Boom Box: APOBS Mine-Breaching Line Charge Shifts to Chemring
The MK7 MOD 2 Anti-Personnel Obstacle Breaching System (APOBS) is used to clear mines or wire obstacles, and create a safe footpath for troops. APOBS can be carried by 2 people, takes 30 to 120 seconds to be set up, and fires a rocket from a 25-meter standoff position, sending a line charge with fragmentation grenades over the minefields or wire obstacles. The grenades clear the mines, and sever the wires. Developed by the US Army Armaments Engineering and Technology Center in Picatinny Arsenal, NJ, APOBS won a US Army top military inventions of the year award in 2004. It replaces the Bangalore Torpedo, which was heavier, took longer to set up, and required 4 times the number of people to carry.
In 2006, small business qualifier Ensign-Bickford Aerospace & Defense Co. in Simsbury, CT received a maximum $150.8 million, 5-year contract for up to 3,000 units. In 2011, however, the Army/USMC contract shifted to Chemring Ordnance, Inc. in Perry, FL…
Contracts & Key Events
Unless otherwise indicated, the U.S. Army Contracting Command in Rock Island, IL manages the contracts, and issues them to Chemring Ordnance, Inc. in Perry, FL. The original bid was solicited through the Internet, with 3 bids received.
Aug 28/12: A $40.4 million firm-fixed-price APOBS contract modification. Work will be performed in Perry, FL with an estimated completion date of Dec 30/16 (W52P1J-11-C-0037).
This raises the value of the new contract to $104.2 million so far, and keeps it very much on pace to finish near its original estimate of $150 million by the end of FY 2013.
Aug 31/11: A $52.5 million firm-fixed-price contract modification to buy APOBS MK 7 Mod 2 systems. Work will be performed in Perry, FL, with an estimated completion date of Feb 28/15 (W52P1J-11-C-0037).
This places the new contract in line with the old one, as a 5-year deal, and raises the amount ordered so far to $73.8 million.
June 23/11: Chemring wins the follow-on APOBS contract, displacing Ensign-Bickford. The maximum total value is similar: just over $150 million, if all options are exercised, but spread over only 3 years to Sept 30/13.
The base contract is $21.3 million (W52P1J-11-C-0037). See also Chemring release.