Supply and Support of VIRTUS Personal Protective Equipment

Supply and Support of VIRTUS Personal Protective Equipment

Project VIRTUS (Formerly Personal Equipment and Common Operational Clothing or PECOC) will deliver an integrated head, torso and load carriage system with the ability for quick release that will form the foundation of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

UK-Bristol: Protective gear

2013/S 027-041757

Contract notice


Directive 2009/81/EC

Section I: Contracting authority/entity

I.1)Name, addresses and contact point(s)

Soldier System Programmes, DE&S
Elm 3b #4325, MoD, Abbey Wood
Contact point(s): DESLEComrcl-SSP-Strat1
BS34 8JH Bristol
Telephone: +44 3067935287

Further information can be obtained from: The above mentioned contact point(s)

Specifications and additional documents (including documents for competitive dialogue and a dynamic purchasing system) can be obtained from: The above mentioned contact point(s)

Tenders or requests to participate must be sent to: The above mentioned contact point(s)

I.2)Type of the contracting authority

Ministry or any other national or federal authority, including their regional or local sub-divisions
I.3)Main activity

I.4)Contract award on behalf of other contracting authorities/entities

The contracting authority is purchasing on behalf of other contracting authorities: no

Section II: Object of the contract

II.1.1)Title attributed to the contract by the contracting authority:

The Supply and Support of VIRTUS Personal Protective Equipment and Load Carriage System.
II.1.2)Type of contract and location of works, place of delivery or of performance

NUTS code UKJ14

II.1.3)Information on framework agreement
II.1.4)Information on framework agreement
II.1.5)Short description of the contract or purchase(s):

Protective gear. Garments for anti-ballistic protection. Background
Project VIRTUS (Formerly Personal Equipment and Common Operational Clothing or PECOC) will deliver an integrated head, torso and load carriage system with the ability for quick release that will form the foundation of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). It will be the core component of the Dismounted Close Combat Soldier. VIRTUS will support the activities of all service personnel engaged in a Dismounted Close Combat role; this encompasses Soldiers, Marines and Airmen involved on Land, Littoral Manoeuvre and Ground Support to Air Operations. The Land Fleet Requirement (LFR) for VIRTUS is 84,000 systems.
Under this requirement and Possible Future Purchase (VIRTUS Pulse 1) the Authority seeks, through the use of a Prime Contractor, to provide significantly improved integration of the Head and Torso systems, integrated with a load carriage solution, and will include a Quick Release capability. The VIRTUS system shall provide the User with significant improvement to comfort, feel and fit.
VIRTUS Pulse 2 & 3, as detailed below, are subject to individual approval processes and will be subject to separate competitions as per the Defence Security Public Contract Regulations (DSPCR).
— Pulse 2 – will seek to provide a reduction in soldier burden, enhanced mobility and the incorporation of enhanced protective plate technology,
— Pulse 3 – will seek further reductions in soldier burden and enhanced mobility and deliver Man Worn Power & Data (MWPD) solutions to underpin the fusion of anticipated dependent capabilities including enhanced Situational Awareness and Lethality.
Pulse 1 – Content
VIRTUS Pulse 1 will deliver scalable and fully integrated Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for the torso, head, neck, shoulders, upper arms, groin and upper leg limbs and load carriage components, integrating the sub-systems to optimise the whole system capability.
The VIRTUS Pulse 1 system will comprise of:
a) Protection items including body armour (hard plates excluded from this competition), plate carrier, extremity protection systems, combat helmets, combat eyewear protection;
b) Load carriage systems including patrol day sack, bergen and load carrying pouches.
VIRTUS will deliver a complete, integrated system designed to provide the user with a scalable PPE in order that the commander can match protection levels to the threat. This will include the delivery of an integrated solution, such as a Quick Release system, to assist the User in extraction from life threatening conditions and aid quick access to the body by medical personnel.
The system will integrate PPE and load carriage to provide increased User comfort by spreading the load better across the body, and reducing perception of burden. This will in turn improve the agility of the User with an improved fit and design which enables the User to have a greater range of movement.
The Key User Requirements for the requirement are as follows:
— The User shall be provided with a capability that does not cause physical injury,
— The User shall be able to maintain their personal agility levels and their ability to undertake kinematic actions,
— The User shall be able to optimise their personal configuration against mission requirements,
— The VIRTUS capability shall be interoperable with specified UK service equipment,
— The components of the VIRTUS system shall be integrated,
— The User shall be able to carry appropriate equipment and supplies on their person,
— The User shall be able to store and access carried items,
— The User can be extracted from immediate danger,
— The User shall be able to access the location of any injury,
— The User shall be protected from injury due to Small Arms Fire with scalable levels of protection to provide optimum protection for mission requirements,
— The User shall be protected from injury due to fragmentation attack,
— The capability shall be available and sustainable throughout operations.
Expressions of interest are invited from any Company that will provide the role of Prime Contractor and is capable of delivering a fully integrated system as detailed above.
An Industry Day will be held on February 12th 2013 as advertised in the Defence Contracts Bulletin on the 5.12.2012, Vol. 10 No, 24, and the 23.1.2013, Vol. 11 No, 1, where more information will be released regarding the requirement, as well as giving potential Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) an early opportunity to engage with Primes.
Further information on the Industry Day is available from the following Contact:

