The Marine Corps on Wednesday outlined four key areas it wants industry leaders to focus on heading into 2020.
In a request for information posted by the Marine Corps Rapid Capabilities Office on the government’s business opportunities website, the Corps says it’s focused on biometric sensing, power foraging, enhancing personal equipment and power management.
Overall, the RFI seeks industry input on a range of technology that will enhance Marines on the battlefield by boosting vision, hearing, movement, and the ability to self-sustain a unit with power without a constant resupply of batteries and energy.
Power management has been a big concern for Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Robert Neller as the Corps continues to rapidly modernize its force for a fight with near-peer rivals.
Neller has often remarked on the need for new methods of powering equipment or use of rechargeable batteries to help lighten the loads carried by infantry Marines.
“Weight is everything,” Neller said at a National Defense Industrial Association event in early March. But “we keep putting more stuff on them.”
According to the RFI, the Corps wants a power foraging capability “that is a tactically viable alternative energy solution including solar, wind, hybrid, kinetic recovery, fuel cells and biofuels for use at remote, austere locations by small units.”
And the Corps wants this power foraging ability to be “transported by vehicles organic at the company level” or man-portable and able to provide power at the company level and below, the RFI stated.
The Corps is also interested in a biometric sensor that can provide early warning and detection of a Marine’s health.
The Corps wants its bio-sensor “capable of aiding in warfighting functions through physiological metrics such as mental and physical fatigue, hydration levels, heart rate, temperature, nutrition level, impact forces,” the RFI reads.
The sensors should be able to be worn with or integrated with individual equipment, according to the RFI.
The Corps is also seeking to enhance personal equipment to boost a Marine’s movement, hearing and vision.
According to the RFI, the Corps is seeking industry input for tech that can “enhance the operator’s vision in both day and night-time operations," enhance hearing or boost a Marine’s “mounted and dismounted operations while carrying the Marine Corps standard sustainment and assault loads.”
Responses to the Corps’ RFI are due by Nov. 26.