In a move that could reverse years of Army small arms policy, the service is asking industry to send in ideas for a new combat rifle that could replace the M4 carbine.
In late August, the Army issued a solicitation to the arms industry asking companies to submit proposals that would demonstrate “improvements in individual weapon performance in the areas of accuracy and dispersion … reliability and durability in all environments, modularity and terminal performance.”
And in a dramatic gesture that could throw the door wide open to a totally new carbine, the service did not constrain ideas to the current 5.56mm round used in the M4.
“We’re at the point now where we’re going to go out and compete,” said Richard Audette, project manager for Soldier weapons at the Army’s Picatinny Arsenal.
“We’re looking for anyone that has a world-class carbine,” Audette told Military.com in a Sept 15 interview. “We’re interested in any new technologies out there.”