Sources Sought Notice Issued for 5.56mm Modular Weapon System Family

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by David Crane

The following Sources Sought Notice looks like it’s essentially the same solicitation as that covered in the previous article, just in alternate form (a previous version, if you will):
"General Information

Document Type: Sources Sought Notice
Solicitation Number: W15QKN-05-X-0427
Posted Date: Nov 05, 2004
Original Response Date: Dec 07, 2004
Current Response Date: Dec 07, 2004
Original Archive Date:
Current Archive Date:
Classification Code: 10 — Weapons

Contracting Office Address
US Army ARDEC, AMSTA-AR-PC, Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey 07806-5000
The US Army is currently seeking sources for a Non-Developmental multi- configurable 5.56mm modular weapon system. The system shall consist of…

four variants to include: Special Compact (SC), Carbine, Designated Marksman (DM), and Light Machine Gun (LMG) (or Auto Rifle). All variants need to function in both semi-automatic and automatic firing modes, with the LMG primary firing mode being full auto. The SC variant will provide Soldiers an enhanced close quarter battle capability providing effective lethality through 150m. The Carbine is slated to be the standard issue individual combat weapon with an effective range through 500m. The DM variant will provide accurate fire at longer ranges as well as offering an automatic rifle capability. The LMG variant will offer the role of suppressive fire through 600m.

The mandatory weapon system family requirements follow. Any vendor not meeting the following mandatory requirements may not be considered a potential source. Multi-Configurable variants: 80% parts commonality between SC, Carbine, and DM; 50% parts commonality between LMG and the other three variants; reconfigurable at the unit level. Multi-Purpose Sighting System Each variant shall include a resident multi-purpose sight that enables the warfighter to rapidly and effectively engage stationary and moving targets, both with reflexive fire at close ranges, and with precision fire out to the maximum effective range of the variant (SC- 150m, Carbine-500m, DM-600m, LMG-600m).

For close range reflexive fire, the sight shall enable the warfighter to acquire, engage, and hit a close range (50m) target in less than 1.5 seconds. Accuracy: For soldier fired accuracy: SC (Moving Target) P(H) > .40 at 100m; Carbine (moving target) P(H) > .60 at 150m; DM (stationary w/ 500m zero) P (H) > .50 at 500m; LMG (first 6 round burst against a single E-type silhouette in an 8 target array, zeroed to 300m) P(H) >.04 at 600m.

Reliability – The Carbine, SC, and DM must demonstrate 18,000 Mean Rounds Between Essential Function Failure (MRBEFF) for Class III malfunctions (i.e., for non-operator correctable malfunctions which cause the loss of essential functionality) and 2,300 MRBEFF for Class I and II malfunctions combined (Class I malfunctions are operator clearable within 10 seconds, whereas Class II malfunctions require more than 10 seconds to clear but can be corrected by the operator with available equipment).
The LMG must demonstrate 18,000 MRBEFF for Class III malfunctions and 1,900 MRBEFF for Class I and II malfunctions combined.

Back-up sight – accurately engage targets out to 300 meters without removal of the MPSS. Boresight/Zero Repeatability – The weapon system boresight/zero shall be repeated when the OICW (Increment I) Limited Visibility Fire Control is removed and reinstalled on the weapon.

Barrel Life – All variants shall have a minimum barrel life no less than 15,000 rounds.

Ammunition Compatibility – The family of weapons shall use the same ammunition.

Additionally, all variants must be able to fire standard NATO issue ammunition (e.g., M855, MK 262).

Ambidexterity: All variants shall be ambidextrous with respect to: fire mode selector switch, charging handle/forward assist, magazine release, and bolt catch engagement. Further, ejected cartridges shall not be channeled in the rear direction to interfere with left handed shooters.

Adjustable Stock: The adjustable stock shall accommodate the 5th 95th percentile warfighter and be rugged enough to withstand the rigors of individual movement techniques.

Desired system attributes include:

Platform for Area Suppression Lethality Module (ASLM): The system shall provide attachment points for a 40mm grenade launcher.

Platform for Shotgun Lethality Module (SGLM): The system shall provide attachment points for a 12- gauge shotgun.

Rate of Fire: Carbine, SC, and DM shall have a maximum effective semi- automatic ROF greater than or equal to 45 rounds per minute without degrading reliability. The LMG sustained ROF in the automatic mode shall be at a minimum of 72 rounds per minute.

Acoustic, Blast, Flash Suppressor: The flash suppressor of all variants shall allow for the attachment of an acoustic, flash, and blast suppressor that can be attached and detached by the operator by hand or with tools common to the warfighter?s cleaning kit. All variants shall be capable of firing with the suppressor attached or detached. The suppressor shall not degrade accuracy. The flash suppressor shall minimize or eliminate the kick-up and blowback of dirt and dust particles toward the operator. The flash suppressor shall incorporate or act as a muzzle brake. The flash suppressor shall be designed so the operator can perform maintenance and cleaning without the aid of special tools.

