
TACOM awards a $33,501.38 delivery order to Colt for 29 M4 carbines for the Army. Later, TACOM awards a $57,880,709.59 delivery order for 47,953 M4 carbines for the Army. This is followed by a $1,524,445.56 delivery order for 936 M4, 378 M4A1, and 756 extra thirty round magazines. These are for ICE and FMS to Bahrain.
Picatinny awards a $131,219.68 contract modification to Olin-Winchester for an undisclosed number of M862 SRTA cartridges.
JM&L LCMC issues a sole-source solicitation to Covance Laboratories for a mutagenicity study of bismuth-tin cores for the 5.56mm M855LFS cartridge. Later in the month, Picatinny awards a $78,305 contract. Draft reports are due by mid-October, and the final reports are due by mid-December 2008.
USPFO for Alabama awards a $10,718.42 contract to Back Hills Ammunition for 5.56mm ammunition.
HK‘s Johannes Murello receives US Patent #7,395,747 titled “Breechblock stops for firearms and methods of operating the same.”
The GAO denies EOTech’s protest over Picatinny’s award of the CCO contract to Aimpoint. EOTech claimed that their sight was unfairly eliminated from the competition over improper installation of its M16A2 sight mount.
NSWC-Crane issues a presolicitation notice for a minimum of 100,000 rounds of 5.56mm “Force on Force” paintball ammunition, 60 Mk 16 SCAR-L Weapon Conversion Kits, and 60 sets of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE). The contract will be worth from $100,000 to $30,000,000.
NSWC-Crane awards a $329,516.52 delivery order to Daniel Defense for Assembled Upper Receiver Groups (URG).
JM&L LCMC modifies an earlier solicitation for 9mm marking cartridges to include 5.56mm marking cartridges for use with the M4, M16, and M249.
Picatinny awards a $49,408,075.35 delivery order to Trijicon for M150 RCO.
Picatinny awards a $247,645 contract option to Polymer Technologies for M249 Feedbox Support Improvement Kits.
MARCORSYSCOM awards a $32,240 contract to Satern Custom Machining for M16 National Match Barrels with a 1-in-6.75″ twist.
MARCORSYSCOM awards a $8,650 contract to Geissele Automatics LLC for Service Rifle Match Triggers.
CECOM LCMC issues a sources sought notice for a variety of optical equipment including EOTech 552.
Colt’s Vincent P. Battaglia files a patent application for an alternative version of the standard M16/M4 forearm that allows for attachment of accessory rail segments.
The Naval EOD Technology Division awards a $27,393.35 delivery order to Atlantic Diving Supply for AN/PEQ-15 (standard power).
Naval Special Warfare Group 2 awards a $21,000 delivery order to Simunition for FX M4A1 twenty round magazines.
ACA-Fort Hood issues a solicitation for 303 Insight Technologies M6X for use with M4 carbines.
ACA-Fort Benning awards a $24,346 contract to RGW Associates for EOTech 553.
USPFO for Kentucky awards a $4,767.20 contract to Trijicon for scopes.
The British MOD issues a solicitation for flash hiders to fit to its SA80A2 family, 15,738 for the L85A2 rifle and 886 for the L86A2 LSW. A single solution to be fitted to both weapons is preferred, but bids offering a separate solution for each weapon will be considered. The flash hider should: eliminate the visual signature of the weapon at night; have a dark, matte, corrosion-resistant finish; allow the current in-service muzzle cover to be used (if not an alternative muzzle cover should be provided); weigh no more than 100g (the weight of the current flash hider); be of comparable physical robustness to the current model; be capable of being fitted to the current barrel without alterations; not interfere with the mounting and use of the Underslung Grenade Launcher (UGL); be capable of being fitted in less than five minutes by an unit armorer; be compatible with the current in-service bayonet, ideally including the LSW as well; and ideally be compatible with the current Safe Blank Firing System (SBFS) without risk of long-term damage or degradation to the SBFS.
TACOM awards a $18,502.08 delivery order to Airtronic USA for 16 M203 for the US Navy.
ACA-Fort Benning awards a $13,466 contract to RM Equipment for M203 Grip and Light Modules.
