US Army Issues RFI for Pistol Aiming Light

    PEO weaponlight module

    Program Executive Office Soldier, shows the Army's new Multifunction Aiming Light, mounted on the rails of a Modular Handgun during the "Close Combat Lethality Tech Day" demonstration, at the Pentagon, May 24, 2018. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by David Vergun)

    The US Army’s Product Manager, Soldier Precision Targeting Devices (PdM SPTD) has released a Request for Information to conduct market research for potential sources that are able to provide a ‘Pistol Aiming Light’ (PAiL) that fulfills the army’s needs for the new Modular Handgun System.

    PdM SPTD, based in Ft. Belvoir Virginia is looking for a PAiL with a laser/white light illuminator for the M17 pistol. This comes as engineers at Program Executive Office Soldier have been examining two competing designs: the Streamlight TLR-8 and the LaserMax Defense Pistol Enhancer MFAL (LMD-PE-IR-1).

    PdM SPTD’s RFI outlines that:

    PAiL will provide the user with greatly increased P (h) when using Night Vision Goggles (NVG). The white light must provide visual recognition in dark or night time applications. A visible pointer is currently not required by Maneuver Center of Excellence (MCoE).

    The RFI confirms the government is looking for a Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) option, which may be slightly modified from a US-based vendor that can provide between 2,000 and 20,000 PAiL units. The RFI notes that “if an industry partner can do better” or if a requirement or set of requirements simply cannot be met or has a significant negative impact on cost/schedule/performance” then this should be highlighted in their submission.

    The PAiL must have ambidextrous controls, must be waterproof, not extend beyond the pistol’s muzzle, not interfere with the operation of the pistol, the IR/laser must be capable of 4 inch groups at 25m with a range of up to 50m, must be installed without tools, be powered by two, or preferably one, CR123 batteries. It must weigh no more than 5 ounces, but 3 would be preferred. It should also have a dull exterior coating no lighter than Coyote 491 and no darker than Coyote 498.

    Interested vendors have 45 days, until the 19th October to respond. They must submit a white paper that describes how their entry will achieve the goals laid out for the PAiL in the Army’s specification and quote prices for quantities of 2000 to 5000 per year.


    Matthew Moss

    Matthew Moss – Assistant Editor.

    Matt is a British historian specialising in small arms development and military history. He has written for a variety of publications in both the US and UK he also runs, a blog that explores the history, development and use of firearms. Matt is also co-founder of, a new video series on historically significant small arms.

    Reach Matt at: [email protected]