It’s official: the United States Army has called off its search for a 7.62x51mm Interim Combat Service Rifle. The service confirmed the news in a posting yesterday on FedBizOpps. Read that notice in full below:
This notice is to inform interested parties of the cancellation of the Commercial Opportunity Notice (CON) for the Interim Combat Service Rifle (ICSR), under CON W15QKN-17-Z-0ANP due to a reprioritization of funding previously allocated for the ICSR.
Resulting from a change in strategy, the Government is reallocating the ICSR funding to the Next Generation Squad Weapon (NGSW). The NGSW will be a long term solution to meet the identified capability gap instead of the ICSR, which was an interim solution.
It is requested that Offerors who have submitted bid samples under CON W15QKN-17-Z-0ANP contact below referenced Government point of contact (POC) for the return of their bid sample(s). Requests for Bid Sample returns will be processed as they are received and should begin to ship no earlier than mid-January 2018.
First announced earlier this year, the Interim Combat Service Rifle would have replaced the M4 carbine. At the time, there were said to be three major off-the-shelf contenders for the contract: FN’s Mk17 SCAR-H, Knight’s Armament’s M110 Semi-Auto Sniper System and HK’s M110A1 Compact Semi-Automatic Sniper System. But as the notice above states, it’s been decided that funding for the ICSR would go instead toward the Next Generation Squad Weapon (NGSW).
But as Soldier Systems points out, it’s a “stretch” to say funds for the ICSR would be reassigned to the NGSW; the former was an interim solution, while the NGSW is a long-term project that will likely take years to come to fruition. The near-term procurement dollars that would have gone toward the ICSR can’t be saved for later to be applied to the NGSW.
Speaking at AUSA 2017, U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley touted the NGSW as a “10x improvement over any existing current system in the world.”