By: Paul Milenkowic, Contracting Officer, CACM
Stan S. Sudol, PM-SA, Product Director
The ACC New Jersey Acquisition Center awarded a contract modification to Aimpoint, Inc., a U.S. subsidiary of Aimpoint, AB, Malmo, Sweden for approximately 38,000 of the anticipated 80,000 M68 Reflex Collimator Sights with Mounting Systems for the M16A2 Rifle and M4 Carbine. This modification provided the initial production quantities for the M68 and also converted the contract type from multiple fixed price options to a multiyear. Anticipated savings as a direct result of the conversion is $17 per unit for a total of $1.36M if all 80,000 M68s are ordered. These savings are on top of those the program has already realized when Aimpoint was competitively chosen in FY 95 to supply the M68. A Non-Developmental Item (NDI) strategy was utilized to adapt the commercial Aimpoint sight for US Army use.
BG Boddie, Commander ACC New Jersey on 11 July 97 approved the M68 Type Classification Standard (TC-STD) action. The M68 utilizes an illuminated red dot that allows the soldier to keep both eyes open when firing the weapons. This will enable the soldier to be more aware of his surroundings while firing. The M68 provides greater hit probabilities and reduced engagement times. The M68 is usable during periods of low light level when iron sights can not be seen, in addition the M68 is compatible with third generation night vision devices. The M68 will provide enhanced effectiveness for the soldier over the current iron sights as we enter the next millennium.
Prior to this modification, the contract contained four options over four fiscal years for up to 20,000 units each year. As a direct result of the Product Manager for Small Arms (LTC Irish) budgetary commitment to the M68 program and the recent acquisition reform of powering down the authority to use multiyear contracts, the ACC New Jersey Acquisition Center was able to re-structure the contract and save $17 on each M68.
The authority to enter a multiyear contract was delegated by the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Research, Development and Acquisition (ASARDA) through ACC New Jersey-Warren to the ACC New Jersey Acquisition Center in February of this year. The authority now resides with either the Contracting Officer, if an Acquisition Plan is not required, or with the individual approving the Acquisition Plan, if one is required. This certainly has lessened the administrative burden and should increase use of multiyear contracts in the future.
Under the multiyear, the Army will now be paying $179 each for the M68. If you would like to purchase one for yourself they retail for about $500. Converting this contract certainly has paid dividends, $17 here, $17 there, before you know it adds up to some real money, over a million!