HK‘s Johannes Murello receives US Patent #7,401,434 titled “Holding devices to attach an accessory to a firearm.”
PM-Soldier Weapons, on behalf of PEO-Soldier, issues a sources sought notice for an Improved Carbine and Subcompact Individual Weapon System. The goal is to assess the state of the art in small arms technologies as well as production capacity of the US small arms industrial base. This effort may be formally initiated in late 2009 with a competitive solicitation. Information is requested on potential improvements in individual weapon performance in the areas of accuracy and dispersion out to 600m, reliability and durability in all environments, modularity, and terminal performance on a variety of target mediums. The chambering is not limited to 5.56mm NATO; however, any alternative ammunition must meet International Convention standards. Detailed descriptions of the proposed weapon systems should include engineering drawings, pictures, brochures, etc. that will convey the principles as well as general and specific capabilities behind the submissions. In addition, companies should provide summarized and detailed test data from any certified test facility that addresses improvements in the areas proposed. Test operating procedures utilized and independent evaluations are also solicited. Furthermore, the companies must disclose their minimum and maximum monthly production rates for a military carbine and/or subcompact individual weapon, and the lead times to achieve these production rates. This estimate should consider a US based production facility by the third year of deliveries. This capacity should be above and beyond any current production orders or current sales. It should be stated whether new facilities are planned or required. All respondents to this RFI will receive an invitation to an Industry Day to be conducted in the fall of 2008.
NSWC-Crane awards a $8,280 delivery order to Colt for M4A1.
The US Army announces that the M4 improved extractor spring (NSN 1005-01-505-2886) has been accepted for use with the M16-series.
US Army Sustainment Command awards a $6,817,136 contract to Alliant Lake City Small Caliber Ammunition Co. for lead free M855 Ball ammunition (DODIC AA45).
Picatinny awards a $248,336.99 contract option to Nammo for the 5.56mm M995 AP cartridge Technical Data Package.
The Pentagon Force Protection Agency issues a solicitation for a variety of small arms and accessories for the Pentagon Emergency Response Team. This includes 62 gas piston-operated 5.56mm rifles with 10.4″ barrels.
The Estonian Ministry of Defense awards a contract to Brügger & Thomet to upgrade the Estonian Army’s IMI Galil rifles. The rifles will be equipped with Picatinny rails, including railed forearms, to accept a variety of accessories. These will include red dot sights, 3x magnifiers, vertical foregrips, flashlights, and tactical slings. New cocking handles will be fitted, and polymer magazines will be provided. In addition, a small number of 40mm grenade launchers and sound suppressors will be obtained.
Picatinny awards a $699,720 contract option to Polymer Technologies for M249 200 Round Soft Pack Magazines.
Picatinny awards a $4,389,760.86 delivery order to Thor Defense for Multi-Magazine Holders.
Picatinny awards a $8,101,526.50 delivery order to Grip Pod Systems LLC for 82,249 Forward Grip Bipods.
Picatinny deallocates $369,118.89 from Design West Aratech’s contract for M249 Collapsible Buttstock Assemblies due to the cancellation of 1,623 buttstocks previously ordered.
MARCORSYSCOM issues a sources sought notice for improved replacement followers for the standard thirty round M16 magazine. The follower must operate smoothly; not be adversely affected by dust, dirt and debris; and increase the reliability of the current issue magazine.
MARCORSYSCOM issues a source sought notice for rifle scopes suitable for the Mk 12 SPR, Mk 11, M14 DMR, M39 EMR, M40A3, and M107 sniper rifles. The scope shall allow for adjustable variable magnification with a low magnification of no more than 4.5x (threshold), 3x (objective); and a high magnification of 12x (threshold), 15x (objective). The scope body shall weigh no more than 2 lbs, 3 oz. (threshold), 2.0 lbs (objective). Total weight of the system to include scope body and mount shall weight no more than 3 lbs.
NSWC-Crane issues a sole-source solicitation to Wilcox Industries for 100 Integrated Vertical Grips (IVG). These are the Universal Control Grip with Bipod, which allows quick attachment to a MIL-STD-1913 rail, and provides control of a variety of weapon-mounted lasers and tactical flashlights.
