FN,FNH,SCAR,military,assault rifle,special operations

Exclusive: Update on the FN SCAR

Some clarification as to the SCAR's future.

By SI Staff (RSS)
June 27, 2011

There’s been some brouhaha over the FN SCAR in recent weeks, including some doubts about the SCAR’s future with the Special Operations community. 

Here’s what FNH USA‘s Executive Vice President of Military Operations Mark Cherpes told us:

“In the early stages (presolicitation) of the SCAR program, the draft requirement defined a single weapon platform capable of adapting to multiple calibers (i.e. 5.56×45 mm, 7.62×51 mm, and 7.62×39 mm). FN had proposed and offered a single-platform system to USSOCOM that would adapt via conversion kit to SOF current and future ammunition. During the requirements finalization phase, the SOF operators took the decision that the weapon should be split in two platforms, one gun for 5.56 and a second gun for 7.62. The reason this decision was made at the time is that the SOF operators did not like the fact that the 5.56 base platform would have an increase in weight over the M4. The weight difference between the MK 16 Standard and the SCAR H Standard is about half a pound. Upon completion of the developmental test (DT), the operation test (OT), and the full Fielding and Deployment Release (FDR) authorization, AKA Milestone C, a new group of operators reversed that initial decision and said that they wanted to move back to the original spirit of the program: a single weapon platform capable of converting between 7.62 and 5.56.

Basically, to accomplish a multi-caliber system requires that we develop the gun on the basis of the largest caliber and then scale down the conversion kit to go to a smaller caliber. The MK 17 receiver is a little larger to accommodate the 7.62×51 mm ammunition. It is not possible to scale up a smaller receiver to accept 7.62 ammunition, thus the MK 17 was chosen as the base platform. This was almost seven years after the initial decision to split the platform and a new group of operators had rotated into the SCAR program effort. FN finalized the 5.56 conversion kit in late 2010 and it has passed all DT and OT testing, and an initial delivery order has been placed for the conversion kit.”

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Comments

22 Responses to Exclusive: Update on the FN SCAR

  1. Gary says:

    In other words, the government can’t figure out what the requirements for a gun are. If the decision to merge the two back into one platform was made 7 years after the initial decision to split the platform, how long has this cluster f*** been going on or how much has this cost the taxpayers?

  2. Dave says:

    Great point Gary. I fully believe that we need a well funded military but it boggles my mind how people think we can’t cut some of the fat there.

    Back to the gun – Can you get one of these that is CA legal?

  3. David Crane says:

    A MK17 SCAR-H multi-caliber “common receiver” has actually been under development for several years. I first wrote about this in my 2008 “Combat Tactics” article on the SCAR program. It was just a matter of time.

    The problem with SCAR is that when you swap barrels, even within the same caliber, you have to re-zero your optics, no matter what they tell you. This is why I personally prefer the Colt CM901 AR-format rifle/carbine/SBR, which is truly modular in the sense that when to swap uppers (upper receivers), you can have your optics already pre-zero’d to them, so it’s swap-and-go. No re-zeroing required.

    All the SOF assaulters/operators I’ve spoken with prefer swapping the whole upper with pre-zero’d optics as one unit.

    David

    David Crane
    Owner/Editor-in-Chief
    DefenseReview.com (DR)
    defrev@gmail.com
    http://www.defensereview.com

  4. David Crane says:

    Corrected Post:

    A MK17 SCAR-H multi-caliber “common receiver” has actually been under development for several years. I first wrote about this in my 2008 “Combat Tactics” article on the SCAR program. It was just a matter of time.

    The problem with SCAR is that when you swap barrels, even within the same caliber, you have to re-zero your optics, no matter what they tell you. This is why I personally prefer the Colt CM901 AR-format rifle/carbine/SBR, which is truly modular in the sense that when you swap complete uppers (upper receivers), you can have your optics already pre-zero’d to them, so it’s swap-and-go. No re-zeroing required.

    All the SOF assaulters/operators I’ve spoken with prefer swapping the whole upper with pre-zero’d optics as one unit.

    David

    David Crane
    Owner/Editor-in-Chief
    DefenseReview.com (DR)
    defrev@gmail.com
    http://www.defensereview.com

  5. Pingback: SayUncle » Update on the FN SCAR

  6. Old Marine says:

    The CM901 looks interesting – but it’s direct gas. I seriously doubt any group of American soldiers selecting a weapon will ever choose another direct impingement weapon.

    I know there are claims that the CM901 is as reliable and accurate as a piston rifle. I will believe it when I see it. I’ll buy it when they agree to clean the carbon out for me.

  7. Sid says:

    Having just rotated back, I just do not see the need for a multi-calber system. If a soldier needs to swap calibers, then they should have a complete weapon for that caliber waiting back at the FOB. If we suspect that the soldier will be out on a mission and have a requirement to switch calibers, where would the conversion kit/barrel and ammo be kept?

    It easily becomes the joke of a committee designed weapon with every bell and whistle. The Air Force adds a requirement for 22lr conversion and the the Navy adds a flotation device so the Coast Guard adds a requirement that a universal translator can be attached to the accessory rail.

    There is no justification for a multicaliber system. The logistics of supporting a multicaliber weapon are no less simple than supporting multiple weapons.

    The right tool for the right job. A tool that can do every thing does no one thing well.

    • IZHUMINTER says:

      Remember that this is a SOCOM requirement, not one for the DoD as a whole. SOCOM personnel 1) do not always have a FOB to go back to, and 2) have to work with foreign militaries more than the rest of the DoD. If the military you’re supporting uses a mix of calibers, it’s nice to have weapons in that same mix; after all, sometimes SOCOM troops have to depend upon the folks they are supporting for resupply. Carrying the spare barrel and ammo isn’t that big a deal if you have a vehicle, but even if you don’t it’s still more managable than the shotgun and rounds that a breacher carries, or the M4 and rounds many snipers carry.

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  9. Old NFO says:

    I’d have to agree with Sid… there are SO many problems with supporting all the pieces and parts of a ‘switchable’ caliber… Ammo being the biggest!

  10. mark says:

    customer client relationships usually are approached from a “the customer is always right” standpoint.

    i am used to directors saying they don’t like it.. we go through 20 iterations and on the 21st, when we are back to where we started, they say “thats it.. perfect”.

    the director gets what the director wants even when they are leading you in circles.

    choose: efficiency or cyclic iteration. they are rarely the same thing. sometimes R&D is about finding the requirement to begin with

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  13. David Crane says:

    The LMT .308 MWS 7.62mm NATO AR, a direct-gas-impingement weapon, handily beat the HK417, a gas piston/op-rod 7.62mm AR, in the British Army competition to become the L129A1.

    David

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  16. Mike R. says:

    Ditch the 5.56 and go with a 6mm (.243) / 7.62 combination.

    Hey, I can dream, can’t I?

  17. D.W. says:

    U.S.,

    Hello. Please decide what you want, then let the gun manu. know what to build.

    ….The End

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  19. Jumbo says:

    now……..how do I get ahold of the 5.56 conversion kit for my SCAR Heavy?? (since it’s been completed in ’10)

  20. brent harney says:

    Just another case of the bookkeepers telling the soldiers what they want.

    The elephant is a mouse built to government specifications.

  21. Pingback: Any Possibility of a 5.56 Conversion Kit For Civilian Consumption?

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