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Mk 13 Enhanced Grenade Launcher Module (EGLM)

The SOF Combat Assault Rifle includes the 40mm Mk 13 Mod 0 Enhanced Grenade Launcher Module (EGLM), which is designed to replace the variants of the M203 grenade launcher in USSOCOM inventory. The EGLM includes a fire control unit that provides precision ballistic solution.

Exploration of an enhanced grenade launcher began as early as 2001, as part of the Special Operations Peculiar Modification (SOPMOD) Accessory Kit Program. The Enhanced Grenade Launcher Modular was originally intended as part of the development of the improved SOPMOD Block II kit. The decision to spiral out major components of the SOPMOD kit into complete weapon systems, beginning in 2002 with the decision to spiral out the Special Purpose Reciever into the Mk 12 Special Purpose Rifle, led to the suggestion that the EGLM program also be spiraled out.

The synopsis that originally was issued on 3 October 2002 was amended on 12 October 12, 2002 to include changes made to Paragraphs 2 and 7 as follows. Change 1 was made to the section dealing with accuracy. Originally it had specifically that the second round (Threshold) or the first round (Objective) should land within a 5-meter radius of a point target at unknown ranges out to 400 meters, under low wind conditions (less than 5 miles per hour). To this that the weapon would be tested with the Nico Pyrotechnik 40x46mm Practice Cartridge with Impact Signature was added. The second change was made to the section on sterility, which originally stated that the weapon would have no visible manufacturers markings or logos. This requirement was removed. The third change modified the point performance specification, which was for the announcement only, and was not to be confused with the full performance specification for the EGLM Project (SOL N00164-01-R-0103). The 7-point specification was replaced by a 6-point specification.

Approximately 2 months before the Special Operations Forces Combat Assault Rifle (SCAR) rifle samples were to be delivered to US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), USSOCOM made the decision to merge the EGLM program with the SCAR program. The EGLM program comprised not only an enhanced capability 40mm grenade launcher, but also a very sophisticated sighting system for the EGLM. Bidders were given only 2 months to completely design not only the EGLM, but also the sighting system, as part of their submissions for the SCAR competition.

The EGLM was originally synopsized by USSOCOM on 6 January 2004, under Request for Proposal (RFP) number H92222-04-R-0013. This ynopsis/solicitation number replaced previous Commercial Area Announcements N00164-04-R-4801 and N00164-03-R-0063 utilized for market research purposes. The program was to use full and open competition to fulfill the joint USSOCOM EGLM requirement. The EGLM would be a one for one replacement to the M203 Grenade Launcher with Leaf Sight and AN/PSQ-18A Grenade Launcher Sight. The EGLM was to be a single shot, 40mm grenade launcher module that could be attached to a MIL-STD-1913 dimensioning rail interface on host weapons and be adaptable to a yet undetermined interface system that might possibly replace the MIL-STD-1913 rail at the 6:00 position on the host weapon.

The EGLM was to consist of 2 primary components, the weapon module and fire control module. It would also have a major accessory, an ancillary butt-stock assembly, allowing it to be utilized as a stand alone weapon system. The EGLM mounting system would accommodate most existing and expected future Special Operations Peculiar Modification (SOPMOD) accessories that supported the host weapon mission. The EGLM could also detach from the host weapon and attach to an EGLM butt-stock assembly to accommodate stand-alone firing.

The EGLM was required to provide the Special Operator with improved combat lethality and other capabilities, when compared to the existing M79 and the M203 with Leaf Sight and AN/PSQ-18A Grenade Launcher Sight. The EGLM program had 4 sequential increments. The synopsis was for Increment 1, with the possibility of reaching Increment II. The Increment I weapon fire control modules were required to be inherently upgradeable to incorporate technology advances to satisfy requirements for Increment 2 (programmable munitions capability). The EGLM would fire standard 40mmx46mm munitions along with special low velocity (LV) munitions.

Further, the EGLM was required to operate in compliance with specifications to be published, to include, but not limited to those in the RFP. With regards to accuracy, the EGLM system was required to have a probability of hit of at least .25 percent greater than an M203 with an AN/PSQ-18A. A hit was defined as a projectile landing within 5 meters of a designated point target. With regards to target engagement, the EGLM system was required to allow operators to fire projectiles capable of engaging infantry squad targets at unknown ranges between 25 and at least 300 meters. A successful engagement was defined as a projectile landing within 5 meters of a designated point target. The EGLM system was also required to allow operators to fire projectiles capable of engaging stationary vehicle/bunker targets at unknown ranges to at least 300 meters. A successful engagement was defined as a projectile landing within 5 meters of a designated target. With regards to ranging capabilities, the contractor would provide for a method of target ranging that allowed operators to determine range out to 600 meters, with error not to exceed +/- 5 meters, during day, night, and limited visibility.

