We often associate depth charges with the War in the Atlantic but even in an age of guided weapons it seems the MoD still has an identified need.
Weapons, ammunition and associated parts. In support of conventional munitions manufacture and stock management the Defence General Munitions Project Team (DGM PT) has a possible future requirement for the manufacture and supply of a Depth Charge that is compliant with current UK Insensitive Munitions policy. Included in the future requirement the following items will be required in any future contract.
- Drill and Instructional variants of the Munition,
- User and Maintainer Training package to allow future training to be undertaken,
- Weapon preparation and handling documentation,
- Maintenance documentation,
- A full Munition Data Pack, for all variants,
- Explosive Hazard Data Sheets for all of the energetic materials,
- Management of Safety and Suitability for Service (S3) trials required to be undertaken,
- Creation of Safety and Environment Case Report
- Post Design Contract.
The current in-service Depth Charge comprises of a main body Fuze and tail. The fully prepared weapon is approximately 1.4m long and 280mm in diameter and weighs 145kg.
Contractors should note that the Depth Charge offered shall as a minimum, be compliant with all UK MOD Policies. It must be capable of carriage and release from Rotary Wing platforms (specifically Merlin Mk1, Mk2 and Lynx/Wildcat Helicopters using the Mk 22 Electro-magnetic Release Unit) and have the potential for carriage and release from fixed wing Maritime Patrol Aircraft in the future.
The Depth Charge is required to have the equivalent explosive performance as the current in-service variant which comprises of 80kg of Torpex 8/2B. It shall have the fuzing functionality to initiate the main charge at 8.2 and/or 21m (±0.6m) with the ability to self sterilise (Make Safe) in the event of a blind.
Contractors should declare whether any components within their expression of interest are covered under ITAR.
The procurement of these capabilities shall, if the programme proceeds, be conducted on a competitive basis, using an incremental assessment programme to determine product compliance against the Departments requirement.
Those who express an interest in this possible future purchase shall be invited to complete and submit a Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ), the results of which shall be used to down-select to a potential of a maximum of 10 candidates who will then be selected to be taken into the first Assessment Phase (AP1). AP1 is the technical compliance assessment and IM characterisation testing of candidate products; successful products from this phase, where appropriate, shall then be taken into Assessment Phase 2 (AP2). AP2 is the qualification of these natures to the Departments manufacture to target disposal sequence (AOP15).
An ITT will be issued to a maximum of 6 companies those that are down selected from AP1. The collective outcome of the PQQ, AP1, ITT and AP2 phase, shall result in the award of a contract for the manufacture/supply of this nature for an as yet undetermined term but will be invited at the ITT stage to submit prices for 3, 5 year supply/support arrangements, for the estimated quantity between 400 – 1000.
Potential Suppliers candidates should note that their product offerings should be at a suitably high level of product maturity to enable the Department to test and procure these capabilities within a very demanding exploitation window. All expressions of interest should state any previous work conducted for the MoD and any ISO accreditation.
So there you go, the contract estimate is £2-5m but of course there is no guarantee it will be placed.