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Heckler & Koch Defense Inc. will soon begin delivering thousands of 7.62mm squad-designated marksman rifles to the Army to give infantry and other close-combat units a better chance of penetrating enemy body armor.
H&K will deliver "between 5,000 and 6,000" variants of the G28 rifle, which the Army plans to issue as its new squad designated marksman rifle (SDMR), according to a July 12 H&K news release.
The Army may only have scored full approval from Congress to buy thousands of new M110A1 Compact Semi-Automatic Sniper Systems (CSASS) last year, but a cadre of Army snipers are already flexing on some upgrades.
The Marine Corps confirmed in early April that its snipers would get the Mk13 Mod 7 sniper rifle to replace the M40 rifle, versions of which the Corps' snipers have been carrying since the early days of the Vietnam War.
The Marine Corps is throwing down cash to test-drive the same compact sniper rifle the Army has pursued in recent months. But while its 7.62mm rounds pack the punch required by scout snipers facing increasingly protected enemies downrange, its effective range falls well short of the sniper systems used by both foreign militaries and militants — a limitation that makes it unclear just what the Corps could do with this new weapon.
The Marine Corps may finally adopt a new sniper rifle through a stroke of luck: Army officials, continuing to develop their own brand-new sniper rifle, told Task & Purpose that both the Marines and Air Force “are committed” to purchasing the weapon once the Army signs off on the improved system.