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.


 
 

 

Headlines August 28, 2014

News: After F-15 jet crash in Virginia, rescue helicopters search for pilot - Helicopters are searching for an Air National Guard pilot after his F-15 jet crashed in the mountains of Virginia this morning, military officials said.   Business: U.S. Air Force 3DELRR contract expected soon - The U.S. Air Force could award the contract for its...
 
 

News Briefs August 28, 2014

Russian directing new offensive in Ukraine The Obama administration believes Russia is leading a new military counteroffensive in Ukraine. U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki says Russia has sent additional columns of tanks and armored vehicles into its neighbor’s territory. She says the incursions suggest a ìRussian-directed counteroffensive is likely underway in the contested e...
 
 
LM-C5

Double Deuce

A U.S. Air Force crew ferried the 22nd C-5M Super Galaxy from the Lockheed Martin facilities in Marietta, Ga., Aug. 25. Aircraft 86-0011 was ferried by a crew led by Maj. Gen. Dwyer L. Dennis, Director, Global Reach Programs, O...
 

 
Northrop Grumman photograph

First ever RQ-4 Global Hawk hits 100th flight on NASA mission

Northrop Grumman photograph A historical look at the first Global Hawk (AV1) during its maiden flight over Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., on Feb. 28, 1998. AV1 has made history again with its 100th flight in support of NASA en...
 
 

Northrop Grumman’s CIRCM system completes U.S. Army flight testing

Northrop Grumman’s Common Infrared Countermeasures system recently completed another round of U.S. Army testing by demonstrating its capabilities on a UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter. The flight test was conducted at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Ala., by the Redstone Test Center. The Northrop Grumman CIRCM system was subjected to rigorous conditions over a six-week period, after...
 
 
NASA photograph by David Olive

NASA completes successful battery of tests on composite cryotank

https://www.youtube.com/embed/qkGI6JeNY0E?enablejsapi=1&rel=0 NASA photograph by David Olive One of the largest composite cryotanks ever built recently completed a battery of tests at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Cen...
 




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>