FN SCAR Weapons Program Status Update, and Special Operations Forces (SOF) Mk-16 SCAR-L 5.56mm NATO Assault Rifle/Carbine/SBR Combat Optics and Tactical Accessories Setup (Photo!)

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By David Crane
defrev (at) gmail (dot) com

All photos contained in this article are copyrighted by DefenseReview.com (DR) and the photographer.

December 16, 2010
Updated on 1/08/11

DefenseReview (DR) recently contacted USSOCOM Public Affairs Media Relations Officer, Major Wes Ticer, USAF, and requested a status update on the SCAR (Special operations forces Combat Assault Rifle) program. Major Ticer graciously replied to our inquiry with the following information (slightly edited for readability):


Here is an update for you:

After completing testing, US Special Operations Command decided to procure the 7.62 mm Mk 17 rifle, the 40mm Mk 13 grenade launche and the Mk 20 Sniper Support rifle [SSR] variants of the Combat Assault Rifle (CAR) manufactured by FN Herstal for Special Operations Forces. The command will not purchase the 5.56mm Mk 16. All variants have been approved for full rate production.

The Mk 17 will fill an existing capability gap for a 7.62 mm rifle. The Mk 16 does not provide enough of a performance advantage over the M4 to justify spending limited USSOCOM funds when competing priorities are taken into consideration. Three of USSOCOM’s components currently receive the M4 from their parent service as a service-common piece of equipment.

The objective of the SCAR program was to develop a single weapon capable of complete caliber modularity. USSOCOM will complete development of a conversion kit that allows the operator to fire either 7.62mm or 5.56mm ammunition from the Mk 17 which meets the objective of the program. The system was designed and manufactured especially for special operators to replace the M4, Mk11, Mk12 and M14.

USSOCOM’s FY11 budget submission includes $3 million for SCAR variants. USSOCOM will use the existing contract with the manufacturer to procure the weapons. USSOCOM is in the process of determining the exact quantities of the Mk 17, Mk 13 and Mk 20 variants that will be

Approximately $19 million has been spent on research, development, and procurement of CAR variants. Included in that figure are the low rate initial production weapons purchased: approx 850 Mk 16 and 750 Mk 17.

Wes Ticer, Major, USAF
Media Relations Officer
USSOCOM Public Affairs”

Defense Review is curious about the compatibility between the FN Mk16 SCAR-L (SCAR-Light) assault rifle/carbine/SBR and the new SureFire MAG5-60 HCM (High-Capacity Magazine) 4179 STANAG 60-round 5.56mm NATO AR rifle mag (AR-15 rifle magazine) and Lancer L5 AWG (Advanced Warfighter Magazine) Translucent Polymer 30-Round AR rifle mag (4179 STANAG) with regard to insertion/seating and drop-free aspects. One of our U.S. military SOF contacts, the same contact who supplied the (sterilized) photo above, wrote the following to DR about an FN Mk-16 SCAR-L magwell issue (edited for readability):

Magwell on the SCAR Light is too tight. Mags don’t drop free. You have to pull them out like an AK [mag]. This totally negates the Ambi-M4 style mag release since you have to pull the mags out anyways.

DR hopes that FN has either already addressed this issue, or at least plans to address it on the FN SCAR 5.56mm trigger module/lower receiver module when they go into production on the SCAR common receiver/universal receiver upper receiver.

Our SOF contact also wrote the following (edited for readability) about the Predator Tactical / Matt Burkett Offset Sight Mount GEN 2 (pictured) and FN SCAR Mk16 bore axis height:

Offset mounts were created from 3-gun [competition], but are not really known in tactical worlds. Dual Optics like Jpoints mounted on ACOGS (current issue is ELCAN with JPoint on top) are not new to SF [U.S. Army Special Forces]. Problem with SCAR is the bore-to-optic [height/distance] is way greater with the SCAR. Jpoint on a Elcan is 5-inch [5″] hold-off at room distance (way too much to be practical). I put it on my SCAR. It is 1.7 inches off the bore. Most guys who I have showed it to so far who aren’t into 3-gun have no clue how to use it. These are Army SF dudes,,Im going to start a new trend. I also talked to PRI [Precision Reflex Inc.] and SAMSON [Samson Manufacturing Corporation] at the expo my guess if we go SCAR, we will need a whole new line of optics mounts. All the current AR-based ones are too high. Yes, the butstock on the SCAR adjusts for good eye relief, but again the bore-to-optic offset is way too much. To get a 200-meter point of aim/point of impact with the SCAR and a Eotech, it gives you a 4-inch [4″] hold-off at 25 meters. M4 [Colt M4A1 Carbine] is just at 2 inches.