Subsequent to receipt of expressions of interest, the Authority intends to undertake a Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ) exercise where Company(s) will be required to demonstrate their level of competence against the Authority’s questionnaire criteria. Full criteria and the evaluation process will be detailed within the PQQ documentation which is currently due to be issued during Quarter 2 2013. After assessment of the PQQ’s it is the intention of the Authority to invite a maximum of four companies to tender for this requirement. The Authority currently intends to issue Tenders during Quarter 3, 2013. Tender Assessment will also incorporate User and Human Factors Integration trials which are currently scheduled to take place between Quarter 4 2013 and Q1 2014. Whilst the dates in this paragraph are the best current estimate, they may be subject to change due to unforeseen events, and therefore cannot be guaranteed.
If a Potential Provider is successful at PQQ stage and invited to Tender there will be a requirement to provide a number of sets of your proposed VIRTUS Pulse 1 solution for testing and trialing. The requirement will be in the order of 50-60 sets of the full system, which will be subjected to a Military Judgement Panel (MJP) in the UK and used in temperate trials and Hot/Dry A2 conditions abroad.
The Authority will Contract separately for these testing and trialing items, with a capped rate per Contractor available for the purchasing of these items. The Trials Equipment Contract will be for delivery of approximately 50-60 full sets (with a maximum capped price available) during Quarter 4 2013 (date to be confirmed in the Invitation to Tender).
Delivery for the samples will be to ITDU Warminster and full details will be issued with the Invitation to Tender.
Tenders will be assessed to establish the most economically advantageous/best value for money solution, which meets the requirement. Full criteria will be specified within the Invitation to Tender documentation, alongside the evaluation process.
Potential Providers should note that the AWARD evaluation tool will be used at PQQ and Tender stage for this requirement.

II.1.6)Common procurement vocabulary (CPV)

18143000, 35815000

II.1.7)Information about subcontracting

The tenderer has to indicate in the tender any share of the contract it may intend to subcontract to third parties and any proposed subcontractor, as well as the subject-matter of the subcontracts for which they are proposed
The tenderer has to indicate any change occurring at the level of subcontractors during the execution of the contract

This contract is divided into lots: no
II.1.9)Information about variants

Variants will be accepted: no
II.2)Quantity or scope of the contract
II.2.1)Total quantity or scope:

The Contract is for the Supply and Support of Virtus Personal Protective Equipment and Load Carriage System. The minimum guaranteed quantity to be procured under the Contract will be 9000 Systems, however, the Authority will utilise Banded Quantities to allow procurement of additional systems to support the Land Fleet Requirement of 84,000 Systems. The Delivery of VIRTUS Pulse 1 will result in consumable elements and elements which will remain subject to a refurbishment cycle. The VIRTUS System will where possible be broken into elements with individual NSNs which will be either replaced or refurbished, therefore the Contract will also allow for the additional procurement of individual items, and refurbishment of elements of the system.
As technology develops and matures during the production of VIRTUS Pulse 1, there will be the Contract facility for the Authority and successful contractor to utilise Post Design Services (PDS) to ensure the system provides optimal performance within the functional environment in compliance with the SRD for Pulse 1
There will also be a requirement for in Contract Testing, and Disposal of the System, as well as the provision of placebo plates.
The Pulse 1 competition does not seek to procure protective hard armour plates for the body. The Authority will expect the successful company to integrate with existing hard armour plates (front and back) and Enhanced Combat Body Armour (ECBA) plates (side).
The performance of this Contract will be subject to monitoring and management through key performance indicators.
II.2.2)Information about options

Options: yes
Description of these options: The Contract will be for a period of 3 Years from the date of Contract. The Contract will contain the Options for a further 2 Years, and 5 x 1 Year Options resulting in a potential for a total Contract of 10 years.
Exercising of the Options by the Authority will only be conducted after the agreement of pricing for the option period. The provisional timetable for exercising the options will be 6 months before the option start date.
Provisional timetable for recourse to these options:
in months: 30 (from the award of the contract)
II.2.3)Information about renewals

This contract is subject to renewal: no
II.3)Duration of the contract or time limit for completion

Duration in months: 36 (from the award of the contract)

Section III: Legal, economic, financial and technical information

III.1)Conditions relating to the contract
III.1.1)Deposits and guarantees required:

A Parent Company Guarantee or Bankers Guarantee may be required depending on the advice of the MoD financial analysis to be conducted at PQQ stage.
III.1.2)Main financing conditions and payment arrangements and/or reference to the relevant provisions governing them:

During the life of the Contract the Authority plans to trade electronically. Details of the MoD’s policy and the technological specification can be found at

The MoD is progressively moving towards electronic purchasing using the Purchase to Payment (P2P) system operated over the Defence Electronic Commerce Service (DECS). Any resulting Contract may also require the supplier to trade via the P2P system.

III.1.3)Legal form to be taken by the group of economic operators to whom the contract is to be awarded:

The Potential Provider will be required to be a single legal entity by Contract Award.
III.1.4)Other particular conditions to which the performance of the contract is subject, in particular with regard to security of supply and security of information:
III.1.5)Information about security clearance:
III.2)Conditions for participation
III.2.1)Personal situation

Criteria regarding the personal situation of economic operators (that may lead to their exclusion) including requirements relating to enrolment on professional or trade registers

Information and formalities necessary for evaluating if the requirements are met: The Authority will apply all the offences listed in Article 39(1) of Directive 2009/81/EC (implemented as Regulation 23(1) of the Defence and Security Public Contract Regulations (DSPCR) 2011 in the UK) and all of the professional misconducts listed at Article 39(2) of Directive 2009/81/EC (see also Regulation 23(2) in the DSPCR 2011) to the decision of whether a Candidate is eligible to be invited to tender.
A full list of the Regulation 23(1) and 23(2) criteria are at

Candidates will be required to sign a declaration confirming whether they do or do not have any of the listed criteria as part of the pre-qualification process.
Candidates who have been convicted of any of the offences under Article 39(1) are ineligible and will not be selected to bid, unless there are overriding requirements in the general interest (including defence and security factors) for doing so.
Candidates who are guilty of any of the offences, circumstances or misconduct under Article 39(2) may be excluded from being selected to bid at the discretion of the Authority.