Weight: Weights of each variant should be lower than their comparable fielded systems. The Carbine shall weigh less than a comparably equipped M4 Modular Weapon System w/M68 Optic, Back Up Iron Sight, and PEQ-2A (8.11lbs). The Designated Marksman shall weight less than a comparably equipped M16 Modular Weapon System, w/4x scope, Back Up Iron Sight, and PEQ-2A (9.39lbs). The Light Machine Gun shall weigh less than an M249 with an M145 Optic (18.5 lbs).

Limited Visibility Fire Control – All OICW (Increment I) variants (systems) shall incorporate a resident limited visibility fire control with infrared aim light and illuminator. Boresight/Zero Retention The weapon system boresight/zero retention shall be maintained throughout each mission and while being transported by normal military means.

LMG Quick-change Barrel: The LMG shall provide for a quick-change barrel able to be replaced by the operator in under 30 seconds without headspace or timing adjustments while under combat conditions. Due to excessive heat, the LMG barrel shall provide the operator a visible means of determining cautionary heat levels.

Blank Firing Adapter (BFA): All variants shall be capable of firing blank ammunition with a BFA.

Length Requirement: The carbine total weapon length shall not be longer than a fully extended M4 carbine (33.0"). The DM and LMG shall not be longer than an M16 rifle (39.6") and M249 SAW (40.75") respectively. The SC shall take up no more room than a collapsed M4 (29.75").

The Government requests that the following accompany any submission. Submissions shall not exceed 50 pages (8" X 11"), not including test data. Font shall be 12-pitch with one-inch borders. A description/matrix of how proposed system meets the mandatory requirements listed above. Summarized and detailed test data from any test facility that addresses any and all requirements listed herein.

Along with this, Test Operating Procedures and independent system evaluations are solicited. o A detailed schedule reflecting best response time capability for the following deliverables: Production of 500 systems for test and evaluation (approximate breakout: 140 Carbine, 140 SC, 160 DM, and 60 LMG). o Production of approximately 200,000 systems over six years.

A video that clearly depicts the system performance and capabilities. The video should clearly demonstrate system modularity, a live fire demonstration, and a detailed description of the system. Additionally, the video should demonstrate a Manual of Arms as well as assembly/disassembly procedures. The total length shall be no greater than 15 minutes. DVD or VHS format only. Detailed descriptions of any candidates to include drawings, pictures, brochures, etc. that will convey the operating principles, system modularity, as well as general and specific system capabilities behind the submissions.

Production cost estimates for the system to include weapon, sight(s), and additional accessories. Breakdown of variants is expected to occur at a ratio of 60% for Carbine, 20% for SC, 10% for DM, and 10% for LMG. Current production plant capacity not presently utilized and planned future expansion capacity, if applicable, to include timelines. Descriptions of any past or current Contracts whose deliverables satisfy items covered in this announcement, either whole or in part.

The Contractor’s position on data rights. Specifically, the minimum requirements for Government Purpose Limited Rights to enable future competitive procurements. The Government’s intent is to pursue future competition in production. A breakout of all subcontractors/vendors that will be supplying hardware and/or expertise into the final system to include sights.

Interested offerors should submit the information annotated above, in hard copy, within 30 days to: Commander, U.S. Army TACOM-ARDEC, Acquisition Center, AMSTA-AQ-APD, Bldg 10, Attn: Joanne Cicarone, Picatinny Arsenal, NJ 07806- 5000. Submissions shall not exceed 50 pages (8" X 11"), not including test data. Font shall be 12 pitch with one inch borders. All information is to be submitted at no cost or obligation to the Government. NO TELEPHONE INQUIRIES WILL BE ACCEPTED. Documentation provided will not be returned. This is a sources sought notice only. It is for planning purposes only and should not be construed as a Request for Proposal or a commitment by the United States Government. The Government will offer an industry day (if requested in writing) on 15 November, 0900 ? 1100 hours, Building 151, Picatinny Arsenal, NJ.

The Government will accept written questions by email to Ms. Joanne Cicarone,

Point of Contact:

JOANNE CICARONE, Contract Specialist, (973)724-4049
Email your questions to JOANNE CICARONE at

Click here to read the original Sources Sought Notice, titled "5.56mm Modular Weapon System Family.

Since the original Sources Sought Notice was issued there have been two modifications to the notice. Here they are:

Modification 01

Modification 02
Additional Information:

US ARMY TACOM-Picatinny Procurement Network."

Sources Sought Notice Issued for 5.56mm Modular Weapon System Family by

About David Crane

David Crane started publishing online in 2001. Since that time, governments, military organizations, Special Operators (i.e. professional trigger pullers), agencies, and civilian tactical shooters the world over have come to depend on Defense Review as the authoritative source of news and information on "the latest and greatest" in the field of military defense and tactical technology and hardware, including tactical firearms, ammunition, equipment, gear, and training.

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