The source selection process for award will consist of two evaluation phases ending with an Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract award to up to three contractors followed by a final down selection to a single contractor for a new carbine. The competition phase is expected to last two years, although the time frames will vary based upon the number of entrants received and qualified for each phase.
Phase I: Evaluations will include weapon hardware attributes, facility production capability, and cost/price proposal. The IC candidates that represent the best value, as determined by the Source Selection Authority will proceed into Phase II of the evaluation.
Phase II: Evaluations will include specific hardware testing, written technical proposals, management, cost/price, government purpose rights, fielding operational and supportability impact and past performance, and small business participation volumes of the proposal.
After the completion of the first two evaluation phases, the competition will enter a third down select phase where up to three finalists will be awarded contracts to produce limited numbers of test articles. The down select phase will include significant “user in the loop” testing where Soldiers will put the weapons through their paces in a limited user evaluation. The M4A1 will be tested alongside the competing designs in order to establish a baseline data set for performance comparison.
After determining the weapon that best meets the requirement, top Army leaders will conduct a cost benefit analysis to determine if it is in the best interest of the Army to procure the winning carbine, and if so, what the ultimate basis of issue would be.