A U.S. Soldier fires an M240 machine gun during a multinational rapid response exercise at Bemowo Piskie Training Area, Poland as part of Saber Strike 18 on June 14, 2018. Saber Strike 18 was the eighth iteration of the long-standing U.S. Army Europe-led cooperative exercise designed to enhance interoperability among allies and regional partners.
Spc. Micah Price, an infantryman assigned to 25th Infantry Division and native of Greenbrier, Arkansas, engages a target at the M240 machine-gun qualifying range during the 2018 U.S. Army-Pacific Command Noncommissioned Officer and Best Warrior Competition, at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, June 12. The USARPAC BWC is being held to recognize and select the most qualified non-commissioned officer and junior enlisted Soldier to represent USARPAC at the Army’s 2018 Best Warrior Competition at Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia and the Pentagon from Sept. 30 to Oct. 5, 2018.
Soldiers assigned to Bayonet Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, U.S. Army Alaska, operate an M240 machine gun in their support by fire position during Operation Punchbowl at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, Feb. 10, 2018. Operation Punchbowl was a battalion-level, combined arms live fire exercise that focused on building readiness and arctic lethality through tough and realistic training. During the operation three companies simultaneously maneuvered through varied terrain; attacking and seizing enemy positions as well as eliminating key weapons and vehicles being utilized by the enemy.
U.S. Army Contracting Command New Jersey has issued a sources sought notice looking for companies capable of building the M240 machine gun.
The notice, which was posted to FedBizOpps last month, explicitly states that this is not a RFP or a solicitation. Rather, the service is simply conducting “market research” as it moves to identify companies that have an interest in making and delivering the M240 coax, B, C, D, H and L variants, as well as spare parts. The result of this “market research” will determine the method of procurement, “if a requirement materializes,” the notices says.
Here’s the background on the M240, as outlined in the notice:
The M240 Machine Gun is a gas-operated, air-cooled, belt-fed 7.62mm weapon that fires NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) standard ammunition from an open bolt position. Each variant has specific features such as a folding bipod (M240B, M240H), quick change barrel assembly with integral carrying handle gas system, feed cover, bolt assembly (which allows closing of the cover regardless of bolt position), spade grip assembly (M240D, M240H), collapsible buttstock (M240B), integral optical sight rail, and forward rails (M240B, M240H). The M240L features a titanium receiver, redesigned barrel assembly with re-contoured outer dimensions, titanium carrying handle, and lighter weight gas housing; and pistol grip/trigger frame assembly composed of a metal/polymer hybrid.
The Army adds that it wants companies capable of “fabrication, inspection testing, First Article Testing, and delivery” of the M240. Technical specs will not be made available, the service says. Responses should include the following:
1. Capabilities in manufacturing belt fed, automatic weapons.
2. Experience in manufacturing other military small arms weapons.
3. Experience with fabrication techniques including: investment castings, steel forgings, machining from billet stock (steel) with tolerances as tight as 1/1000 of an inch (or higher), riveting parts to assembly dimensions as tight as 1/1000 of an inch (or higher), heat treating capabilities (including induction hardening, through hardening, stress relieving), and final protective finish capabilities (including chrome, phosphate).
4. Description of facilities/equipment to include testing ranges (minimum 100m in length) with instrumentation (bullet velocity, dispersion, and yaw as well as weapon rate of fire), and physical security for weapons and ammunition storage (including Defense Security System (DDS) approval).
5. Confirmation of possession of a valid Federal Firearms license to manufacture destructive devices.
6. Registration with the State Department under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).
7. Inspection capability to include compliance with International Standards Organization (ISO) 9001:2008 or equivalent.
8. Confirmation of established configuration management procedure to include protecting proprietary technical data.
9. Experience with weapon serialization to include control and application of Item Unique Identification (IUID) markings.
10. Personnel’s past experience.
11. Current production capacity per month.
Responses were due on July 6, which means a slate of companies likely already reached out.
To read the notice in full, visit FBO.gov.
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