Eye Safety Systems, Inc. (ESS) is the sole recipient of the goggle award for the US Department of Defense’s Combat Eye Protection (CEP) solicitation #DAAD16-03-R-0027. The solicitation process spanned approximately one year ending August 26, 2004. During this time, a comprehensive evaluation of commercial and developmental eye protection systems was conducted by the US Army’s PEO Soldier Office in cooperation with Marine Corps Systems Command and the Natick Soldier Center to determine which products would be placed on a list of authorized combat eyewear and considered for multi-service type classification.
The evaluation considered four principal product factors, listed below in order of importance:
- Ballistic Characteristics
- Human Factors
- Physical Characteristics
- Carrying Case
The evaluation also considered manufacturing and warranty factors, as well as past performance.
At the conclusion of the CEP solicitation, the ESS Vehicle Ops model goggle (NSN: 4240-01-525-5101) was selected for the contract award, with special mention of two other ESS models that had previously been widely purchased through the Rapid Fielding Initiative (RFI). Those models are the ESS Profile NVG goggle (NSNs: 4240-01-504-6222 and 4240-01-504-5727) and the ESS Land Ops goggle (NSN: 4240-01-504-0052), which continue to be the goggles most widely procured by the US Department of Defense. The award notification letter commented on the performance of these three ESS products:
“After a very careful evaluation process it was determined that, of the three goggles proposed by Eye Safety Systems, Inc., the Vehicle Ops Goggle best meets the Government’s needs at this time. While the overall rating for all three goggles was considered outstanding, limited resources resulted in the selection of one goggle for this solicitation, the Vehicle Ops Goggle.” – Natick Contracting Officer
At this time, the only commercial goggles authorized for use by the US Army are the ESS Profile NVG, Land Ops, and Vehicle Ops goggles. The ESS ICE-2 spectacle was also placed on the list of authorized combat eye protection systems as a result of the CEP solicitation evaluation.