SCAR maker FNH-USA announced today that SOCOM had approved the Special Operations Combat Assault Rifle program “family of weapons” for “full rate production.” That includes the Mk-17 SCAR-H which fires 7.62 rounds, the Mk-13 grenade launcher and the Mk-16 SCAR-L which fires 5.56 rounds.

The company says it has “ramped up production and assembly at its manufacturing facilities to meet the delivery orders placed by USSOCOM.” I shot a note to their spokesperson asking for clarification on this, but haven’t gotten a response yet. How much has it “ramped up” and what are SOCOM’s orders?

Again, as we wrote exhaustively about in June, SOCOM has decided not to purchase the Mk-16. So how much the company is “ramping up” for a relatively limited buy of Mk-17s and Mk-13s is unclear.

The heart of the FN SCAR system consists of two highly adaptable modular rifle platforms and a grenade launcher.  Type-designated as the MK 16 and the MK 17, both rifles are available with three different barrel lengths optimized for conducting operations in close-quarters combat, standard infantry and longer-range precision fire roles.  All SCAR barrels are tightly attached to a monolithic receiver and can be easily interchanged by the operator in minutes to instantly meet virtually any mission requirement. 

The MK 17 (7.62mm) is also the base of the SCAR common receiver currently under final test and evaluation by USSOCOM.  The SCAR common receiver can accommodate multi-caliber conversion kits.

We’ll let you know if we hear anything more on this…

{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

Spammy August 16, 2010 at 10:57 am

That's a beautiful piece of weaponry. I'd love to have some range time with it.

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Jeff August 16, 2010 at 11:01 am

This is symptomatic of current military spending. Don't get me wrong, we need the MK 17, bit why spend money on this when we are still waiting on the common receiver. I thought the original idea was to have a common receiver. Are we going to have a MK 17 and a MK 17A1(common receiver)?

We owe it to our men and women in service to get it right the first time efficiently and effectively. The military is spending money about as efficiently as the federal government.

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Bob August 16, 2010 at 11:53 am

Surprise, the military is part of the federal government, and ultimately answers to and is run by the same congress that runs the federal government. Why should it be anymore efficient than say the FBI, or the Dept of Education?

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Jeff August 16, 2010 at 12:14 pm

Your right. It is almost a rhetorical gripe. Unfortunately in our present economic times the well is drying up and the military needs to be even more vigilant with their funds.

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crackedlenses August 16, 2010 at 3:13 pm

One part of the government goes bad, the rest follow suit quickly….

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Lance August 17, 2010 at 10:53 am

Jeff there is no common receiver version being looked at by SOCOM. The Mk-17 is the only version getting adopted along with is grenade launcher.

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Jeff August 17, 2010 at 11:51 am

<Light bulb goes off over head…..> But why all the "drama" over the common receiver. If SOCOM is not looking at it, then who is?

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bart berger August 16, 2010 at 4:28 pm

Its the weapon we should have had twenty years ago, the Navy needs a model to replace their aging m-14s, M-16s won't stop sharks as well as a 7.62. The Marines need it also, a weapon thats knocks down and gives long range to regular rifleman would really be a help, regardless of the amount of ammo you can carry. Dekethorton1

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Wake27 August 16, 2010 at 9:58 pm

That shark thing is a joke right?

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Riceball August 17, 2010 at 8:30 am

No, the Navy maintains shark watches for those times that sailors are allowed to take a swim in the ocean and I'd imagine in man over board situations.

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Lance August 17, 2010 at 11:00 am

The regular Navy is NOT replacing the M-14, with MK-17. The MK-17 is for SEALs only. Most ship uses for the M-14 are fine and the Navy isn't going to replace them.

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charles taylor August 16, 2010 at 4:46 pm

Eh, SOCOM's a strange beast. I seriously doubt that just because the "official" word is that SOCOM isn't buying any more MK16's that teams who really want them can't get them. There are always budgeting buffers for these kinds of things.

As for the 5.56 Vs. 7.62 debate, I've always thought the soviets had the right idea with attaching a sharpshooter to each squad and giving him a weapon able to reach out and touch someone. The Brits are doing something similar with the new L129A1, after years of learning in Afghanistan that their squad sharpshooters need a semi-auto 7.62 rifle. The Army is doing something similar by re-issuing M14's and re-equipping them in Sage EBR chassis', but the M14's are heavy and high maintenance.

The Army and the Navy have the Knights M110/Mk 11 Mod 0, but this is a very expensive weapon, and mainly issued only to snipers.

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Wake27 August 16, 2010 at 9:59 pm

You mean the Marines and Navy? I don't think Army has it. Or, at least, I know Marines do.

