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.
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
Second place will receive $10,000
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.
Winners will be announced at or around 1 June 2019.
Source: U.S. Marine Corps