Defense

June 17, 2013

Individual Carbine competition concludes with no winner

Tags:
C. Todd Lopez
Army News

Spec. Ethan Esposito, Joint Multinational Training Command, fires his M4 carbine rifle during United States Army Europe’s Best Warrior Competition in Grafenwoehr, Germany, July 31, 2012. The Army has been, since 2008, looking for a follow-on weapon for the M4 carbine. In 2011, it began the Individual Carbine competition. Recently, the service concluded the competition without having chosen a winner.

Soldiers will continue to use the M4 carbine or improved M4A1 carbine as their issued weapon, as the Army has concluded the Improved Carbine competition without having selected a winner.

During a media event June 14, at the Pentagon, Brig. Gen. Paul A. Ostrowski, with Program Executive Office – Soldier, said that none of the eight competitors in the Individual Carbine competition had been able to progress beyond phase 2 of the competition. As a result, the Army is not able to proceed any further with selecting a follow-on weapon for the M4.

“None of the vendors were able to meet the requirements to pass into phase three,” Ostrowski said. “I want to be very clear – none of the vendors met the minimum requirements to allow them to phase three. The Army is not canceling the Individual Carbine competition. The Army is in a position where it must conclude the Individual Carbine competition, because none of the competitors met the minimum requirement to pass into the next phase.”

The eight competitors in the competition included Adcor Defense, Beretta, Colt, Fabrique Nationale, Heckler & Koch, Lewis Machine & Tool, Remington and Troy. Those competitors all passed phase one of the competition, but did not pass the second phase.

strowski said that each weapon had a reason it failed to progress, but the Army has not yet done the forensics on the results to determine why each weapon did not progress to phase three. He said the Army will work with those competitors to find out what happened.

Right now there are more than 483,000 M4 carbines in the Army inventory. Ostrowski said surveys from Soldiers returning from combat have shown that soldiers are happy with the weapon.

“We do extensive post-combat surveys after every unit redeploys from theater,” Ostrowski said. “Over the past four years, the survey results have revealed that in compilation, over 80 percent of soldiers are completely satisfied with the M4 coming out of theater. And that trend is moving upward. Over the last two years, it’s actually been 86 percent soldier acceptability for the M4. It’s battle proven. It’s lethal. It’s accurate.”

Ostrowski also said soldiers are happy with the new round the Army first issued in 2010, the M855A1 round.

“We have experienced absolutely zero issues with the M855A1 round in combat,” Ostrowski said. “It is a proven, lethal round, and has extreme acceptability on behalf of our Soldiers.”

While soldiers are happy with the current M4, and while the Army was looking for a follow-on weapon to eventually replace the M4 – the Army has always pursued a “dual-path” strategy for the system, Ostrowski said. One path was replacement – the Individual Carbine competition. The other path was continued improvements to the current M4.

The Army plans to convert all of its existing M4s to the improved M4A1. That conversion includes a heavier barrel, and also provides an ambidextrous selector switch that allows fully automatic capability as opposed to a three-round burst. Other improvements have been ongoing with the M4 since its introduction.

“We’ve made 92 improvements to the M4/M4A1 over the course of time since 1990, when the weapon was introduced. We will continue that trend,” Ostrowski said.

The Army originally proposed a replacement for the M4 in 2008. The eventual competition kicked off in 2011, with a draft solicitation to industry. The draft asked for a non-developmental weapon. Instead of working with the Army to develop something new, competitors would instead bring forward weapons they might already have available for sale.

The new weapon would need to be something that “could exceed the current capabilities of the M4,” Ostrowski said. “The intent was to determine if there was a weapon that could meet a much greater standard, in terms of requirements that were challenging but achievable.”

Ostrowski said in a replacement carbine, the Army’s requirement’s community is looking for increased lethality, increased range and increased accuracy. Right now, he said, the Army will continue to look at the developing state of small arms technology and current carbines, all while considering the current fiscal environment.

“All of these are things that will determine the Army’s path going forward,” he said. “I will tell you this, there is not an immediate move to engage in another competition at this time.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Air Force photograph by Samuel King Jr.

Navy’s first F-35C squadron surpasses 1,000 flight hours

Air Force photograph by Samuel King Jr. An F-35C Lightning II aircraft piloted by Lt. Cmdr. Chris Tabert, assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 101, flies the squadron’s first local sortie. The F-35C is the carrier va...
 
 

Salina, Kansas, recalls anniversary of shuttered base

It has been 50 years this month since the announcement that Schilling Air Force Base was closing rattled Salina residents. The Salina Journal, which carried news of the closure in its Nov. 19, 1964, editions, reported that the economic disaster then spared no part of the community – real estate, retail, civic involvement, church attendance,...
 
 
Navy photograph by Seaman Sabrina Fine

SEWIP block upgrade program evaluated for LCS

Navy photograph by Seaman Sabrina Fine Cryptologic Technician (Technical) Seaman Helen Hernandez monitors an SLQ-32 radar aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69). Dwight D. Eisenhower is deplo...
 

 

AEDC completes longest engine test in its history

For the first time, an accelerated mission test was accomplished for the F101-GE-102 engine in the Aeropropulsion Systems Test Facility altitude cell C-1 at Arnold Engineering Development Complex, Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn. The $21 million test program was the longest single entry of a jet engine in AEDC’s history. The engine ran more than...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Divine Cox

Kunsan AB hosts Exercise Max Thunder 14-2

Air Force photograph by SrA. Divine Cox A South Korean air force F-15 Strike Eagle lands Nov. 17, 2014, during Max Thunder 14-2 at Kunsan Air Base, South Korea. U.S. Air Force, Army, Marine Corps and Navy personnel and aircraft...
 
 

Three bases identified as F-16 aggressor candidate bases

U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Joseph Swafford Jr. A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft assigned to the 18th Aggressor Squadron lands at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, Oct. 6 during RED FLAG-Alaska 15-1. RF-A is a series of Pacific Air Forces commander-directed field training exercises for U.S. and partner nation...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>