- 13,366 CNVD-I2 equal to or better than the baseline AN/PVS-24. The Government will be seeking to award two or more contracts for CNVD-I2;
- 4,999 CNVD-T equal to or better than baseline SU-232/PAS;
- 4,999 CNVD-T optimized for long range applications with narrower field of view and higher resolution; and
- 7,488 CNVD-SF including the following technologies: a. 3,327 Fusion overlay/direct view; 2,495 Fusion indirect view, and c. 1,666 Emerging technologies.
The contracts will include provisioning items, spare parts, and RDT&E Services.
TACOM awards a $97,500 delivery order to Airtronic USA for 1,500 M2 bolts. These are used with 5.56mm M862 Short Range Training Ammunition.
TACOM issues a sole-source solicitation to Surefire for various accessories, including 170 M4FA, FA 556A-B suppressors and 128 M73 rail systems.
Naval Special Warfare Group 2 issues a solicitation for various Wilcox Industries products including 54 Universal Control Grips with Bipods.
Aberdeen awards a $1,106 contract to H-S Precision for 5.56mm Accuracy Barrels.
USPFO for Arkansas issues a solicitation for 150 Krieger 5.56mm stainless steel barrels with a 1 in 7.7″ twist, threaded muzzle, four flats for front sight base set screws, a 5.56mm Compass Lake chamber, and 0.218″ bore diameter. These are to be provided with complete bolts.
Colt Canada’s David W. Compton and Jeffrey D. MacLeod file an US patent application for a firearm shot counting device.
Picatinny awards $107,764 to ATK for contractor support to XM25 Government testing.
TACOM awards a $2,075,400 delivery order to Insight Technologies for 1,800 AN/PSQ-18A Day/Night Sights for the M203.
Picatinny awards a $5,004,237 contract to Defense Technologies Corp. for 40mm M1029 Crowd Dispersal Cartridges.
ACA-Fort Lewis issues a sources sought notice for 240 M203 Grips with Tac-Grip Handle and Tactical Light.
USPFO for Oregon issues a solicitation for AN/PSQ-18A Day/Night Sights for the M203 and three mini-thermal monoculars.
TACOM awards a $16,228,500 delivery order to FN Manufacturing for 23,250 M16A4. These are for FMS to Iraq. Later, TACOM awards FN Manufacturing a $10,252,575 delivery order for an undisclosed number of M16A4. These are also for FMS. TACOM also deallocates $865 from an earlier contract for M16A4 for the USMC.
TACOM awards a $24,547,613.76 delivery order to Colt for 16,737 M4 and 4,367 M4A1 carbines. These are for the USMC, USAF, US Navy, other Defense Agencies, ICE, and FMS to the Philippines and Afghanistan.
TACOM awards a $4,161,988.16 delivery order to Colt for 1,153 M4 and 2,450 M4A1 carbines. These are for the US Army Reserve, US Army National Guard, USAF, DHS-Customs and Border Protection, and FMS to Tonga and Honduras.
Picatinny awards $3,950,760 and $601,891.34 change orders to FN Manufacturing related to M249 production.
US Army Sustainment Command awards a $33,636,220.47 delivery order to General Dynamics for production of 5.56mm, 7.62mm, and .50 caliber ammunition. This includes quantities for FMS.
US Army Sustainment Command cancels procurement of 78,600 5.56mm (DODIC A064) cartridges, and deallocates $37,185.66 from General Dynamics.
Picatinny awards a $7,033.47 contract option to Olin-Winchester for 5.56mm M862 SRTA cartridges. Picatinny also deallocates $1.18.
Picatinny awards a $15,306,989.83 contract option to Nammo for 5.56mm M995 and 7.62mm M993 AP rounds.
NSWC-Crane awards $1,932,190 and $786,760 delivery orders to Black Hills Ammunition for 5.56mm Long-Range Ammunition.
ACA-Fort Benning awards a $37,100 contract to Hornady for 80gr 5.56mm ammunition.
