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US Army is officially seeking a new, more lethal 7.62-millimeter combat rifle

(DoD/Staff Sgt. Suzanne M. Day)
August 07, 2017

The U.S. Army has issued a solicitation for a new combat rifle that would increase lethality in soldiers.

“The Army has identified a potential gap in the capability of ground forces and infantry to penetrate body armor using existing ammunition,” the solicitation read.

“To address this operational need, the Army is looking for an Interim Combat Service Rifle (ICSR) that is capable of defeating emerging threats,” the solicitation added. “The Government has a requirement to acquire a commercial 7.62mm ICSR to field with the M80A1 Enhanced Performance Round (EPR) to engage and defeat protected and unprotected threats. The ultimate objective of the program is to acquire and field a 7.62mm ICSR that will increase Soldier lethality.”

The Army will be moving to a 7.62-millimeter rifle and leaving behind the M-4 Carbine, as they believe the 5.56-millimeter round is too small to use on targets with modern body armor.

The rifle has to be capable of semi- and fully automatic fire, weigh less than 12 pounds, fire at a range of 600 meters, be able to attach a suppressor, have a collapsible buttstock, and have a rail for attaching lasers and optics.

In addition, the 7.62-millimeter ammunition weighs more than the 5.56-millimeter ammunition, meaning that infantrymen would have to carry more weight.

According to the solicitation, 50,000 rifles could be purchased for the program; however, the number is not set.

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