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Saturday, March 7, 2015

U.S. Army Seeking Torso Vest Manufacturer


The Army Contracting Command - Aberdeen Proving Ground (ACC-APG) in support of Product Manager Soldier Protective Equipment of the Program Executive Office Soldier, Fort Belvoir, VA 22060 is seeking information from potential industry partners to support the Army's next generation protection system called Soldier Protection System Torso and Extremity Protection (SPS TEP). 

Background. An operational need exists to provide the Soldier a personal protective system that allows the user to tailor his/her loads for mission-specific operations, thereby increasing survivability and mobility. The goal of SPS TEP is to provide the Soldiers with modular and scalable/mission-tailorable protection to reduce weight and increase mobility while optimizing protection. Currently the Army is in the final development stage that will down select between four (4) designs to go into Low Rate Initial Production/Full Rate Production (LRIP/FRP). The Government design consists of four (4) components, the torso vest, the ballistic combat shirt, the load distribution system, and the pelvic protection system. If the Government design, one of the four designs, is selected then the Government will issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the torso vest to go into LRIP/FRP. 

This RFI is to gather information specific to producing the torso vest component for the Government design if it is selected for LRIP/FRP. Specifically, this RFI seeks information on the construction of and production capabilities related to the non-ballistic carrier as detailed in the following paragraph as well as the soft ballistic armor, which is worn inside the carrier, that meets paragraphs 3.3 Ballistic Material Systems Requirement and 3.4 Ballistic Performance Requirement of the Technical Statement of Need (attachment). 

The Government torso vest design consists of a low profile vest with four soft armor panels (one front, one back, and two side cummerbunds) covered in a camouflage cloth and hook and loop. These panels can then be inserted into a tactical outer carrier that also accommodates hard armor protective inserts. The tactical outer carrier also contains two side plate pocket that will accommodate soft armor inserts. The outer carrier is made of a flame resistant outer cloth, webbings, hook/loop, polyethylene stiffener, a quad-release system, and several other non-ballistic materials. The torso vest comes in five (5) sizes, with the same sizing structure as the current front and back hard armor inserts. Detailed patterns for the tactical outer carrier and the soft armor panels will be provided with any potential RFP. 

Submission Information: All interested vendors shall respond to the RFI by submitting the below information by close of business (COB) 20 March 2015: 

- Technical supporting information such as test reports or past research and development efforts investigating material performance and a soft armor ballistic design that meets or exceeds the TSN requirements. 

- Detailed description of any past performance related to the production of tactical vests and soft armor ballistic inserts. 

- Business name, address, business size and point of contact information (name, email and phone number). 

- Business name, address, business size of all sub-vendors. 

- Proprietary information should be clearly marked and will not be disclosed outside the U.S. Government. 

Interested sources should submit the requested information not later than 20 March 2015 VIA EMAIL ONLY to lisa.j.yamakawa.civ@mail.mil. 

This information should be provided to the contracting office at US Army Contracting Command - Aberdeen Proving Ground, ATTN: Lisa Yamakawa, Contract Specialist, Team Tyree, by email at lisa.j.yamakawa.civ@mail.mil. The Government does not guarantee that this RFI will result in a RFP or contract award, and will not provide reimbursement for any costs incurred by vendors who respond to the RFI. Interested vendors will be advised if and when the Government decides to pursue a formal RFP or solicitation. Please direct all questions relating to this RFI to the contracting office, Lisa Yamakawa, Contract Specialist at lisa.j.yamakawa.civ@mail.mil.