TACOM awards a $197,007.60 contract to HK for 100 HK 416, 500 thirty round magazines, and other accessories. This is for the Defense Criminal Investigative Service. The number of magazines is later amended to 555 units, and a corrected price per magazine results in a contract decrease of $17.50.
Picatinny awards $5,800,000 of a potential $28,000,000 contract to AAI for the Lightweight Family of Weapons. AAI will continue to develop the 5.56mm LSAT light machine gun and ammunition, including plastic-cased telescoped and caseless designs. AAI also will begin development of a new carbine variant using the cased telescoped ammunition. AAI will provide 100,000 rounds of cased telescoped ammunition and eight light machine guns for an operational demonstration of LSAT scheduled for 2011. The Army may exercise contract options to include development of a caseless carbine, fabrication of additional caseless ammunition, a subcompact weapon study, and implementation of alternative bullet configurations.
The Australian Defence Materiel Organization (DMO) awards Thales Australia the first part of a three-stage contract for the enhancement of the Australian Defence Forces’ F88 “Austeyr” rifle system. (Thales Australia is the current owner of ADI and the Lithgow Small Arms Factory.) Under the contract, Thales will deliver the initial design and production prototypes for the enhanced F88 integrated rifle system. Design qualification and production are planned for implementation in later stages. Part of the Land 125 Soldier Combat System project, the F88 redesign allows for the use of new optics with improved ability to acquire and engage targets, and the enhanced integration of after-market accessories. Thales currently refers to the upgraded rifle configuration as the “Austeyr A3” as opposed to the earlier F88A4 and AUG A3 designations (the latter having been usurped by Steyr).
The French press reveals that the French Air Force unit Commando Parachutiste de l’Air n° 10 (CPA 10) is adopting the HK 416.
Thailand purchases 15,037 IWI Tavor and 531 Negev. These contracts are worth approximately $30.1 million and $4.4 million respectively.
USAF Air Education and Training Command, 37 CONS – Lackland AFB issues a solicitation for 608 M16A2 Training Weapons. This is a brand name or equal requirement for Olympic Arms Cobalt Trainer. Later in the month, an additional solicitation is posted for 100 M16A2 Training Weapons.
NAVICP awards separate $424,989.36 and $341,992.96 contracts to RUAG Ammotec for 4.6mm cartridges.
TACOM issues a solicitation for M16/M4 thirty round magazines. The solicitation is limited to Brownells and Okay Industries. It is anticipated that contracts will be let for 1,410,000 magazines each with a 100 percent Option.
TACOM awards a $10,125,727.18 contract modification to Center Industries. TACOM deletes 804,447 standard thirty round magazines previously ordered and adds 2,078,066 Improved 30 Round Magazines. Also added is funding for the tooling for production of the Improved Magazine. Two day later, TACOM awards a $6,330,997.89 contract modification for an additional 804,447 Improved 30 Round Magazines.
Picatinny awards a $79,615.63 contract modification to Vertu Corp. for XM26 tooling.
Picatinny awards a $209,000 delivery order to Tri Technologies for M249 Improved Bipods.
Picatinny awards a $674,329.95 delivery order to Design West Aratech for 2,965 M249 Collapsible Buttstock Assemblies.
Picatinny awards a $943,000 delivery order to Samson Mfg. for CQB Kit Front Rail Brackets.
Picatinny awards a $590,160 contract to Tri Technologies Inc. for M249 Front Rail Kits. The contract will procure from 12,295 to 18,445 rail kits.
