My guess is the army contract will die in evaluation. Absolutely no good reason for this order to be sitting in an evauation phase for 2 or 3 months. It really not that difficult, even for government employees. Probably just don't want to spend the money. Maybe if #$%$ would leave Air Force One on the ground for a couple of weeks, then 450 thousand volunteer military could have access to clean water.
The marines say that, for now, they are sticking w/MSR. I don't know why, but that's what they say they are doing. The army are taking their time for sure. Will they sign? We'll see. Two things that I do know: they cannot buy the filters through GSA Advantage, they have to go via the contract route; the big "tell-all" will be whether or not the company announces a new share offering.
Then why did they cancel the MSR contract and do the solicitation for market research? Maybe they meant they are sticking with MSR only while doing the research, and then at the conclusion of their "research" they will rebid the contract for IWPDs?
"Absolutely no good reason for this order to be sitting in an evauation phase for 2 or 3 months"
I don't agree with this. I'm not the army, but if I were going to plunk down $45 million on something, I'd make darn sure it did exactly what I wanted. The UL-40 claims a lifetime of 300L, or 79 gallons. (The independent testing only verified up to half that.) Depending on how hard the soldiers are working and what the climate is like, 79 gallons represents on the order of a month of daily use.
If I were the army, I would want to test that to its limit: I would want to run each test filter in the field for *at least* a month to make sure it stood up to daily use in the field. I would argue that taking longer may actually be good in this case: if the filters were failing, the tests would have already ended. There is only point in testing longer if they are still working.
So that accounts for a month-ish. But that's just one filter. I don't think we have any reason to believe that all of the tests would have started simultaneously. In fact, it should be quite the opposite: to test the filter in varying conditions, it makes more sense to start some later in the summer (i.e., not April) to put them through their paces in harsher, hotter weather when they would get more use.
I obviously don't know how this will come out, but I don't see the time frame as indicative of failure. I don't believe the army is just taking a few quick sips to see whether the filter performs -- I believe they are field testing them for the full filter lifetime in different places around the world and in different conditions. That takes time.
I also think they should be getting close now, but I don't think it's crazy that they are taking several months. I would be astonished if they didn't do at least that much due diligence before putting US soldier's lives and health at risk with such a critical component of their gear.
I'm just guessing that the contract will not go forward with the quantities we hope for. If they were going to complete the purchase, it would have been done in June or July. The old Nephros bad luck or mgmt incompetence coming into play. Hope I'm wrong, I'd love to see at least one large scale success out of this company before I die.