US Army, USMC Order MICH, LWH Helmets
Sept. 24/12: The US Marine Corps Systems Command (MARCORSYSCOM) Product Manager Infantry Combat Equipment (PdM-ICE) issued a market research notification (M67854-12-I-1079) to design and procure an Improved Helmet Suspension System (IHSS) that would “incorporate the comfort and low velocity/high mass impact protection provided by a pad system, with the stability and high velocity/low mass impact protection provided by a sling system.” This system should integrate with MICH, ECH, LWH and ACH as well as night vision goggles and ballistic eyewear. An Industry Day is planned on October, 17.
March 24/11: Gentex Corp. in Carbondale, PA wins an $11.8 million firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract for US Marine Corps light weight helmets/ modular integrated communications helmet. This initial order involves between 200-35,000 LWH helmets, between 200-9,132 MICH helmets, and MICH spares. The contract also contains options which could bring its value to $53.5 million for up to 184,000 Lightweight Helmets (LWH) and 16,000 MICHs.
The Marines’ LWH is heavier and larger than than the US Army’s Advanced Combat Helmet (ACH). Its fit has been improved over the PASGT “Fritz” helmets that the LWH replaced, and new materials make it both lighter and more protective as well, even though it has a very similar shape. The MICH is the ACH’s predecessor, with less coverage than LWH/PASGT. It was bought by Special Forces the Army, and evaluated by the USMC, but the Marines decided they preferred the LWH’s design’s coverage, and made it their main helmet. See also helmet comparisons.
Work will be performed in Carbondale, PA, and is expected to be complete in March 2012, but $71,613 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year, on Sept 30/11. This contract was competitively procured on a full and open basis via Navy Electronic Commerce Online, with 2 offers received by US Marine Corps Systems Command in Quantico, VA (M67854-11-D-3024). See also FedBizOpps solicitation.