RDECOM, on behalf of PM-Soldier Sensors and Lasers, issues a sources sought notice for COTS Weapons Mounted Lights (WML) that use Light Emitting Diode (LED) technology. The WML will give the Soldier the capability to employ a white light that is small and lightweight that can be weapon-mounted or hand-held. When weapon-mounted, the WML will provide a soldier the capability to identify targets accurately when using his weapon during periods of darkness or limited visibility. The WML will be employed with the M16A4, M4/M4A1, M249 (threshold), and M240B (objective), mounting via a MIL-STD-1913 rail. The WML will have the following characteristics:
- Possess a fixed beam (threshold) or an adjustable beam (narrow to wide) (objective) that allows illumination of a 20x30x8 foot darkened room or enclosure, with a facial recognition range of 20 meters (threshold), 25 meters (objective) inside a darkened room or enclosure;
- With batteries, mounting mechanism, and remote cable, weigh no more than 10 ounces (threshold), 6 ounces (objective);
- Be compatible with/not interfere with appropriate day/night optics, aiming lights and other weapon accessories;
- Have dual activation controls: an on/off switch which shall be located on the device housing, and a wired remote control switch. The system shall also have both a constant on/off and momentary light capabilities which includes a remote momentary capability. A full-off control shall also be provided on the device housing which will prevent activation controls from functioning;
- Operate on standard military or DOD-approved, commercially available batteries. Acceptable battery performance with the light constantly on will be 1 hour. Degraded battery performance in extreme temperatures or with prolonged use of the light is acceptable;
- Include a detachable lens cover/dust cover;
- Have an infrared (IR) capability (objective);
- Be easily mounted and dismounted by an individual soldier without special tools;
- Be capable of being used when soldiers are wearing the Army issued black leather glove with wool insert and must be compatible with NBC operations and with the full ensemble of Mission Oriented Protective Posture (MOPP) 4 gear when worn by a soldier in any NBC environment. The WML must provide for one-handed, ambidextrous operation;
- Be capable of being dropped from 3 feet (threshold), 5 feet (objective), without impacting operational capability; and
- Be capable of being immersed in 3 feet of water and be capable of being exposed to moisture. The WML will operate in 5 percent to 100 percent relative humidity without degradation of capability.
NSWC-Crane formally issues its solicitation for Miniature Reflex Sights (MRS). As predicted earlier, it involve the procurement of 1,000 to 50,000 MRS with a maximum contract value of $15,000,000. The reticle shall be a visible dot 3.5 MOA (Threshold) in diameter, or 7.0 MOA in diameter, or allow for the reticle dot to be selectable between 3.5 MOA and 7 MOA (Objective).
NSWC-Crane awards a $26,970 delivery order to EOTech for SU-231/PEQ.
NSWC-Crane awards a $1,282,116 delivery order to Insight Technology for SU-232/PAS Thermal Sights.
NSWC-Crane awards a $77,039.76 delivery order to Simunition for M4A1 upper receiver conversions.
US Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM) issues a solicitation for a variety of tactical equipment, including 50 Vickers Combat Applications Slings.
ACA-Fort Lewis awards a $10,331.40 delivery order to Tactical & Survival Specialties for Trijicon Reflex.
ACA-Fort Bragg issues a solicitation for various tactical equipment including 440 Blackhawk Swift 3 point slings for the M4 carbine.
ACA-Fort Lewis issues a solicitation for various tactical equipment including 450 each of M16 Three Point slings and Single Point Modular Tac Slings.
ACA-Fort Stewart issues three separate solicitations for various tactical equipment, including 115 Trijicon TA01ECOS ACOG, 90 TA01NSN ACOG, and 100 TA31F ACOG sights. Later in the month, ACA-Fort Stewart awards a $62,415 contract to Tactical & Survival Specialties, Inc. for the 90 TA01NSN ACOG.
ACA-Fort Jackson issues a solicitation for 7,200 M16 Butt Stock Magazine Pouches. Initially, the Spec-Ops Brand Ready-Fire Mode magazine holders are specified, but the solicitation is later modified so that any brand meeting the required specifications is acceptable.
USPFO for Colorado issues a solicitation for various tactical equipment, including 11 Surefire Millennium M900A Vertical Foregrip/Weapon Lights.
USPFO for Colorado awards a $16,200 contract to Botach Tactical for EOTech 553.
Grip Pod Systems, LLC’s Joseph R. Moody and Joseph D. Gaddini receive US Patent #7,421,815 titled “Canting vertical fore grip with bipod.”
The Purchase Description for the XM320 is modified to add the XM320E1. XM320E1 will be equipped with the M4 carbine mounting bracket, while the XM320 will be equipped with the M16 rifle mounting bracket.
Picatinny awards $2,465 to HK for the removal of the finger guard from the XM320’s forward pistol grip.
