Update Here: Big Military News -- H&K Wins Marine Contract
Initial fielding of FNH USA's Special Operations Forces Combat Assault Rifle (SCAR) to the US Special Operations Command (SOCOM) is expected to conclude in December and a larger follow-on order is anticipated in early 2010 to fully equip the majority of associated units within the group.
A total of 1,200 Mk 16 and Mk 17 SCAR weapon systems have been delivered to SOCOM to date, but FNH USA told Jane's that it expected a larger order for around 20,000 weapons next year.
The additional orders are expected to include approximately 15,000 5.56 mm Mk 16 SCAR-Light and 5,000 Mk 17 7.62 mm SCAR-Heavy weapons as well as a number of 40 mm Mk 13 Enhanced Grenade Launcher Modules.
About 600 members of the 75th Ranger Regiment will soon take the Special Operations Combat Assault Rifle into battle.
The 600 SCARs are the first of 1,800 that U.S. Special Operations Command began fielding in early April, SOCom spokeswoman Air Force Maj. Denise Boyd told Army Times.
The first photo I saw of the SCAR in the “wild” was when Defense Tech linked to this Navy photo taken last month showing a SEAL with the SCAR replica (see update below) slung over this shoulder.
090415-N-6403R-006 SEAL BEACH NAVAL WEAPONS STATION, Calif. (April 15, 2009) Special warfare combatant-craft crewmen (SWCC) assigned to Special Boat Team (SBT) 12 conduct an equipment check before getting underway for a training exercise at Seal Beach Naval Weapons Station. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joshua T. Rodriguez (Released)
UPDATE: Turns out that the above photo shows a replica SCAR. From a Wikipedia discussion:
“I received an email from FN confirming that the image appears to show replica weapons (FN mentioned Independent Studio Services, the same company that the earlier editor did). Actual FN SCAR rifle stocks are solid plastic in “Flat dark earth” color – solidly that color throughout, not a paint or coating over a darker black color. The FN employee has some of the ISS replica weapons and confirmed that they are manufactured in a solid black base material then painted the flat dark earth on top of that. He also confirmed that ISS has made replica SCARs for the SBS teams for training, and that SBS and SEALs routinely do use replica weapons in this manner to avoid training wear and tear on actual rifles.”
Thanks to Anon for the link to the Wikipedia discussion.