$397.5M in Contracts for MOLLE Backpacks, Vests, et. al.
Modular Light-weight Load Carrying Equipment (MOLLE) is a modular quick-release backpack with compartments and components that can be added or removed, plus a fighting load vest that can accept removable pockets for the Rifleman, Pistol, Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW) Gunner, and Grenadier configurations. Its modularity allows individuals to tailor their load and configuration to meet mission needs. As an earlier DID article on the MOLLE pointed out, MOLLE has been modified since its debut in response to feedback from the field. The US Marines have given up on MOLLE equipment in the wake of negative after-action reviews, however, and are now producing their own ILBE (Improved Load Bearing Equipment) packs based on modified commercial designs in order to meet their needs.
In recent days, the US Army Research, Development, and Engineering Command in Natick, MA has issued over $300 million in firm-fixed-price indefinite delivery/ indefinite quantity contracts for modular lightweight load-carrying equipment systems…
Bids were solicited via the World Wide Web on December 9, 2005, and 8 bids were received. The winners were the same 2 firms who have been producing MOLLE equipment for a while now:
Aug 8/06: Specialty Defense Systems subsidiary Armor Holdings Inc. in Dunmore, PA received a delivery order amount of $49 million as part of a larger $258.9 million contract. Work will be performed in Dunmore, PA (22%), McKee, KY (9%), Jefferson City, TN (32%), Monticello, KY (13%), and Phoenix, AZ (14%), and is expected to be complete by Aug. 7, 2010. (W911QY-06-D-0003).
Robert Schiller, President of Armor Holdings, Inc., notes that they are currently working to expand production capacity for this U.S. Army contract, as well as for the Defense Logistics Agency’s planned additional procurement to be competed later in 2006.
Aug 8/06: Small business qualifier Michael Bianco Inc. in New Bedford, MA received a delivery order amount of $21 million as part of a larger $138.6 million firm-fixed-price contract. Work will be performed in New Bedford, MA and is expected to be complete by Aug. 7, 2010 (W911QY-06-D-0004).