NSWC-Crane issues a solicitation for 5.56mm M855 Ball and linking it into belts using government-supplied Mk 301 Dim Tracer ammunition. The Government intends to procure from a minimum of $750,000 worth of ammunition at the time of award. An additional $4,250,000 worth of ammunition may be purchased over the five year life of the contract.
US Army Sustainment Command awards a $5,545,455 contract to Alliant Lake City Small Caliber Ammunitions Co. for M855 lead-free ammunition production. This will create a production capability of six million cartridges per month.
TACOM issues a solicitation for 10,000 to 50,000 M249 Short Barrel Blank Firing Attachments, plus an equal quantity of replacement stem inserts. Later in the month, TACOM announces that it intends to award a sole source contract for the attachments to Design West Aratech.
JM&L LCMC, in support of PM-Soldier Weapons, issues a sources-sought notice for fabrication and delivery of 16,850 to 58,700 M249 Feedbox Support Improvement Kits (FSIK). The M249 FSIK is composed of metal alloy parts that attach to the M249 SAW, reinforcing the feedbox dovetail support on the weapon. The FSIK helps prevent unintended release of the ammunition magazine due to rough handling during combat operations.
HK‘s Klaus Munst receives US Patent #7,430,828 titled “Adapters for attaching accessories to weaponry.”
The US Army hosts an invitation-only Industry Day regarding a potential future replacement for the M4 Carbine. The goal of the Industry Day is to provide officials with knowledge as to the current state of the art, which will assist the writing of a formal requirements document. Nineteen companies display weapons and provide briefings to military officials. These include Colt, FN, HK, KAC, AAI, SIG Sauer, Smith & Wesson, Bushmaster/Remington, Sabre Defence, Barrett, PRI, Robinson Armament, LWRC International, Troy Industries, Patriot Ordnance, Armwest, Polytech, and Superior Arms. Officials hope to have the updated carbine requirements document completed by the end of the year and approved by Summer 2009. A competitive RFP is not expected to be issued until September 2009, and any new carbine would not be likely to be issued to troops before 2012.
US Army Contracting Command issues a market survey to determine industry interest and capability in 5.56mm, 7.62mm, and .50 caliber ammunition production.
TACOM awards a $3,035 contract to Kel-Tec for five SU16D9 with forward handgrips. These are to be delivered to the Aberdeen Test Center.
TACOM awards a $1,101,800 contract modification to Center Industries for 140,000 thirty round magazines.
MCB Camp Lejeune issues a solicitation for tactical gear including 697 Midwest Industries End Plate Sling Adapters (MCTAR-13) and 1,000 Blue Force Gear single point slings. Later, MCB Camp Lejeune issues another solicitation for 366 Midwest Industries End Plate Sling Adapters (MCTAR-13) and 366 Blue Force Gear single point slings.
PEO-Soldier standardizes the M320/M320A1 grenade launcher.
RDECOM, on behalf of the ARL, announces its intent to award a sole source contract to ATK for the Individual Airburst Weapon System (IAWS). The focus of this effort is to continue with the design and development of the IAWS to meet user identified capability gaps for lethality, while extending stand-off range, defeating defilade targets, providing day, night, and all weather capability, and incorporating a multifunctional fire control sub-system. The overall objectives of this contract include design improvements and testing for the Target Acquisition/Fire Control System, weapon and airbursting ammunition, the building of prototype hardware/systems, the continuation of design of the 25mm family of ammunition (Air Burst, Anti Personnel, Armor Piercing), and performance of development testing.
MARCORSYSCOM awards four separate contracts for the IAR. These include two to Colt worth up to $14 million apiece, one to HK worth up to $23.6 million, and one to FN worth up to $27.9 million. Ten samples of each candidate rifle will be acquired for further testing before one of the four candidates is selected for further production. No company will receive the entire cash award quoted unless they are chosen to provide the entire contract amount of 6,500 IAR. The FN candidate is known to be a SCAR variant, while the HK is reported to be a HK 416 variant.
NSWC-Crane announces a sole-source solicitation to FN Manufacturing for refurbishment and overhaul of the Mk 46 Mod 1, Mk 48 Mod 1, and M240B machineguns to a near new condition. The contract minimum will be $250,000 with an estimated maximum amount not to exceed $11,500,000.
