No winners in Army rifle replacement shoot-out
Weapons makers can't come up with a better option than the existing M4 as the cost of new carbines comes under scrutiny.
After soliciting weapons makers Heckler & Koch, FNH-USA, Remington Defense, Adcor Defense and Colt Defense for replacements for its M4 carbine rifle (pictured), the U.S. Army determined that none of the alternatives it received is worth the money. In its own words, according to Military.com, "no competitor demonstrated a significant improvement in weapon reliability."
That has to be somewhat disheartening for the folks at Colt, which made the original M4 so well that it wasn't able to surpass that weapon and cash in. But it's great news for the Army. The original plan involved laying out $49.6 million in 2014 to buy 30,000 new carbine rifles.
Instead, the Army will spend $21.2 million next year to buy 12,000 fully automatic Colt M4A1 rifles -- a special forces version of the M4 -- to replace the original's three-shot bursts -- and will attempt to repurpose some of that $49.6 million.
That's if Congress will let it. Lawmakers and the Pentagon's Inspector General have been leery of the carbine replacement program, with the House of Representatives' Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in March citing concerns that "DoD may not have an established need for this weapon nor developed performance requirements … such as accuracy, reliability, and lethality."
The Army counters that the committee's testimony contains misunderstandings about improving the rifles. It countered that the Army established its requirements three years ago. That may not matter, however, as the military as a whole has faced huge cuts as a result of the recent sequester. As the global economy struggles to steady itself, military spending worldwide slumped for the first time since 1998.
The M4 is a decade old, and the Army insists it's ready for an update. As American car buyers, house hunters and even consumers have figured out, however, sometimes you have to make do with what you have during tough economic times.
21.2 mil. comes out to over 1700.00 per.
Smith&Wesson sells their AR-15 on their LE only program (LAW ENFORCMENT) for under 800.00 with 5ea. 30 round magazines.
The old AK-47 or some variation has been around since the early 50's. The M4 is an old M-16 second generation and is tried and proven, all the bugs and kinks have been worked out of it as proven by colt or the other arms makers not being able to make something better.
We need to save where we can and not waste, the M4 is still the best personal weapon on the battlefield. No need to switch to an expensive overhaul and replacement program that will cost billions.
If I read this correctly,the full autos are"carbines" and the semi auto's for civilians are "assault rifles"
The sole remaining superpower is not reliably defended by "however, sometimes you have to make do with what you have during tough economic times."
Congress, Pentagon brass, manufacturers, D.O.D. bigshots; what does the soldier have to say?
We should have first rate weapons; our troops deserve no less.
Old soldier saying (that happens to ring true): "Always remember that your weapon was made by the lowest bidder."
the Marine Corp used the m16a2 for much longer than a decade until, finally, it received the m16a4. the m16a4 is nothing more than a m16a2 with a picatinny rail system on it and the rear windage site/elevation is removable. beyond that, the rifle is fine. The biggest problem I see with many rifle manufacturers is that they are "gimmick based": that is, whatever they are trying to sell the military isn't worth the money.
the military would invest in a rifle that can meet all of its desires: ease of use, lethality, accuracy, reliability and utility. utility seems to be the one that manufacturers are stuck on. many manufacturers want to offer a rifle that can perform the functions of a machine gun, a combat rifle and a sniper rifle all in one yet still retain the features above.
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