Regardless, the MILSPEC requirements and the TDP package will have to be met by ANY OTHER manufacturer.
Very few are capable of meeting these requirements, and some of those don’t currently offer models that can meet those requirements. They’re going to have to up their game if they want any of the new contracts.
In the end, I think Colt will be selected for any follow-on contracts.
I disagree. The Mil-Spec requirements are well known and almost every single domestic manufacturer already meets them. Colt so vigorously defended their 'rights' that they threatened to sue ANY manufacturer who used the phrase "Mil-Spec" anywhere in their advertisements.
They claimed that since they were the sole source for them, no one else could ever be "Mil-Spec".
It's bull. My Rock River is in many ways superior to Colts offering, and it was a good deal less expensive as well.
While I have no doubt that Colt has spread enough cash around to secure additional contracts, I'd look for a couple of other makers to take a significant portion of the business.
Perhaps Colt could work on improving their civilian offering a bit, too.
Bushmaster, Armalite, Magpul, LaRue, ect could fit the bill, and for cheaper than Colt.