A sniper with the 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne), places his rifle on a tripod while his teammate gathers information on atmospherics outside the building during the USASOC Sniper Competition, March 26,2014.
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.
QUETTA, Pakistan/KABUL (Reuters) - The brother of the leader of the Afghan Taliban was among at least four people killed in a bomb blast at a mosque in Pakistan on Friday, two Taliban sources told Reuters, an attack that could affect efforts to end the Afghan war.
An Indiana Army National Guard soldier died Thursday night during a training accident at Fort Hood.
According to a Fort Hood press release, the soldier's injuries came from "a tactical vehicle accident in the training area." The name of the soldier is being withheld until the family is notified.
The incident, which occurred at around 10 p.m., will be investigated by the Army Combat Readiness Center at Fort Rucker, Alabama, the release said.
Nearly 32% of active-duty military deaths between 2006 and 2018 have been the result of accidents, according to an analysis from the Congressional Research Service.
The Army has had a number of vehicular deaths this year. In June, one West Point cadet was killed and 21 others were injured when a tactical vehicle rolled during training. A vehicle rollover at Fort Irwin, California killed one soldier and injured three others that same month, and in May, a rollover killed one soldier and injured a dozen others at Fort Polk, La.