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Army Opens Competition to Give Mobile Machine-Gunners a Better Optic

U.S. Army Reserve military police soldiers from the 341st MP Company, of Mountain View, California, prepare an M240B machine gun for a mounted crew-served weapon night fire qualification table at Fort Hunter-Liggett, California, in 2016. Army photo
U.S. Army Reserve military police soldiers from the 341st MP Company, of Mountain View, California, prepare an M240B machine gun for a mounted crew-served weapon night fire qualification table at Fort Hunter-Liggett, California, in 2016. Army photo

Army weapons officials want defense firms to design a new machine-gun optic to help gunners hit enemy targets faster and with more accuracy than ever before.

Project Manager Soldier Weapons on Friday issued a request for proposal for a new Mounted Machine Gun Optic, or MMO, on the government contracting website FedBizOpps.

"The MMO is required to achieve faster target acquisition times and increased first-burst probability of hit ... for machine gunners firing from vehicle-mounted platforms with the M240B, M2/M2A1, and Mk19 Machine Guns," the solicitation states.

This will be a full and open competition to award up to three contracts with options per weapon platform. Each contract will be issued a minimum delivery order of 35 MMOs that will then "undergo Lab and Live Fire Testing," according to the solicitation.

"The data generated will be one factor in the government's decision of which contract(s) to exercise the Full-Rate Production option for each weapon platform," the solicitation states. "Awards are anticipated to be made in 2nd quarter of Fiscal Year 2019."

The RFP did not give production estimates, but the June 26 pre-solicitation stated that the Army planned to order up to 11,450 MMOs.

The MMO is intended to address the Joint Operations Concepts key characteristics through rapid, lethal, precision engagements in adverse conditions, according to the solicitation.

Ultimately, the Army wants a "solution that will enable warfighters to scan with both eyes open, then rapidly slew the weapon on target, and engage with a higher confidence of getting the first burst on target," the solicitation states.

Companies have until Nov. 19 to respond to the RFP.

The solicitation allows companies to submit third party-generated objective test data about their proposed designs, the solicitation states. "Test data related to magnification, weapon shock ruggedization, zero retention, parallax, and high temperature performance, will be of particular importance."

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

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