MCTAGS, You’re It: BAE Supplies USMC Transparent Armored Gun Shields
US Marines deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan face numerous hazards in close-combat urban environments. Certainly, small arms fire and fragments from IED explosions are high on the list. To lessen those risks, the USMC turned to BAE Systems to develop a transparent, bulletproof shield that can be attached to gun turrets on a number of types of armored vehicles.
It is called the Marine Corps Transparent Armor Gun Shield (MCTAGS), and BAE Systems received a contract in 2005 to develop and produce MCTAGS to replace the Gunner’s Protection Kit used on most USMC armored vehicles.
The MCTAGS is a transparent armor (ballistic glass) that allows for continual observation and increased security, while providing ballistic and IED fragmentation protection. Recent orders have added “motorized traversing units,” which help the gunner move the heavy assembly. As the shield and their metal surroundings became heavier, circumstances like uneven ground could make it difficult to impossible for Marines to swivel the gun mount in combat. Hence the addition of mechano-electrical assists.
BAE Systems MCTAGS units have been fielded on a range of vehicles, including the M1 Abrams tank, High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMVW), Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement (MTVR) truck, M88 tracked recovery vehicle, Logistics Vehicle System (LVS) heavy truck, the Joint Explosive Ordnance Disposal Rapid Response Vehicle, the Assault Amphibious Vehicle – Personnel, and the Stryker armored combat vehicle.
The MCTAGS kits are compatible with various gun mounts and protection is provided from direct small arms fire and IED fragments. Both products are installed at the unit level and use existing mounting provisions.
BAE also designed and manufactured the bracket kit that mounts the VENOMT Non-Lethal/Tube Launched Munition System (NL/TLMS) to the MCTAGS.
The NL/TLMS is a 40-mm, 3-bank launching system that fires 30 rounds of non-lethal primed munitions. The NL/TLMS will provide the Marine Expeditionary Forces the ability to deliver a high volume of non-lethal fire at designated ranges for force protection at vehicle check points and during convoy security operations.
Contracts and Key Events
Unless otherwise noted, the MCTAGS contracts are awarded by the Marine Corps Systems Command to BAE Systems Land & Armaments in Santa Clara, CA.
March 17/10 A $74.1 million order to provide MCTAGS system kits, battery powered motorized traversing unit/ manual traversing unit kits, and turret assemblies.
This delivery order (#0006) is a modification of a previously awarded contract (M67854-07-D-5026). Work will be performed in Santa Clara, CA and is expected to be complete by September 2010. Contract funds in the amount of $4.7 million will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.
Feb 10/10: A $10.7 million delivery order to provide 1,197 MCTAGS turret assemblies. The assemblies facilitate the mounting and operation of the MCTAGS.
This delivery order is a modification to a previously awarded contract to provide MCTAGS turret assemblies and accessory kits to the USMC over a 3-year period. This modification brings the total amount awarded to date to $85 million. Work under the delivery order will begin immediately at BAE Systems facilities in York, Pennsylvania, Santa Clara, California and Fairfield, Ohio and is expected to be complete in June 2010.
July 23/09: A $216.5 million modification under a previously awarded firm-fixed-priced, indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract (M67854-09-D-5026) to provide MCTAGS kits for multiple vehicles. BAE Systems expects to complete the work by Dec. 16/11.
Jan 28/09: A $9.9 million delivery order to supply 442 MCTAGS turret assemblies for HMMWVs. Work under the contract will take place in York, PA, and Santa Clara, CA and activity for the initial delivery order is anticipated to be completed in June 2009.
Jan 2/08: A $6 million contract modification to supply 360 MCTAGS turret kits for USMC HMMWVs and MRAPs. Work will be performed in Louisville, KY; Santa Clara, CA; and York, PA. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in November and continue through February 2008. This modification brings the total contract value to $23.6 million.
Oct 6/06: A $40.7 million contract [pdf] to provide 1,964 MCTAGS turret kits and spares to the US Marine Corps. Under the contract, BAE Systems will deliver 1,864 MCTAGS turret kits for HMMWVs, 95 kits for MTVR units, and 5 kits for the M88 recovery vehicle. Deliveries will continue through July 2007.
Sept 12/05: A $39.9 million contract modification to supply 1,000 MCTAGS and spares to be installed on MTVR units, HMMWVs and LVSs starting in October and continuing through February 2006. The award is funded initially at $19.1 million.
July 20/05: BAE Systems was awarded a contract to design, integrate, and produce MCTAGS for the US Marine Corps. The MCTAGS is replacing the Gunner’s Protection Kit (GPK) on most USMC up-armored vehicles (M67854-05-C-6016).