JM&L LCMC issues a sources-sought notice for the design, fabrication, and testing of 5.56mm M855 Ball assembled with an aluminum cartridge case. The candidate cartridge will use the current production projectile, primer, and propellant. Interested sources must provide evidence of technical expertise, including: demonstrating the application of aluminum alloys fabrication process, material properties necessary for application as small caliber cartridge cases, previous efforts in the design of aluminum cartridge cases in 5.56mm, expertise in finite element stress analysis, quality functional deployment analysis, fabricated significant quantity using production methods, and access to in-house or commercial ballistic test facilities with appropriate test weapons. In addition, respondents must demonstrate that they have experience in the modernized production lines at the Lake City Ammunition Plant, in particular the high speed SCAMP lines.
USASOC, Fort Bragg issues a solicitation for 161,280 rounds of .223 Rem./5.56mm ammunition loaded with the 69gr Sierra MatchKing. There is initial confusion as the contracting specialist insists upon FMJ projectiles, despite specifying the Sierra MatchKing, which is only available as an OTM projectile. This is ultimately straightened out to specify OTM projectiles.
The US Army Contracting Command JM&L Contracting Center, on behalf of PM-Soldier Weapons, issues a source sought notice for a contractor encompassing Earned Value Management to support PM-Individual Weapons in lifecycle phases, which include new weapon systems being developed, current weapon systems in production, and existing weapons systems being sustained and demilitarized. The contractor will perform, but not be limited to performing the following services: small arms program research, analysis, and coordination in support of decision making processes for PM-Individual Weapons Product Directors by attending meetings, providing analyses and reports, reviewing and commenting on documents and preparing original acquisition documents.
On behalf of LWRC International, Paul Leitner-Wise receives US Patent #7,461,581 titled “Self-cleaning gas operating system for a firearm.”
NSWDG issues a solicitation for 400 MP7A1 40rd magazines, with options for 500 more.
Picatinny awards a $22,807,398 delivery order to Aimpoint.
Picatinny awards a $5,746,583 delivery order to Thor Defense Inc. for 222,219 CQB Kit Multi-Magazine Holders.
Picatinny awards a $1,955,914.50 delivery order to Grip Pod Systems LLC for 19,857 Forward Grip Bipods.
NSWC-Crane, on behalf of the SOPMOD PMO, issues a sources sought notice for concept papers for R&D in all of its mission areas. Proposals may be submitted by any non-governmental entity. The PMO is not interested in concepts that already have been developed or proven (even if they never have been sold before). Proposals should be for scientific study and experimentation directed toward advancing the state-of-the-art or increasing knowledge or understanding; and deliverables should demonstrate the results of scientific study and experimentation rather than focus on a specific system or hardware solution. Offerors who submit acceptable white papers may be given the opportunity to brief their submittals at the Special Operations Forces Shooters Conference immediately following SHOT Show 2009 in January.
NAVICP awards a $3,459,205 contract to Insight Technologies for manufacture of infrared illuminators for the Special Warfare Program.
MCB Camp Lejeune issues a solicitation for 200 each of single point slings for the M4 and end plate sling adapters.
ARMS, Inc.’s Richard E. Swan receives US Patent #7,458,179 titled “Modular panel system for attaching accessories to a firearm rail system.”
Tango Down, LLC’s Jeffrey M. Cahill receives US Patent #7,464,495 titled “Integrated pressure switch pocket for a vertical fore grip.”
by Daniel E. Watters, Small Arms Historian
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Last Revised: 05/17/2009
This article was originally published at The Gun Zone — The Gunperson’s Authoritative Internet Information Resource. My friend and mentor Dean Speir has graciously hosted my articles at TGZ for nearly 16 years. These articles would likely have never appeared online without his constant encouragement and assistance.
With TGZ’s closure in early 2017, Dean encouraged me to find a new home for my scholarship so it wouldn’t be lost in the dustbin of the Internet. Loose Rounds has welcomed me with open arms. In the future, I intend to expand my legacy TGZ articles and add new contributions here at Loose Rounds.