With regards to operator firing positions, conditions, and equipment, the ELGM was required to permit the operator full operational capability from the prone, kneeling, sitting, and standing positions. The EGLM design was required to allow operators the ability to operate the weapon with body armor/load carrying systems (BALCS), Nuclear, Biological and Chemical (NBC) ensembles, dive suit ensembles, and arctic clothing ensembles. In amphibious operations, the EGLM was required to function in the amphibious environment with minimum preparation, and had to undergo immersion testing at 20.1 meters of depth (66 feet) for 2 hours. The EGLM was required to function in amphibious operations when Special Operators were moving from the beach and surf zone onto land.

During airborne and airmobile operations, it was required that Operators be capable of operating the EGLM following static line, fast rope, and military free fall insertions. During Over-the-Beach (OTB) assaults, it was required that the EGLM have a safe drain time/drain procedure that operators could execute in less than 3 seconds. With regards to extreme environments, the EGLM was required to function in environments, such as desert, arctic, jungle, mountain, and riverine. The system was required to withstand transport, in an un-packaged configuration, in the back of flat bed wheeled vehicles or inside of Armored Personnel Carriers traveling over rugged terrain. Under urban conditions, the EGLM was required to function effectively in Military Operations Urban Terrain (MOUT) combat settings. The EGLM was also required to allow soldiers to engage the enemy at street level, on rooftops, inside window and doors, and behind fence lines.

With regards to set-up, assembly and disassembly, the EGLM was required to allow 5 percent to 95 percent of trained operators to assemble (or disassemble) the EGLM to the host weapon or stock assembly in the time periods which were specified in the solicitation. The operator had to be able to attach the EGLM without the use of special tools to install/remove the EGLM to/from the host weapon or to/from the butt-stock assembly. The EGLM system would allow operators to install/remove the EGLM weapon from the EGLM M4A1 interface and EGLM stock assembly in complete darkness.

On 23 March 2004, the requirements were modified for the EGLM, which was a single shot, 40mm grenade launcher module that would interface with the 5.56mm SCAR-Light (SCAR-L) and the 7.62mm SCAR-Heavy (SCAR-H) assault rifles and also possess a stand-alone capability. The EGLM weapon system would consists of a 40mm weapon/grenade launcher, fire control, and a stand-alone butt-stock assembly. The EGLM system would have a fire control system providing day and night targeting and range finding capabilities. The EGLM design would not limit the overall length of the round to be fired (an issue with the existing M203 grenade launcher). The EGLM would be interoperable with the existing family of US 40mm LV munitions, and SCAR rifles. The EGLM would be compatible with USSOCOM SOPMOD equipment. The EGLM would not pose a safety hazard to the operator or nearby personnel, during handling, transport, storage or use. The EGLM would incorporate a manual safety device with an integrated safe/fire switch with positive stops.

The EGLM system was required to provide a method of target ranging that allowed operators to determine range to 600 meters, with error not to exceed +/- 1 meter, during day, night, and limited visibility. The EGLM system, for area targets, was required to achieve 8 out of 10 hits at unknown distances to 200 meters on a designated target and 6 out of 10 hits at unknown distances from 201 meters to 300 meters on a designated target. For point targets, the EGLM was required to achieve 8 out of 10 hits on a 36-inch by 36-inch upright target at 100 meters. The EGLM system would allow the operator the capability of installing/removing the EGLM system to/from the host SCAR weapon or to/from the butt-stock assembly without the use of special tools.

On March 25, 2004 the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) revised the SCAR synopsis / solicitation H92222-04-R-0001 to include the Enhanced Grenade Launcher Module (EGLM) system. The EGLM became part of the SCAR weapon system. The EGLM was originally synopsized by USSOCOM on 6 January 2004 under RFP number H92222-04-R-0013. The basic description and requirements for the EGLM remained unchanged from the 23 March 2004 revision.

The US Government did not require the SCAR product samples to include the EGLM. However, the proposal instructions required the offeror, in the Technical Area Proposal, to address the EGLM in a similar fashion as was then required of the proposed SCAR-H. The 8-year Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract would contain a line item for the EGLM with a minimum quantity of 12 complete EGLM systems consisting of weapon, fire control and stand-alone butt-stock assembly. The minimum quantity of 12 would be identified as Engineering Test Units (ETUs) and would be required 180 days after effective date of delivery order (projected delivery date was July 2005 at that tiem). The IDIQ contract maximum cumulative quantity was for 21,000 40mm weapon/grenade launchers, 25,000 fire controls, and 25,000 stand-alone butt-stock assemblies. The US Government was not obligated to order more than this minimum quantity. There was a low rate initial production (LRIP) requirement for 250 of all 3 components. The LRIP units had a required delivery of 240 days after effective date of order. Any subsequent orders for any EGLM system component would require delivery to commence 90 days after order with a maximum monthly delivery rate of 500 units.




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