USMC Snipers to Replace “Failing” Scopes
This contract has been reported before by others, but not with full details. Premiere Reticles of Winchester VA received a $15 million firm-fixed-priced, indefinite delivery/ indefinite quantity contract for Scout Sniper Day Scopes to “replace the aging and failing Unertl sniper scopes currently used by US Marine Corps snipers.”
This contract will change the standard sniper optics throughout the U.S. Marine Corps. Like the recent $660 million ACOG scope contract covered by DID, it represents a significant market decision given the USMC’s long history of high standards and leadership in this area. With respect to the details of this contract…
The USMC selected Premier Reticles as the U.S. assembler and distributor of the Schmidt & Bender 3x12x50 combat telescope with illuminated reticle.
The original solicitation had noted that the Government “intends to award two separate contracts: one for the M40A3 SSDS, and another for the M82A3 SSDS; however, in the event a single offeror proposes one scope that meets the requirements of both the M40A3 and the M82A3, a single Offeror may be awarded both contracts.”
That seems to be exactly what happened.
The Marines are transitioning from the M40A1 .308 caliber sniper rifle to the M40A3 version, which is 2 pounds heavier. It was recently used in Fallujah to score kills at over 1,000 yards. See this professional review for more re: the M40A3.
The Scout Sniper Day Scopes will also be mounted on the ultra long range M82A3 .50 cal SASR(Special Applications Scoped Rifle) sniper rifle. Combat videos from Afghanistan have shown Taliban and al-Qaeda terrorists actually thrown into the air and blown to pieces when hit by this type of weapon; and ‘Big Mac’ .50 cal/ 12.7mm sniper rifles have also been used to considerable effect by Canadian Forces, including the longest deliberate sniper kill in history (2473 meters/ 2705 yards), during the battle of Tora Bora (Operation Anaconda).
The initial USMC purchase will be 575 Scout Sniper Day Scopes at $1,749 each, for a total initial delivery order of $1 million. The Marine Corps has confirmed that these scopes will be used on both the M40A3 and M82A3 .50 cal sniper rifles, but did not respond to questions regarding the scopes’ use on other model of the M40 and M82. The numbers involved and low production rate of M40 sniper rifles suggests that this may be the case.
The government may purchase up to a maximum of 7,500 scopes on this contract over the five-year period the contract is in effect. Work will be performed in Winchester, VA (75%) and Germany (25%), and is expected to be complete by August 2010. This contract was competitively procured using full and open competition. The Marine Corps Systems Command in Quantico, VA issued the contract (M67854-05-D-1043).
A separate RFP for a scope mounting system to accompany the Scout Sniper Day Scopes will be issued next. We’re told that the M-14 DMR Marksman’s rifle may be added to the Scout Sniper Day Scopes program at some future point, and that a pending semi automatic sniper system will add new scopes to the Marines’ inventory as well.