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Army combat units begin receiving new 7.62mm Squad Designated Marksman Rifles

An Infantry Soldier along with 15 additional Soldiers assigned to Alpha Company, 4-17 Infantry Battalion, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, fires rounds down range with the newly developed Squad Designated Marksman Rifle (SDM-R), Jan. 25. (Photo by US Army Sgt. Brian Micheliche, 1st Stryker Brigade, Public Affairs).
April 13, 2020

U.S. Army combat units have received the first batch of the new M110A1 Squad Designated Marksman Rifles, or SDMR, a new rifle that offers a potent weapon for U.S. forces, according to the gun manufacturer Heckler & Koch Defense.

With between 5,000 and 6,000 planned, the deliveries are reportedly scheduled to continue through the middle of 2021, the announcement from Heckler & Koch Defense stated.

HK-USA President and COO Michael Holley said the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a challenging business environment.

“But as an essential partner in the defense infrastructure of this country, we are 100 percent committed to delivering this essential product to our troops, while keeping our employees safe and healthy,” he said. “We have many of the best workers in the small arms industry, both here in Columbus, Georgia and in Oberndorf, Germany, working together to make this happen.”

Holley added that HK SDMR system, a variant of the 7.62mm H&K G28/HK417, will add much-needed capabilities to virtually every squad in the Army. Thus, ensuring its delivery is a top priority for HK internationally.

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Under the agreement between the United States and Heckler & Koch Defense, the rifles will be manufactured by H&K in Oberndorf, Germany. According to the release, they will begin to arrive in the H&K-USA facility in Columbus, Georgia, early next year. Once there, H&K-USA workers will install scopes and mounts purchased by the Army under a separate agreement.

“This is a significant achievement for Heckler & Koch,” H&K-USA’s chief operating officer, Michael Holley, said in the release. “The HK SDMR system will add much-needed capabilities to virtually every squad in the Army. We are honored by this opportunity.”

The M110A1 will replace the Enhanced Battle Rifle 14, a modernized M14 used by infantry squads in Afghanistan and Iraq, Military.com reported. The Enhanced Battle Rifle 14 is equipped with an adjustable aluminum stock with pistol grip, scope and bipod legs, as well.

The Army is also working with gunmakers to develop the Next Generation Squad Weapon (NGSW), slated to fire a special, government-produced 6.8mm projectile that promises higher velocities at greater ranges as part of the Army’s long-term vision, service officials say.

That program is being designed to produce an automatic rifle that will hopefully replace the M249 squad automatic weapon, as well as develop a carbine version to replace the M4 carbine.

The Army expects to be receiving prototypes of the NGSW in July and August, officials said, adding that the weapon could be fielded to units as soon as late fiscal year 2020.