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New Combat Skis: Marine Corps Picks a Manufacturer

Marines and sailors with Marine Rotational Force-Europe 18.1 ski toward their next objective during a winter warfare training exercise at Haltdalen Training Center, Norway, on April 12, 2018. The Marine Corps is searching for a new ski system with universal bindings. Gunnery Sgt. Clinton Firstbrook/Marine Corps
Marines and sailors with Marine Rotational Force-Europe 18.1 ski toward their next objective during a winter warfare training exercise at Haltdalen Training Center, Norway, on April 12, 2018. The Marine Corps is searching for a new ski system with universal bindings. Gunnery Sgt. Clinton Firstbrook/Marine Corps

Marine Corps Systems Command has awarded a contract worth up to $9 million contract to Provengo, LLC to produce the service's new Military Ski System, according to a Sept. 27 award notice on the federal contracting website FedBizOpps.

The Marine Corps announced in May that it wanted a new ski system designed to work with the service's Extreme Cold Weather Vapor Barrier Boots and the Intermediate Cold Weather Boots so Marines wouldn't need a separate pair of ski boots.

"The ski binding shall be universal and be able to fit all types of boots in the Marine Corps inventory, Vapor Barrier and Intense Cold Weather Boot," the Aug. 3 request for proposal (RFP) states.

Marine Corps Systems Command officials say that the service wants to field the new ski system to scout snipers, reconnaissance Marines and select infantrymen.

The new ski system "shall provide adequate flotation for an individual and gear up to 300 pounds" and the "skis shall have a combined weight of no more than [seven pounds]," the solicitation states.

Marines will also be able to use the skis as a frame for a "winter medevac stretcher," the RFP states.

Initially, the Marines want 1,500 of the ski systems to be delivered to the Mountain Warfare Training Center in Bridgeport, California by May 31, according to the RFP. The service may need up to 8,000 sets of the new ski system.

The Army has embarked on a similar effort to develop a new ski system and is evaluating skis with universal bindings.

-- Matthew Cox can be reached at matthew.cox@military.com.

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