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 22, 2014

News: GAO: Pentagon violated law with Bergdahl swap - Congressional investigators say the Pentagon violated the law when it swapped five Taliban leaders for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was held prisoner in Afghanistan for five years.   Business: U.S. Air Force issues RFI for new rocket engine - The US Air Force is officially looking into...
 
 

News Briefs August 22, 2014

U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan at 2,200 As of Aug. 20, 2014, at least 2,200 members of the U.S. military had died in Afghanistan as a result of the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, according to an Associated Press count. At least 1,821 military service members have died in Afghanistan as a result...
 
 
navair-triton

MQ-4C Tritons to arrive at Pax River this fall

  MQ-4C Triton test air vehicles at Northrop Grumman’s facility in Palmdale, Calif., will fly cross-country to Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., this fall. The MQ-4C completed a test flight Aug. 19 with updated ...
 

 
Boeing photograph

Boeing program completes critical design, safety reviews

Boeing photograph Boeing recently completed the Phase Two Spacecraft Safety Review of its Crew Space Transportation-100 spacecraft and the Critical Design Review of its integrated systems, meeting all of the companyís Commerci...
 
 
global-hawk2

Air Combat Command loans Global Hawk to GVCTF

Air Force photograph by Jennifer Romo The 412th Test Wing’s Global Vigilance Combined Test Force received a Global Hawk Block 40 Aug. 6, on loan from Air Combat Command. Tail number 2035, from Grand Forks AFB, N.D., is jo...
 
 

NASA awards program analysis, Control Bridge III Contract

NASA has awarded the Program Analysis and Control III Bridge contract for support services to ASRC Research & Technology Solutions of Beltsville, Md. The cost-plus-fixed-fee, indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity basic contract has a minimum ordering value of $1 million and a maximum ordering value of $37 million, with a performance period beginning Aug. 30 through Feb....
 




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>