The US Army’s embattled CSASS program has moved forward slightly with a sources sought notice posted to the Fed Biz Opps website, seeking manufacturers who can make many of the accessories that equip the M110A1 rifle. The notice isn’t itself for a contract, but will help determine which manufacturers are able to provide a second source production capability for CSASS accessories.
The CSASS program selected the Heckler & Koch G28E rifle as the M110A1 in April of 2016, but since then the program has stalled. The possibility of a new general issue infantry rifle that might subsume CSASS through the ICSR program further delayed efforts, until ICSR’s cancellation earlier this year.
At least with the release of this notice, it seems CSASS may be making progress once again. What this notice will determine is the possibility of second sources for each accessory type, which is typically a prelude to full scale procurement.
Second sourcing is a critical aspect of military procurement and essential for national security. Not only do multiple sources compete with one another to offer a better value for the taxpayer, but alternate sources provide a backup in case the primary production source is for some reason unable to deliver the required material as part of their contract.