Home Americas US Marine Corps picks supplier of new Squad Common Optics

US Marine Corps picks supplier of new Squad Common Optics

An infantry marine peers through the Squad Common Optic during a limited user evaluation aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia. Photo: US Marine Corps

The US Marine Corps Systems Command has awarded Michigan-based Trijicon a contract worth up to $64 million to supply the service’s new Squad Common Optic systems.

The contract award comes six months after a call for industry proposals was submitted.

Trijicon is slated to produce approximately 19,000 units under an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, firm-fixed-price contract that has a maximum ceiling of $64 million. The purchase also includes spare parts, training, nonfunctional units, interim contractor logistics support and refurbishment of test articles.

Fielding to Fleet Marine Forces will begin in the first quarter of fiscal year 2021 and will be completed by fiscal year 2023.

“The Squad Common Optic provides greater lethality compared to the existing system, the Rifle Combat Optic,” said Lt. Col. Tim Hough, MCSC’s Program Manager for Infantry Weapons.

The SCO is a magnified day optic that improves target acquisition and probability-of-hit with infantry assault rifles. The system comprises a noncaliber-specific reticle and incorporates an illuminated or nonilluminated aim-point. Because the optic is variable in power, marines can identify their targets from farther distances than the RCO.

“The SCO supplements the attrition and replacement of the RCO family of optics and the squad day optic for the M27, M4 and M4A1 weapon platforms for close-combat marines,” said Tom Dever, interim team lead for Combat Optics at MCSC.

Awarding the contract through full and open competition, MCSC saved approximately $8 million across the life of the program, according to Hough. He also noted the speed at which the program office worked to award the contract.

In six months, Dever and his team defined system requirements, developed an acquisition strategy, conducted market research, requested vendor proposals and evaluated them against requirements, and implemented the contract strategy before MCSC awarded the contract.

MCSC is undertaking the largest modernization of the infantry squad in the last 25 years. Hough and Dever emphasized that the contract award is one step in PM IW’s large-scale project to overhaul the Corps’ close-combat forces and improve their lethality.

“While the contract award is great, we’re not done yet,” said Dever. “Success is not found in contracts awarded, but rather it’s measured in confirmed kills. By awarding this contract faster, it expedites our ability to get this system in the hands of Marines to accomplish this end goal. That is what PM IW is all about.”