US Army Seeks Mounted Machine Gun Optic

    M2 Browning

    Sgt. Diego A. De la Vega, assigned to the 127th Aviation Support Battalion, Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Armored Division, directs Spc. Jonathan Muniz on shooting an M2 .50 caliber machine gun during Operation Workhorse Stampede at McGregor Range, N.M., June 14, 2018. (Photo by Winifred Brown/US Army)

    On the 26 June the US Army posted a pre-solicitation notice stating that they are looking for an optic for mounted machine guns. The US Army Contracting Command notice calls for an optic which can be mounted on both the 7.62x51mm M240B, the .50 calibre M2/M2A1 Machine Guns and the 40mm Mk19 grenade launcher.

    The pre-solicitation comes ahead of an anticipated Request for Proposals from Project Manager Soldier Weapons (PM SW). PM SW are looking for optics which will give faster target acquisition times and increased first burst hit probability for vehicle mounted automatic weapons.

    Vehicle mounted Mk19

    U.S. Army Reserve Sgt. 1st Class Mario Hernandez, 366th Engineer Company, 412th Theater Engineer Command steadies an MK19 automatic grenade launcher while his vehicle moves to the next battle position for blank fire during Operation Cold Steel at Fort McCoy, Wis., April 10, 2017. (U.S. Army Reserve photo by Staff Sgt. Debralee Best, 84th Training Command)

    Here are the key parts of the notice:

    The Army Contracting Command – New Jersey (ACC-NJ), Picatinny Arsenal, NJ 07806-5000, on behalf of Project Manager Soldier Weapons (PM SW), anticipates issuing a RFP to for the procurement of the MMO on or about July 16, 2018.  The Mounted Machine Gun Optic (MMO) is required to achieve faster target acquisition times and increased first burst Probability of hit (P(h)) for machine gunners firing from vehicle mounted platforms with the M240B, M2/M2A1, and Mk19 Machine Guns.  The MMO procurement is planned as a Full & Open Competition (F&OC) acquisition seeking a system 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 MMO addresses the Joint Operations Concepts key characteristics through rapid, lethal, precision engagements in adverse conditions; provides endurance and resiliency through improved reliability growth; and supports agility and expeditionary needs through improved maneuverability.  The applicable NAICS code is: 333314.

    The acquisition approach is to issue a full and open competitive (F&OC) solicitation utilizing the tradeoff methodology to evaluate and select the best value system that meets the requirements of the Mounted Machine-gun Optic.  As a result of the F&OC, up to three (3) Firm Fixed Price (FFP) Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract(s) with options per weapon platform will be awarded.  Each contract will be issued a delivery order of thirty-five (35) units, which also satisfies the minimum ordering per awarded contract.  This hardware will undergo developmental and user testing, generating data which will inform the exercising of full-rate production (FPR) options per weapon platform.  Awards are anticipated to be made in 4th quarter of fiscal year 2018.

    Up to 3 contracts could be awarded for 35 optics each these will be used in developmental testing and user testing ‘within a period of performance of 90 days from contract award’. Based on this testing production options for a potential IDIQ contract for a maximum quantity of 11,450 optics. An official RFP is expected to be posted in mid-July with awards anticipated to be made in 4th quarter of fiscal year 2018.


    Matthew Moss

    _________________________________________________________________________ – Managing Editor – Managing Editor

    Matt is a British historian specialising in small arms development and military history. He has written several books and for a variety of publications in both the US and UK. He also runs Historical Firearms, a blog that explores the history, development and use of firearms. Matt is also co-founder of The Armourer’s Bench, a video series on historically significant small arms.

    Here on TFB he covers product and current military small arms news.

    Reach Matt at: [email protected]