Industry News: Volume 2, Number 1
Law Enforcement International
The UK Ministry of Defence has awarded a contract to Law Enforcement International (LEI) for the supply of a new 7.62mm semiautomatic “sharpshooter” rifle to meet current operational requirements.
The new rifle, which will bear the official service designation L129A1 is being manufactured by Lewis Machine & Tool Co. in the United States. According to LEI, the L129A1 is based on a proven design, with new features, including a one piece upper receiver and a “free floating” barrel, which offers better accuracy at longer ranges. LEI was short listed and then awarded the contract with final award on the basis of overall performance and price. Deliveries start early in 2010.
Aimpoint has been awarded a new contract from the U.S. Army for supply of up to 565,783 M68 Close Combat Optic rifle sights. The Aimpoint CompM4s was chosen following an extensive evaluation and competitive trial of available optical sights by the Army Research & Development Command (ARDEC) at Picatinny Arsenal, NJ. Aimpoint was the only manufacturer whose product fulfilled the Army’s rigorous testing criteria during this evaluation, and is the only manufacturer to be selected as a qualified vendor for this contract.
The sight chosen by the Army, the Aimpoint CompM4s, features a battery compartment positioned near the sight base, which gives the sight a streamlined profile and places the switch and battery in a more protected position. A ruggedized switch knob has been integrated as part of the battery compartment housing and features seven night vision compatible settings and nine daylight settings. The modular QRP2 mount maximizes product application for all M4 Carbines and M16 rifles, and eliminates the need for a separate mounting ring. The electronic components in the CompM4s include the latest ACET diode circuitry, which allows the sight to run continuously for up to eight years on a single battery, and features an internal voltage regulator that makes it possible to utilize any AA sized battery found worldwide for power.
The sight features a 2 minute-of-angle (MOA) dot size, making it perfectly suited for use with Aimpoint’s 3X Magnifier (3XMag), Aimpoint Concealed Engagement Unit (CEU), and all generations of night vision devices.
Alliant Techsystems received an initial $105 million contract award as part of a three-year contract by the U.S. Army Sustainment Command in Rock Island, Ill., to supply various types of non-standard (non-NATO) ammunition for the security forces of Afghanistan. If all options are fully exercised, the contract value could potentially exceed $200 million. This is ATK’s second contract from the U.S. Army to supply non-standard (non-NATO) ammunition for the security forces of Afghanistan. The first $87 million contract award was announced in December 2008.
In this new contract, ATK will integrate a larger team of international manufacturers for the delivery of non-standard (non-NATO) munitions, including small, medium and large-caliber ammunition, as well as mortars and rockets. ATK’s program and technical expertise, coupled with its global supply chain management capability, will ensure continued timely deliveries of quality non-standard (non-NATO) ammunition to Afghanistan.
“ATK continues to expand its global presence through international outreach initiatives,” said Mark DeYoung, President ATK Armament Systems. “By using ATK’s core strengths and the in-depth knowledge gained during the original Afghanistan non-standard ammunition program, we are providing low-risk armament systems solutions to meet the continuously emerging requirements of our customers.”
D S Arms, Inc. is proud to introduce the ZM4 AR-15/M16 upper receiver. The high quality flat top upper features melded feed ramps for enhanced reliability and a forged 7075-T6 Mil-Spec flat top upper. To ensure maximum durability and accuracy, each barrel is Nitride finished providing a smoother and more consistent surface finish than chrome plating.
BLACKHAWK! announced the selection of the BLACKHAWK! SERPA retention holster system and select accessory components for use by the United States Joint Special Operations Community.
In a head-to-head comparison, the BLACKHAWK! SERPA system was selected by a panel of active duty service personnel representing the various SOF Commands. Key to the SERPA selection was the active weapon retention, system modularity, speed and commonality of training. The basis of the system is built around the award winning SERPA Auto Retention holster which combines an intuitive drawing motion when presenting the weapon with automatic engagement of the locking mechanism upon re-holstering. Mounting platforms include a traditional belt mount, drop leg platform and a MOLLE chest mount. Color selection for all models and accessories include Black, Olive Drab, Foliage Green and Coyote Tan.
“The active retention of the SERPA Holster combined with BLACKHAWK!’s Quick Disconnect system allows SOF to configure their equipment based on mission or environmental needs,” stated Steve Matulewicz Executive Director of Operations for Blackhawk. “The versatility of the Quick Disconnect system allows operators to rapidly move their weapon from a thigh or belt mounted platform when on foot patrol to a vest mounted position for easy access when on a vehicle mounted operation.”
The SERPA holster system and components are now fully authorized for use within the Joint SOF arena, approved for purchase at the Command/Unit levels and will become an issued item as part of the U.S. Government Load Carriage System (LCS) supplied to all of SOF.
Remington Arms Company
Remington Arms Company, Inc., through a wholly owned subsidiary, has entered into a purchase agreement to acquire certain assets of Advanced Armament Corp (AAC).