Pictured above is a U.S. military-operational FN Mk-16 SCAR-L 5.56x45mm NATO (5.56mm NATO)/.223 Rem. assault rifle/carbine/SBR (Short Barreled Rifle) set up with some of the “latest and greatest” combat optics and tactical rifle accessories currently available. Click on the (sterilized) photo above to view it full-size. The above (sterilized) photo was sent to us by one of our Special Operations Forces (SOF) contacts. The weapon is outfitted with the following optics and accessories:

AAC Blackout Open-Prong Flash Hider (Flash Suppressor)
– Raytheon ELCAN SpecterDR 1-4x Dual Role Combat Sight (Combat Optic/Optical Gunsight) a.k.a. “dual-field-of view (DFOV) sight”. Elcan also offers the more powerful Elcan SpecterDR 1.5-6x Dual Role Combat Sight.
Predator Tactical / Matt Burkett Offset Sight Mount GEN 2 for JP Enterprises JPoint Micro-Electronic Reflex Sight or Docter USA Docter Red Dot Sight (a.k.a. DocterSight) Mini Combat Optic
– MagPul Dynamics Angled Foregrip (AFG1) or Angled Foregrip 2 (AFG2)
– DR contributor Chen Lee (a.k.a. “SMGLee”) has identified the left-side-mounted weapon light/tactical white light as a SOCOM-specific (USSOCOM-specific) Insight Technology M3X-type unit. Part number is M3X-200-A9, while the standard on the shelf M3X is part number M3X-000-AXX, XX, so they have different part numbers. The SOCOM number is SU233/PVS, NSN: 5855-01-533-0966. This is the same as the standard M3X with regard to light output (125+ lumens) but with a different rear cap featuring a plug with the Insight dual switch, and a rotary knob switch that has a push button in it. The rotary knob can go from “Off” to Momentary to “On”. I can’t remember if it has a strobe feature, but most likely does not. The body is desert tan, and the attachment is the standard pull-down tab.

Photo Credit: U.S. Military SOF Assaulter/Operator

Company Contact Info:

FN Herstal USA (FNH USA) Military Operations
PO Box 896
McLean, VA 22101
Phone: 703-288-3500
Fax: 703-288-4505
E-Mail: militaryinfo@fnhusa.com
Website: http://www.fnhusa.com

FNH USA Military Training Operations
Phone: 1-540-752-6200
Fax: 1-540-752-0967

Advanced Armament Corp. (AAC)
1434 Hillcrest Rd.
Norcross, Ga. 30093
770-925-9988 Office
770-925-9989 Fax

Raytheon Elcan Optical Sights and Night Vision Systems:

Dan Pettry
Product Manager, Rifle Sights
Cell: 912 655 0617
Email daniel.pettry@raytheon.com
Website 1: http://www.elcan.com/Sighting_Systems
Website 2: http://elcansightingsystems.com/Specter_Family_of_Sights/Combat_Sights

PhantomIR/PhantomIR xr
Allen Horman
Advanced Sighting System Products, USA Tel: 972-339-0422
Cell: 972-339-0422
Email: a-horman@raytheon.com

Ryan Vincent
Product Manager, International and Homeland Security
Tel: 972-344-8162
Cell: 214-693-9159
Email: rvincent@raytheon.com

JP Enterprises, Inc.
P.O. Box 378
Hugo, MN 55038
651-426-9196 Office
651-426-2472 Fax
service@jprifles.com Orders and Customer Service Email
tech@jprifles.com Information and Technical Support Email
http://www.jprifles.com Website

Docter USA
Phone: 561-253-5942
Fax: 561-828-6443
Email: sales@docterusa.com
Website: http://www.docterusa.com

Knight’s Armament Co. (KAC)
701 Columbia Blvd
Titusville, FL 32780-7902
For Domestic Calls: 321-607-9900 ext. 1330
Foreign Sales: 321-607-9956
Military Sales Email: dlutz@knightarmco.com
Commercial Sales Email: trupert@knightarmco.com
Website: http://www.knightarmco.com

Chris Costa
MagPul Dynamics
PO Box 17697
Boulder, Colorado 80308-0697
Tel: 877-462-4785
Fax: 303.828.3469
Website: http://www.magpuldynamics.com/

MagPul Industries Corp.
PO Box 17697
Longmont, Colorado 80308-0697
877-4MAGPUL (877-462-4785) Toll-Free Office
303-828-3460 Office
303-828-3469 Fax
orders@magpul.com Customer Service/Orders Email
magpul@magpul.com General Email
http://www.magpul.com Website

DUNS # 076925788


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About David Crane

David Crane started publishing online in 2001. Since that time, governments, military organizations, Special Operators (i.e. professional trigger pullers), agencies, and civilian tactical shooters the world over have come to depend on Defense Review as the authoritative source of news and information on "the latest and greatest" in the field of military defense and tactical technology and hardware, including tactical firearms, ammunition, equipment, gear, and training.

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