After years in the making, U.S. Special Operations Command has its sights set on its next big sniper rifle.
On Monday, SOCOM awarded a $49.9 million, five-year contract to Barrett Firearms for the command's Advanced Sniper Rifle program meant to replace the Precision Sniper Rifle currently fielded to special operations snipers.
Barrett's bolt-action Multi-Role Adaptive Design (MRAD) precision system will be chambered in 7.62×51 mm NATO, .300 Norma Magnum, and .338 Norma Magnum with the help of a separate conversion kit.
The MRAD appears to meet SOCOM's 2018 requirements for a "modular, multi-caliber, bolt-action sniper rifle," and as As Guns.com notes, the Pentagon had previously picked up Barrett's MRAD platform in a December contract for the rifle chambered in the new 300 PRC caliber.
"The United States Department of Defense announced today that Barrett has been selected to provide their MRAD as the U.S. Special Operations Command Advanced Sniper Rifle system, designated as Mk21," the company said in a statement, per Military Times. "This marks the first time in history that a father and son have had rifle designs adopted by the US military: Ronnie Barrett with M107 and Chris Barrett with Mk21."
Here's a sizzle reel for the MRAD's Military Deployment Kid from 2016.
In February, the commander of the U.S. Naval Air Forces proclaimed that the Navy's F-35C Joint Strike Fighter was "ready for operations, ready for combat and ready to win" — even though the Navy's own testing data says otherwise.
President Donald Trump has ramped up airstrikes against al-Shabab in Somalia. (Associated Press/Farah Abdi Warsameh)
The U.S. military could be guilty of war crimes in Somalia, according to a new report that challenges what the government says about civilian casualties from its bombing campaign against al-Shabab, an al-Qaida affiliate, in the African nation.
The investigation, conducted by Amnesty International, found that US airstrikes from both drones and manned aircraft killed at least 14 civilians and injured seven more people in just five of more than 100 strikes in the past two years.
"The attacks appear to have violated international humanitarian law, and some may amount to war crimes," the Amnesty report said.
A new bill would give troops with infertility related to their military service greater access to advanced reproductive treatments, including up to three completed cycles of in vitro fertilization, or IVF, and cryopreservation of eggs and sperm for those heading to a combat zone.
U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Joseph L. Osterman, the commanding general of I Marine Expeditionary Force, speaks to Marines with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) during a visit aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4). Marines and Sailors with the 11th MEU are conducting routine operations as part of the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group in the eastern Pacific Ocean. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Lance Cpl. Dalton S. Swanbeck)
The Marine Corps' top general on the west coast is readying his Marines for the next big war against a near peer competitor, and one of his main concerns is figuring out how to alter the mindset of troops that have been fighting insurgencies since 9/11.
"If anything my problem is getting people out of the mindset of [counterterrorism] and making sure they're thinking about near peer adversaries in their training programs," Lt. Gen. Joseph Osterman, commanding general of I Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Pendleton, California, told Task & Purpose in an interview on Friday.