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A 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit force reconnaissance Marine shoots his battle sight zero with a M4 Carbine Rifle on the flight deck of USS Kearsarge ,Sept. 1, 2010. 26th MEU deployed aboard the ships of Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group in late August responding to an order by the Secretary of Defense to support Pakistan flood relief efforts. (Official USMC photo by Staff Sgt. Danielle M. Bacon/ Released)

As the Army prepares for a two-year, $30 million competition to identify a possible new carbine, the Marine Corps is watching closely and evaluating what its own future weapons should look like.

Marine officials still plan the service’s infantry weapons around the 5.56mm M16A4 service rifle, but “that doesn’t mean we can’t be getting smart” about other options, said Lt. Col. Mark Brinkman, head of the infantry weapons program at Quantico, Va.-based Marine Corps Systems Command.

“The thought process for us is very similar to what’s going on in the Army,” he said Feb. 1 at the Soldier Technology U.S. conference in Arlington, Va.

The Army released a draft request for proposals for its carbine competition Jan. 31. The desired weapon must “support future system enhancements for accuracy, lethality, reliability, signature suppression, ammunition improvements, maintenance and other weapon/accessory technologies,” the RFP said. No caliber restrictions were set in the document.

Source: Dan Lamothe for Military Times.

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