Army opens competition for Rifleman Radio
October 22, 2012
Contact: Josh Davidson, phone 732.995.8469, email email@example.com
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. -- The U.S. Army has initiated a full and open competition to procure additional quantities of the Rifleman Radio.
A Request for Information was posted Oct. 22, 2012 to the Federal Business Opportunities website (www.fbo.gov) seeking industry comments and feedback. The feedback will help the Army finalize its requirements prior to issuing a Full Rate Production (FRP) solicitation, expected later this year.
To date, the Army has been authorized to purchase 19,327 Rifleman Radios through Low Rate Initial Production orders from the program of record vendor. Through full and open competition, the FRP phase of the program will be open to current and new industry partners. The FRP competition will include technical and field tests of the offerers' technologies.
The full and open competition is the latest step in the Army's efforts to leverage commercially available technology to meet its network capability needs. Through the Network Integration Evaluations (NIEs), the Army has recognized the maturation of emerging industry capabilities to potentially meet Rifleman Radio requirements. The service also recently made its Soldier Radio Waveform (SRW) available to operate on new industry partners' radios.
"We encourage all industry partners to submit candidate systems and demonstrate their capabilities," said Col. Russ Wygal, the Army's project manager for tactical radios. "Our strategy is intended to increase competition, decrease costs and provide the most effective communications solutions to the Soldier."
The Rifleman Radio, part of the Handheld, Manpack, Small Form Fit (HMS) program, is carried by platoon, squad and team-level Soldiers. It provides voice communications, and can also connect with external devices to transmit text messages, GPS locations and other data. The SRW allows the radios to form a network that connects lower echelon Soldiers to one another and back to their leaders at the company level so they can rapidly exchange information.
The radio is a key component of the Army's network Capability Sets, which provide integrated voice and data communications spanning the entire brigade combat team (BCT) formation, connecting the static tactical operations center to the commander on-the-move to the dismounted Soldier. Capability Set 13, which includes the Rifleman Radio, began fielding earlier this month and will continue fielding to additional brigades through 2013.
The FRP phase will support production and fielding of the Rifleman Radio along with enhanced capabilities for future capability sets, and eventual fielding across the entire force.