US SOCOM in the Market for a Handgun Aiming Laser (HAL)

    Pistol IR Laser

    An example of an IR laser - the Steiner DBAL-PL (Steiner)

    Naval Surface Warfare Centre (NSWC) Crane has released a requirement for a Handgun Aiming Laser or HAL. The Request For Proposals (RFP) notice was originally posted at the very end of August but NSCW Crane has extended the submission period from 5th October to the 18th October.

    SOCOM wants the Handgun Aiming Laser to be a “non-visible laser pointer and illuminator device for the Family of Low Visibility and Concealable Pistols (FLVCP)” they hope that the HAL will “increase the speed of target acquisition when maneuvering in confined spaces, while prisoner handling, or in extremis after the primary weapon malfunctions.”

    The solicitation states that the contract will take the form of an IDIQ:

    The Government anticipates awarding a five (5)-year, Firm-Fixed Price, Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract for the HAL requirement. The anticipated minimum contract value is $10,000 a maximum contract value not to exceed $6,050,000.

    The solicitation is seemingly for an IR laser but further details on NSWC Crane’s requirements such as range, battery type, size, or weight are not currently available as these parts of the solicitation considered sensitive and are not freely available to the public. The search for a SOCOM HAL, however, comes just as the US Army begins its search for a ‘Pistol Aiming Light’ (PAiL) module to be mounted to the new M17 Modular Handgun System. The Army is seeking a PAiL system with a laser and white light illuminator but like SOCOM they do not require a visible pointer. 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. No doubt SOCOM and NSCW Crane have some more role-specific requirements.

    The first delivery of HALs would be expected within 90 days with two further deliveries 60 days and 120 days after that. Originally the RFP’s response date was the 5th October, but on the 5th September, this was extended to the 18th October.


    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]