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December 29, 2004

Ah, to be a Combatant Commander...

...with your own R&D and Acquisition funds. Special Operations Command didn't like the XM8 rifle, nor did they like the time development was taking.

So they took their money and got one built to their specs, by Fabrique Nationale, vice Heckler and Koch's product.

The SCAR, the SOF Capable Assault Rifle.

Hmmmm. Pointedly different approaches here in procurement. The M4 and M16A2 don't meet SOCOM's needs, they want something NOW. So they go get it. Evolutionary, not revolutionary, and get it pretty quickly.

The Acquisition Corps (and the Army leadership) go for revolutionary, a leap ahead, with the XM8. Which guarantees long lead time, in addition to the pathologies inherent in a politically-managed acquisition process (much of which SOCOM gets to skirt).

Only the US has the money to operate this way...

On a related note, however, it would appear that the M1014 Joint Service Combat Shotgun is performing well in Iraq.

Speaking of the US - is it me, or are all the new small arms in the US arsenal being designed by Europeans? Beretta (the M92 pistol), Benelli (the M1014), FN (the M240 and M249 and now the SCAR), Heckler and Koch (the XM8). Is the US firearms industry so moribund that we can't compete? Am I missing something because I'm so much more focused on the old stuff vice the new?

John | Permalink | Comments (13) | Observations on things Military
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