The U.S. Army has been buying M4 carbines through an exclusive arrangement with Colt since 2002 (though the first Colt M4 contract was awarded in 1996). But, as of 18:20 today, Remington Arms has become the Army's new supplier of M4/M4A1 carbines.
According to Kevin Doell, spokesman for PM Soldier Weapons, the Army took its last delivery of Colt manufactured M4A1s in November, 2011 with no more deliveries outstanding.
According to the Department of the Army's Chief of Legislative Liaison, the Army today executed a delivery order to buy 24,000 M4A1s worth $16,163,252.07. The rifles will be made at Remington's factory in Ilion, N.Y., from the Colt technical data package and will cost about $673.10 a copy. That's a significantly lower price than the final order of Colt produced M4A1s the government paid $1221 for in a 2010 contract.
Fedbizops.com lists the award with a contract award numberW56HZV12D0056 but provides no links to the original solicitation. Doell confirms that this award was for the Army's 2011 M4/M4A1 carbine W56HZV-10-R-0593 solicitation posted 6/14/2011.
John Day, Vice President, Remington Defense Division, confirmed the contract award. "We will produce these carbines with the same diligence, attention to detail, and quality that snipers and shooters worldwide expect from Remington," Day said.
The order comes as line 001 on an IDIQ contract for up to 120,000 carbines worth $83,924,089.00, though U.S. Army Contracting Command lists the "Max Potential Contract Value $180,000,000.00."
The delivery schedule has Remington producing 2000 M4 carbines a month. Remington's first delivery of 1000 rifles is due in August, 2013, then 1475 are due a month later. After this two-month ramp up, full rate production is expected at 2000 rifles delivered monthly through June, 2014 with a final delivery of 736 rifles in July, 2014.
The award comes as the first M4 carbine contract let after the US Army acquired the rights to Colt's Technical Data Package in July, 2009. While the Army signed a 10-year exclusive contract with Colt in 1999 to produce the M4/M4A1, the Army does not own the TDP. But, the Army is now allowed to provide it to second sources of production under a licensing agreement that goes back to the original 1967 M16 contract. The M4 is a derivative of the M16.
George Kollitides, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Freedom Group and Remington Arms, said, "Over the past four years, we have made a substantial investment in Remington's ability to compete in the government small arms space by modernizing our production facilities, focusing our research and development on end-user requirements, and ensuring consistent and repeatable quality in a high volume, high mix manufacturing environment."
I haven't heard from Colt, yet. But I expect them to be fairly quiet until the protest period has ended. I did speak with one industry executive Saturday morning that suggested Colt is already close to it's production capacity. He mentioned Colt's March, 2011, M240L machine gun contract award may have had an effect on the Army's latest award decision. One of the criteria for the award takes into account a manufacturer's ability to meet a delivery schedule and the Army may view the M240L contract stretching Colt's production resources.
Any of you that were about to buy milspec parts for your guns, now's a good time. I'm sure Remington is about to go on an OEM parts buying binge. While they will likely forge their own upper receivers, lowers receivers, bolt, bolt carrier and barrels, they will have to subcontract for small parts such as ejectors, extractors, fire control groups, springs, and pins just as Colt does.
Read Remington's press release after the break: more
April 24, 2012 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
US Army Awards M4 / M4A1 Carbine Contract to Remington® Arms
MADISON, NC – Remington Arms Company, LLC ("Remington"), a member of the Freedom Group family of companies, is pleased to announce the award of an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract for the procurement of a maximum of 120,000 M4/M4A1 carbines by the US Army Contracting Command in Warren, Michigan, on Friday, April 20, 2012.
"It is a great honor to be awarded this contract from the United States Army," said John Day, Vice President, Remington Defense Division, former Marine, and Iraq War Veteran. "Our workforce is extremely proud to be adding this combat-proven carbine to the Remington Defense family alongside our combat-proven sniper rifles, suppressors and shotguns. We will produce these carbines with the same diligence, attention to detail, and quality that snipers and shooters worldwide expect from Remington."
The M4 and M4A1 carbines are the US Army's primary individual combat weapons and will be produced by Remington to the US Army's M4 technical data package. The Army has initially ordered 24,000 M4A1 carbines from Remington; deliveries will start in September, 2013.
"The innovation, quality and reliability of Remington rifles have made our company a leader in defense markets around the world," said General Michael W. Hagee (USMC, Ret.), a Remington Arms board member and former Commandant of the Marine Corps.
"The chance to expand our strong military and defense presence producing M4s for the U.S. Army is a great opportunity," added General George Joulwan (US Army, Ret.), also a Remington board member and former Supreme Allied Commander of Europe and head of NATO Forces. "We are proud and honored to serve those who serve all of us."
Remington, in operation since 1816, is one of the oldest continuously operating manufacturers in the country. The M4 and M4A1 carbines will be produced at Remington's core rifle manufacturing facility in Ilion, New York.
George Kollitides, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Freedom Group and Remington Arms, noted, "Over the past four years, we have made a substantial investment in Remington's
ability to compete in the government small arms space by modernizing our production facilities, focusing our research and development on end-user requirements, and ensuring consistent and repeatable quality in a high volume, high mix manufacturing environment. We see this award as proof that an American manufacturing company can still expand its product offerings and compete in this modern age to provide best in class weaponry to our troops defending freedom around the globe."
About Remington Arms Company, LLC
Remington Arms Company, LLC, ("Remington") headquartered in Madison, N.C., designs, produces and sells sporting goods products for the hunting and shooting sports markets, as well as solutions to the military, government and law enforcement markets. Founded in 1816 in upstate New York, the Company is one of the nation's oldest continuously operating manufacturers. Remington is the only U.S. manufacturer of both firearms and ammunition products and one of the largest domestic producers of shotguns and rifles. The Company distributes its products throughout the U.S. and in over 55 foreign countries. More information about the Company can be found at www.remington.com.