SCAR update - DefenseTech


July 17, 2007, 10:21 AM
Meet the SCAR

FNH USA has gotten the go-ahead to move into Operational Test and Evaluation of the SOCOM Combat Assault Rifle (Heavy) and (Light), as well as the Enhanced Grenade Launcher Module.


From FNH:

FN Herstal announced today through FNH USA that the Special Operations
Forces (SOF) Combat Assault Rifle (SCAR) and Enhanced Grenade Launcher Module (EGLM) program has received approval from the United States Government (USG) to enter into the Initial Operational Test & Evaluation (IOT&E) phase. Scheduled to commence in July and be complete by mid-December, the IOT&E will consist of select US Military operators testing the weapons in simulated “real-world” mission scenarios. Both quantitative and qualitative data will be collected, with the ultimate and desired outcome having the weapons being designated “Operationally Effective” and “Operationally Suitable” for fielding to US Forces.

This next step comes close on the heels of the SCAR and EGLM successfully passing their Low-Rate Initial Production (LRIP) acceptance testing conducted February through June of 2007. Going forward, as all timelines fall into place and the weapons test successfully, the SCAR and EGLM can be fielded, on a limited basis, to select US Military Forces by late fall of 2007. Plans to fully field the weapons are now developed and in place, with over $25M (procurement) budgeted in the FY2008 Presidential Budget and over $6M slated for FY2009.

From personal experience, I just gotta say these weapons rock. I fired the SCAR Heavy and Light at FNH’s range near Fredericksburg, Va., several months ago and fell particularly in love with the SCAR Heavy. The gas/piston system has a great “thunk-thunk” mechanical feel to it and the 7.62 caliber heavy packs a heck of a punch. The SCAR Light is easy to fire, very adjustable, and the barrels are easy to interchange - creating basically a whole new weapon for each variation.

Much to my chagrin, they wouldn’t let me test fire the EGLM (darn!).

With the new move to IOT&E, the SCAR earns a new designation: Mk-16 and Mk-17...

The SCAR system consists of two highly adaptable modular rifle platforms and a grenade launcher. Now US DoD type-designated as the MK 16 MOD 0 5.56mm Special Operations Forces Combat Assault Rifle - Light (SCAR-L) and the MK 17 MOD 0 7.62mm Special Operations Forces Combat Assault Rifle – Heavy (SCAR-H), both SCAR platforms are available with three different barrel lengths optimized for conducting operations in close-quarters combat, standard infantry and longer-range precision fire roles. All SCAR barrels can be easily interchanged by the operator in the field in just minutes to instantly meet the requirements of virtually any mission. The newly designated MK 13 MOD 0 40mm Enhanced Grenade Launcher Module (EGLM) quickly mounts to the underside of either SCAR platform, providing additional punch to the individual warfighter’s firepower and can be easily configured for use as a stand-alone weapon as well.

FNH says the Mk-16 and Mk-17 are the first assault rifles to be procured through a “full and open competition” since the M4/M16 carbines in the 1960s. Both FNH weapons are impressive and we’ll see how the operational tests and initial fielding go. I bet operators who get a chance to “test” them won’t want to give them up. I didn’t.

-- Christian

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July 17, 2007, 01:42 PM
Will it be used in Belgian service? or is it developed for the yanks as usual?

July 17, 2007, 02:28 PM
Will it be used in Belgian service? or is it developed for the yanks as usual?

If memory serves, this rifle was developed specifically in response to a program by and for the US special operations forces, hence the name of the rifle.

I'm not aware that any other nation, including Belgium, has shown any offical interest in the program yet.

July 17, 2007, 02:34 PM
It was developed specifically for SOCOM's requirements, but I don't think there's any prohibition for friendly/allied nations adopting it as well (outside the fact that the next couple years production will all be going to SOF units).

(But, like Buzz Knox said, I'm not aware of anyone expressing any interest in procuring it outside of SOCOM and some future possibility it might be a Big Army replacement for the M16/M4 in the unlikely event those get replaced in the next 10 years.)

July 17, 2007, 06:41 PM
Will it be used in Belgian service? or is it developed for the yanks as usual?

Pretty sure the Belgians are using the FNC or the F2000.

July 17, 2007, 06:53 PM
My theory is this:

If the weapon works as advertised and if it is more robust reliable than the M16/M4 series of weapons (two big ifs, there), the SCAR will gradually supplant the M16/M4 in general service, in the same way that the M4 has replaced the M16 in use by many (though by no means all- ask a Marine) units. Yes, yes, I know that's not the plan, never was the plan, and probably never will be the plan, but if it's that good, that reliable, and not too expensive, it just might happen despite any plan.

However, it has a long way to go before that is even an option. The military has a lot of M16s, a lot of M16-specific support gear, the SCAR is not "better enough" than the M16/M4 series (even on paper) to justify a full-scale switchover a la M14->M16, and the SCAR has yet to prove itself in actual use.

If it's good, if it works, that might happen. If not, well, there's always the XM8. :evil:

Mike ;)

July 17, 2007, 06:54 PM
And, I might mention that if FN ever markets a civvie version of the SCAR-Heavy, I'm in there like swimwear.


July 17, 2007, 07:05 PM
I can has civilian versions soon plz?

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