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New Army Carbine?

Once again:

On Jan. 31, the Army’s Program Executive Office Soldier announced it would conduct a carbine competition to determine which commercially available carbine represents “the best value in meeting new requirements.” To that end, an “industry day” for small-arms manufacturers has been scheduled for March 30 to seek feedback and answer specific industry questions before issuing the final solicitation in May 2011.

“The Secretary of the Army has directed us to determine the most effective, accurate and reliable individual weapon available for the Soldier,” said Col. Douglas Tamilio, Project Manager Soldier Weapons. “This will be the Army’s first full and open carbine competition in the modern era. We’re challenging industry to develop the next generation carbine and we’re looking forward to the results.”

ETA: More from the Wall Street Journal, with a pictorial history of US military rifles.

10 Responses to “New Army Carbine?”

  1. Canthros Says:

    Competition to take two years, at the end of which the Army will most likely determine that final competitor(s) do not sufficiently exceed the capabilities of the M4 carbine to justify adopting any of them.

    FWIW, The Firearm Blog has a link to the Army Times article, which contains the startling claim that the Army is paying $1300 for each M4.

  2. HardCorps Says:

    It’s such a sham in this country since the machine gun ban. Although europe is screwed, at least all the little countries act like customers that the mfg can compete with. On this continent, there is only 1 buyer who buys for everyone in this hemisphere, and that buyer is totally in the pocket of one company: Colt. There is no incentive for innovation when you know they’re going to keep buying the same thing. We need to open up the market so civilians and the military are buying the same weapon and there is actually some competition. I think the bullpup design is probably superior. Everyone knows that the machine gun designation has nothing to do with lethality and everything to do with tax collection, so lets just move on forward and eliminate it.

  3. Jeff the Baptist Says:

    Actually most of the stuff I’ve seen about the IC is dedicated to getting out of Colt’s pocket.

  4. Cargosquid Says:

    I think they need to get out in front of the industry and demand innovation…like something in the phased plasma rifle in the 40 watt neighborhood….

  5. MrSatyre Says:

    I have to say I’m pretty amazed and impressed that this article has no gun bias (pro or con), and no inaccuracies that I could spot. It was a simple case of reporting the facts. Every news organization in the country should line their reporters up around the block to take lessons from Nathan at the WSJ!

  6. Chas Says:

    How hard is it to stamp a U-shape out of sheet metal and make an AK? At least we’d have a rifle that’s reliable in desert environments.

  7. Firehand Says:

    Hardcorps touched on my thought: how many companies are going to be willing to deal with the BATFE bullcrap involved?

  8. Chris Byrne Says:

    They don’t pay $1300 for an M4. They pay $469 for an m4, plus another $400 for two spare barrels, a spare set of handguards, stock, and pistol grip, a spare operating handle, safety, and mag release, and two spare sets of springs and pins.

    That’s the standard armorers package for a military purchased rifle. Designed to keep the rifle in service for 20 years.

    Over and above that, there are the parts of the SOPMOD kit; the most expensive of which is the rail system, which runs $400 by itself I believe.

  9. John Smith. Says:

    I sure hope the m4 does not last 20 years in quasi operation…

  10. Bubblehead Les Says:

    Really doesn’t matter what the launcher is going to be as long as they stick with the 5.56 round. Probably just going to a Piston Version of the M4, or some Colonel somewhere in Big Army is trying to justify his existence while Gates figures out how to weaken the U.S. Military even more. Gotta gut the Defense Budget to keep Barry happy with his goal to destroy America from within, don’tcha know.