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SOCOM Is Looking For A New Multi-Caliber Sniper Rifle
On April 6, U.S. Special Operations Command released a sources sought notice asking for companies who are capable of producing the next generation of sniper rifles.
In a significant departure from traditional sniper rifles in the military inventory, the new Advanced Sniper Rifle would need to be capable of shooting 7.62 NATO, .300NM, and 338NM with the use of a conversion kit. It also needs to be extremely accurate, with the desired outcome being a rifle that can hit .5 Minute of Angle (MOA) at 300 meters for the 7.62 and .300, and 1.5 MOA at 300 meters for the .338.
The document also calls for the rifle to be no heavier than 13 pounds and no longer than 40 inches. It will also need to come with a light and sound suppressor, which means three different suppressors would be needed — one for each caliber.
This sources sought notice is very interesting considering the Army just announced last year that Heckler & Koch is replacing the M110 SASS and its predecessor the SR-25, which both shoot 7.62 NATO. Additionally, in March 2013, SOCOM awarded a nearly $80 million contract to Remington for 5,150 Mk-21 Precision Sniper Rifles. The Mk-21, like the specs given in the notice for the ASR, is a modular rifle system capable of shooting 7.62 NATO, .300WM, and .338 Lapua.
SOCOM is an organization that rapidly evolves with current and future threats, and is known for adapting its equipment to suit the next mission, not the last one. It’s possible that the Remington’s Mk-21 has not performed well in the field, forcing commanders to reconsider the organization’s preferred sniper platform. It also might be due to the increased defense spending that is expected under the Trump administration, which may allow the special operations community to upgrade their rifles more than what they were able to in 2013.
The document, which was first reported by Soldier Systems, is not a request for proposal, and will only be used for market research and planning, but may result in some companies being invited for an open discussion with the government at some point in the future. With a deadline of April 24 to submit a response to the inquiry, it’s unlikely that anyone other than the major players inside the military weapons circle will be able to meet that deadline with all the information requested.
While the U.S. military wants to keep roughly 8,600 troops in Afghanistan, the Taliban's deputy leader has just made clear that his group wants all U.S. service members to leave the country as part of any peace agreement.
"The withdrawal of foreign forces has been our first and foremost demand," Sirajuddin Haqqani wrote in a story for the New York Times on Thursday.
In the wee hours of Jan. 8, Tehran retaliated over the U.S. killing of Iran's most powerful general by bombarding the al-Asad air base in Iraq.
Among the 2,000 troops stationed there was U.S. Army Specialist Kimo Keltz, who recalls hearing a missile whistling through the sky as he lay on the deck of a guard tower. The explosion lifted his body - in full armor - an inch or two off the floor.
Keltz says he thought he had escaped with little more than a mild headache. Initial assessments around the base found no serious injuries or deaths from the attack. U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted, "All is well!"
The next day was different.
"My head kinda felt like I got hit with a truck," Keltz told Reuters in an interview from al-Asad air base in Iraq's western Anbar desert. "My stomach was grinding."
A video has emerged showing a U.S. military vehicle running a Russian armored truck off the road in Syria after it tried to pass an American convoy.
Questions still remain about the incident, to include when it occurred, though it appears to have taken place on a stretch of road near the Turkish border town of Qamishli, according to The War Zone.
Editor's Note: The following is an op-ed. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Task & Purpose.
We are women veterans who have served in the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps. Our service – as aviators, ship drivers, intelligence analysts, engineers, professors, and diplomats — spans decades. We have served in times of peace and war, separated from our families and loved ones. We are proud of our accomplishments, particularly as many were earned while immersed in a military culture that often ignores and demeans women's contributions. We are veterans.
Yet we recognize that as we grew as leaders over time, we often failed to challenge or even question this culture. It took decades for us to recognize that our individual successes came despite this culture and the damage it caused us and the women who follow in our footsteps. The easier course has always been to tolerate insulting, discriminatory, and harmful behavior toward women veterans and service members and to cling to the idea that 'a few bad apples' do not reflect the attitudes of the whole.
Recent allegations that Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie allegedly sought to intentionally discredit a female veteran who reported a sexual assault at a VA medical center allow no such pretense.
Survival expert and former Special Air Service commando Edward "Bear" Grylls made meme history for drinking his own urine to survive his TV show, Man vs. Wild. But the United States Air Force did Bear one better recently, when an Alaska-based airman peed in an office coffee maker.
While the circumstances of the bladder-based brew remain a mystery, the incident was written up in a newsletter written by the legal office of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson on February 13, a base spokesman confirmed to Task & Purpose.