Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.

Https

The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Marine Corps Systems Command Helmet Retention System

Marine Corps Systems Command seeks innovative solution to a new helmet retention system

Department of Defense

Type of Challenge: Technology demonstration and hardware
Partner Agencies | Federal:
Submission Start: 01/31/2019 09:30 AM ET
Submission End: 03/15/2019 12:00 AM ET

Description

 

Problem Statement

The Marine Corps plans to field new, more capable night vision devices (NVDs) within the next year. While more capable, the new NVDs will be larger and heavier than currently fielded systems, raising concerns about helmet stability and comfort with current helmet retention systems. The Marine Corps wants to seek and recognize retention systems that may be compatible with the Enhanced Combat Helmet (ECH) and that may provide greater stability, adjustability, and comfort. If the Marine Corps can find a retention system that constitutes outstanding achievements in basic, advanced, and applied research, technology development as well as prototype development in these areas, the Marine Corps will award a prize as detailed below and will consider procuring the system to retrofit ECHs either through a sole-source or competitive acquisition process.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a retention system? 

The retention system is the harness/chin strap that secures the helmet to one's head. 

Why do I have to request the drawings? 

We require a request for the drawings in order to verify Companies and individuals meet the Terms and Conditions.

What color/material does the retention system have to be? 

The color and design for this challenge is not restrictive. At the conclusion of the challenge we will discuss, with the winner, variations such as color.

If you have additoinal questions, submit them here.

Prizes

Overall Prizes
Cash Prize Amount: 35000

Overall Prizes will be awarded to the top two systems as determined by a panel of Marines and armor experts based on the criteria above. First place will receive $25,000 and second place will receive $10,000.


Innovation Prize
Cash Prize Amount: 5000

An Innovation Prize of $5,000 will be awarded to whichever design is determined to demonstrate the most innovative concept for securing a helmet shell to a Marine’s head. Submissions that do not include the 15 prototype retention systems will still be eligible for the Innovation Prize. Manufacturability and cost will not be a factor in determining the winner of this prize.



Cash Prize Amount:

Rules

  • Systems should be compatible with currently fielded ECHs without interfering with the currently issued suspension pads. Systems can be commercially available, modified versions of commercially available systems, or new developments.
    • ECH NSNs: 8470-01-592-6226(S)/6215(M)/6208(L)/6235(XL)
    • Suspension Pad Set NSN: 8470-01-546-9420
    • Retention System hardware hole locations are defined as:

 

Small

Medium

Large

X-Large

Diameter

0.265±0.010

0.265 ± 0.010

0.265 ± 0.010

0.265 ± 0.010

Distance from center of front hole to interior of helmet crown

3.250±0.060

3.375±0.060

3.500±0.060

3.688±0.060

Angle from front centerline of helmet to center of front holes

58°±2

302°±2

58°±2

302°±2

58°±2

302°±2

58°±2

302°±2

Distance from center of rear hole to interior of helmet crown

4.700±0.060

4.625±0.060

5.000±0.060

5.000±0.060

Angle from front centerline of helmet to center of rear holes

149°±2

211°±2

151°±2

209°±2

146°±2

214°±2

146°±2

214°±2

*All units are inches.

  • Helmet shell drawings with the diameter and location of retention system hardware holes can be requested HERE.The government will respect all applicable requirements for the release of export controlled technical data.This may require verification of the citizenship of any potential data recipient.
  • Should be quickly and easily adjustable with and without gloves.
  • Should be capable of quick installation and maintenance with standard tools.
  • Attaching hardware should be capable of withstanding and resisting impact from the 9mm Full Metal Jacketed (FMJ) Round Nose (RN) projectile.
  • System hardware should be the same for all sizes and be compatible with helmet shell thicknesses ranging from 0.41” to 0.50”. Installation should not require any special tools.
  • When subjected to a load of 150 lbs., no component of the retention system should fail, the retention system closure device should not release (open), and the webbings should not slip.
  • No component of the retention system, when mounted on a helmet, should fail when subjected to a 25 ft/sec drop.
  • Should be compatible with the M50 Gas Mask, common hearing protection headsets, helmet cover, NVDs and mounts. Should not interfere with firing Marine Corps weapon systems.
  • Should be compliant with the Berry Amendment.
  • Solution papers should be limited to six pages and provide the submitter’s CAGE code (if applicable), pictures/diagrams of system, description of how it achieves stability, comfort and adjustability, estimated pricing for a small purchase (50 systems) and a large purchase (35,000 systems). If the submitter has production capability, solution papers should also include an estimated production response time (time from award to delivery of first unit) and monthly production rate.
  • Each submission should include 15 retention systems with attachment hardware in order to be considered for an overall prize.
  • Submissions are due by 15 March and must be sent to:
EPIC
524 Garrisonville Rd, #100
Garrisonville, VA 22463-0100

Judging Criteria

Marine User Evaluation

A user evaluation will be conducted for all retention systems submitted. The Marines will wear the systems and be surveyed about the system’s stability, comfort, adjustability. The data from this user evaluation will be the primary factor in prize selection.


Laboratory Testing

Testing will be conducted to determine if the retention system meets the ballistic and non-ballistic test requirements listed above.


Design and Manufacturability

In order to be procured through a government contract and fielded to Marines, the submitter should have a retention system that is designed for manufacturability. The retention systems will also be evaluated by subject matter experts for quality and workmanship.


How To Enter

Submissions are due by 15 March 2019 and must be mailed to:

EPIC
524 Garrisonville rd, #100
Garrisonville, VA 22463-0100

 

Solution papers should be limited to six pages and provide the submitters CAGE code (if applicable), pictures/diagrams of system, description of how it achieves stability, comfort and adjustability, estimated pricing for small purchase (50 systems) and a large purchase (35,000 systems). If the submitter has production capability, solution papers should also include an estimated production response time (time from award to delivery of first unit) and monthly production rate.

Each submission should include 15 retention systems with attachment hardware in order to be considered for an overall prize. Submitters that do not include 15 prototype retention systems will still be eligible for the Innovation Prize.

 

Terms and Conditions

During the submission period, a review panel will initially screen submissions for eligibility and compliance with the rules of this challenge. A submission that fails to meet the eligibility and compliance criteria will be disqualified and will be ineligible for prizes. The following terms and conditions apply:

  • The submitter must be (1) an individual U.S. citizen, team of U.S. citizens, or permanent resident(s) of the United States, or (2) an entity incorporated in and maintaining a primary place of business in the United States.
  • The submitter must not be on the Excluded Parties List System located at sam.gov.
  • Only two submissions are allowed per company.
  • A submitter is only eligible for one of the three prizes.
  • Submissions will not be returned to the submitter.
  • Depending on the number of submissions, Marine Corps Systems Command may choose to conduct a visual inspection of items to determine which submissions will be included in the final laboratory testing and user evaluation.
  • Marine Corps Systems Command may conduct further planning to enter into production and fielding of the design or designs that present the best value to the Government.
  • Employees of Marine Corps Systems Command, and any other individual or entity associated with the development, evaluation, or administration of the challenge as well as members of such persons’ immediate families (e.g., spouses, children, siblings, parents), and persons living in the same household as such persons, whether or not related, are not eligible to participate in the challenge.
  • Applicants must also agree to indemnify the federal government against third-party claims for damages arising from or related to competition activities.