Located in Norcross, Georgia, AAC supplies noise reduction, flash reduction devices, and combat-related accessories for the military, government and commercial markets. AAC will continue day-to-day operations at their Georgia-based location under the guidance of company founder, Kevin Brittingham, and report to the Remington Military Products Division (MPD).
“We welcome Kevin and his team of engineers and designers on board,” commented Theodore (Ted) Torbeck, CEO of Remington and its parent, Freedom Group, Inc. “With the acquisition of AAC, we can enhance our research and development capabilities and deliver a more competitive product to the end user; further strengthening Remington’s position in the domestic and international markets.”
Reported Violation of UN Sanctions Against Iran
Hansa India, a ship owned by the German company Leonhardt & Blumberg, and chartered to the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL), was boarded in early October 2009 by U.S. troops in the Gulf of Suez. During the search, eight containers of 7.62×39 ammunition was discovered. It is believed that the ammunition was destined for the Syrian Army or the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah. German government authorities ordered the U.S. Navy to divert the Hansa India to Malta, where Maltese customs officials seized the cargo.
New DDTC Guidance on the Submission of Technical Assistance Agreements
On October 9, 2009, the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) released revised guidelines for the submission of Technical Assistance Agreements (TAA), Manufacturing License Agreements (MLA) and Warehouse and Distribution Agreements. Similar to the DTrade2 system, electronic submission of TAA and MLA will become mandatory in 2010. Additional information may be found online at the DDTC website: www.pmddtc.state.gov/licensing/documents/PreparingElectronciAgreements-Guidelines.pdf
Proposed Changes to the U.S. State Dept. Regulatory Definition of Brokering
On November 23, 2009, the U.S. State Department announced proposed changes to the definition of “Broker” and “Brokering Activities.” A copy of the proposed regulatory changes may be found on the DDTC website: http://pmddtc.state.gov/DTAG/documents/Brokering_FRN_November_09_Version.doc
According to the DDTC explanation printed within the Federal Register notice, it appears that the definition of “brokering” will be modified such that the International Traffic in Arms Regulations definition will mirror the Arms Export Control Act definition. Look for more in-depth analysis within a future Legal Affairs column.
New Processing Times for U.S. State Dept. Export Permits
On December 7, 2009, the U.S. State Department, Directorate of Defense Trade Controls announced that a sixth exception was being added to the National Security Presidential Directive – 56, which mandated a 60-day processing time for export license applications. The 60-day processing time will not apply “when a related export policy is under active review and pending final determination by the Department of State.” The obvious question is whether Hillary Clinton, the U.S. Secretary of State, is contemplating (or has already initiated) a wholesale review of current export regulations. While the future cannot be predicted with any certainty, one could reasonably assume that if a wholesale review of the current U.S. export regulations is being contemplated, future export license applications are likely to be scrutinized and examined in detail, with extra long processing times being the norm, rather than the exception.
For those unaware of the five current exceptions to the 60-day rule, they are:
(1) Congressional Notification is required.
(2) Required Government Assurances have not been received (i.e. Missile Technology Control Regime Assurances, and Cluster Munitions assurances.)
(3) End-use Checks have not been completed. (Commonly referred to as “Blue Lantern” checks.)
(4) The Department of Defense has not yet completed its review.
(5) A Waiver of Restrictions is required.
U.S. Commerce Dept. Bureau of Industry and Security
BIS released an advisory opinion on the download of mass market encryption software by international customers. Of note, BIS states that, “Publishing ‘mass market’ encryption software on the internet where it may be downloaded by anyone neither establishes ‘red flags’ necessitating the affirmative duty to inquire under the ‘Know Your Customer’ guidance provided in the EAR (see 67 Fed. Reg. 38857, June 6, 2002). Therefore, a person or company would not be in violation of the EAR if it posts ‘mass market’ encryption software on the Internet for free and anonymous download and then at a later time the software is downloaded by an anonymous person in Iran, Cuba, Syria, Sudan, or North Korea.” The complete advisory opinion may be found online at: www.bis.doc.gov/policiesandregulations/advisoryopinions/encryption_internet_ao.pdf
Malaysia Becoming a Major Hub of Diverted Goods to Iran
According to a Bloomberg published article, Iran is increasingly obtaining U.S. military equipment and technology through shipments to Malaysian middlemen that illegally circumvent trade restrictions.
The U.S. has charged, convicted or sentenced defendants in at least six cases involving Malaysia since August 2008. The shipments have included parts for bombers and items sent to firms linked to Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile program, according to court papers. More Malaysia shipments are under investigation, according to a law enforcement official who spoke to Bloomberg on condition of anonymity.
The shipments illustrate how difficult it is for U.S. law enforcement to keep military secrets and equipment from reaching Iran, a country the U.S. accuses of developing nuclear weapons and sponsoring terrorism. As most readers know, the U.S. bans most trade with Iran. Those involved in the international trade of firearms and other defense articles are advised to know your customer as to avoid becoming an unknowing pawn in the transshipment of defense articles to Iran. Readers that export to Malaysia are advised to regularly review the various watch lists posted to the Bureau of Industry and Security website: www.bis.doc.gov/complianceandenforcement/liststocheck.htm