III.2.2)Economic and financial ability

Criteria regarding the economic and financial standing of economic operators (that may lead to their exclusion)

Information and formalities necessary for evaluating if the requirements are met: a) Appropriate statements from the economic operator’s bankers or where appropriate, evidence of relevant professional risk indemnity insurance;
b) The presentation of balance-sheets or extracts from the balance-sheets, where publication of the balance-sheet is required under the law of the country in which the economic operator is established;
c) where appropriate, a statement, covering the three previous financial years of the economic operator, of:(i) the overall turnover of the business of the economic operator; and (ii) where appropriate, the turnover in respect of the work, works, goods or services which are of a similar type to the subject matter of the contract.
To be issued with the PQQ.
Criteria regarding the economic and financial standing of subcontractors (that may lead to their rejection)

Information and formalities necessary for evaluating if the requirements are met: To be issued with the PQQ.
Minimum level(s) of standards possibly required: Any minimum levels will be detailed in the PQQ.

III.2.3)Technical and/or professional capacity

Criteria regarding the technical and/or professional ability of economic operators (that may lead to their exclusion)

Information and formalities necessary for evaluating if the requirements are met:
To be issued with the PQQ.
Criteria regarding the technical and/or professional ability of subcontractors (that may lead to their rejection)

Information and formalities necessary for evaluating if the requirements are met:
To be issued with the PQQ.
Minimum level(s) of standards possibly required
Any minimum levels will be detailed in the PQQ.

III.2.4)Information about reserved contracts
III.3)Conditions specific to services contracts
III.3.1)Information about a particular profession
III.3.2)Staff responsible for the execution of the service

Section IV: Procedure

IV.1)Type of procedure
IV.1.1)Type of procedure

IV.1.2)Limitations on the number of operators who will be invited to tender or to participate

Envisaged minimum number 2 and maximum number 4
Objective criteria for choosing the limited number of candidates: To be issued with the PQQ.
IV.1.3)Reduction of the number of operators during the negotiation or dialogue
IV.2)Award criteria
IV.2.1)Award criteria

The most economically advantageous tender in terms of the criteria stated in the specifications, in the invitation to tender or to negotiate or in the descriptive document
IV.2.2)Information about electronic auction

An electronic auction has been used: yes
Additional information about electronic auction: Yes. A Reverse Auction, conducted using electronic means, may be used as part of the procurement process for this requirement. Specific relevant information on Reverse Auction usage will be given in the Invitation to Tender.
IV.3)Administrative information
IV.3.1)File reference number attributed by the contracting authority:

IV.3.2)Previous publication(s) concerning the same contract

IV.3.3)Conditions for obtaining specifications and additional documents or descriptive document

Payable documents: no
IV.3.4)Time limit for receipt of tenders or requests to participate

15.3.2013 – 23:59
IV.3.5)Date of dispatch of invitations to tender or to participate to selected candidates
IV.3.6)Language(s) in which tenders or requests to participate may be drawn up


Section VI: Complementary information

VI.1)Information about recurrence

This is a recurrent procurement: no
VI.2)Information about European Union funds

The contract is related to a project and/or programme financed by European Union funds: no
VI.3)Additional information:

Suppliers interested in working with the Ministry of Defence should register on the MOD Supplier Information Database (SID) Register, available at The MOD SID is a database of active and potential suppliers available to all MOD and UK Defence procurement personnel, and is the main supplier database of MOD Procurement organisations. Please note: the registration and publication of a company profile on the MOD SID does not mean or imply that the supplier has in any way been vetted or approved by the MOD. Suppliers wishing to compete for advertised MOD contracts must respond to any specific call for competition by submitting a separate expression of interest in accordance with the instructions of the purchasing organisation.

Advertising Regime OJEU:- This contract opportunity is published in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU),the MoD Defence Contracts Bulletin and GO Reference: GO-201324-DCB-4563668

VI.4)Procedures for appeal
VI.4.1)Body responsible for appeal procedures

Soldier System Programmes, DE&S
Commercial Strategy, Soldier System Programmes, Elm 3c, #4335
BS34 8JH Bristol

Body responsible for mediation procedures

Soldier System Programmes, DE&S

VI.4.2)Lodging of appeals
VI.4.3)Service from which information about the lodging of appeals may be obtained

Soldier System Programmes, DE&S

VI.5)Date of dispatch of this notice:4.2.2013