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charles taylor August 16, 2010 at 10:57 pm

No, the Army has the KAC M110. That's their designation for the weapon. http://www.knightarmco.com/m110.html

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Wake27 August 16, 2010 at 11:36 pm

Huh, I don't remember seeing any Army units with it yet. Good to know.

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HiPowerGuy September 10, 2013 at 5:03 am

I am curious as to how the M14 is maintenance heavy? what needs normal, more than normal maintenance on it? What breaks or needs constant replacement.? I am just not aware of these issues.

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Wake27 August 16, 2010 at 10:02 pm

The ACR can change calibers. Is it so much more expensive than the SCAR? Or is the plant just not in the right congressman's (or woman's) district?

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charles taylor August 16, 2010 at 11:10 pm

The ACR is a recent weapon, it was never in the SCAR competition. The SCAR rifle program has been in the works for six years, the Masada prototype was shown in 2007. Thus it's not a matter of congressional pork, but the fact that the weapon didn't EXIST during the procurement process.

I really wish people would stop bringing up the ACR in all the SCAR posts. I love the ACR, I really do, and I hope that it's eventually adopted. But will people get it through their thick heads that the SCAR program started in 2004, and that the ACR only JUST became available this year! (and hell, Remington hasn't even finished the military version)

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Wake27 August 16, 2010 at 11:38 pm

Ohh I remember reading that now. For what its worth, I never advocate the ACR over anything, this is my first time mentioning it.

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Mark T August 17, 2010 at 7:22 am

Small correction: The ACR is planned to change caliber. So far, no conversions are available. Come to think of it, that's the same situation that the SCAR is in.

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Scott22 August 16, 2010 at 10:18 pm

So in how many years would you guys think the SCAR both H and L versions would be brought to Army Infantry hands?

Reason I ask this is because only Special Operations units used the M4 (from what Ive read) in past wars and now its being issued standard to Army Grunts.

Correct me if im wrong.

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Wake27 August 16, 2010 at 10:26 pm

I don't think it was only SOF units using the M4, but definitely a lot more M16's in service before Iraq. I would say that the main reason for the huge witch (hardly ever see Army units still using M16's) would be all of the CQB warfare in Iraq, but that would make too much sense so I'm sure there is another reason for it.

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VTGunner August 17, 2010 at 4:55 am

We still have M16A2's as our primary weapon in my unit. The rumor mill says we'll be getting M16A4's to replace them, but I won't be holding my breath.

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VTGunner August 17, 2010 at 4:56 am

Sorry forgot to add…I'm NG so that's why it's no surprise to me if we don't get them.

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Lance August 17, 2010 at 10:58 am

Main reason the MK-16 isn't going to be used is that it had some reliability issues with some area with the gun. IE butstock and that nasty reciprocating handle. The US Delta Force uses H&K 416s and had better reviews on them over the other weapons they tested.

Also the reason the USMC like the Colt design and adopted the H&K design in the IAR competition.

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Dalton August 17, 2010 at 5:20 pm

In my unit we use M4's not M16's now from my understanding the Army is using M4's in basic trianing now and phasing out M16's. We just went over all the basic functions of the M4 with our new guys like disasembling and reasembling along with functions check and clearning the weapon. Not sure if ever unit is going to the M4 but I know we have them at our unit.

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Jeff the Baptist August 17, 2010 at 9:38 am

Full Rate Production just means SCAR has passed it's last major acquisition review. It doesn't mean the speed or size of the buy has changed. It just means that the initial Low Rate Production (LRP) articles have been completed and that the design specifications for the FRP articles have been approved.

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Lance August 17, 2010 at 11:02 am

There will be some buys the regular Army and USMC bought alot of there M-14s when the wars beagian so SOCOM wants to fill in the gap new weapons.

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Jeff August 17, 2010 at 11:48 am

Sub it out. Colt subs out work to companies like Midwest Industries. I even think FN does the same to Colt(correct me if I am wrong). A company can sell the design manufacture rights to another company, i.e. Magpul and Bushmaster.

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RicardoAlmeida August 18, 2010 at 2:30 am

The solution for that would be 'easy':

establish a partnership with a major one, like FN (who already does the M16 and M16A4 for the USArmy), and problem solved…! They both get a ton of money, the quality spare parts provisions are ensured, everyone will win, both companies and the civilian user!

I think that the SCAR, with the predictable after market accessories, will meet the complaints of the civ user, like the stock (Vltor already showed one at Shotshow 2010), the reciprocating charging handle is a moot problem, because the handle can be replaced and most users buy the vertical foregrip, which renders that problem a no-problem… It is also not believable that an operator would need to change barrel lengths in the heat of battle nor would I believe that an SOF operative would risk the 20,000 round barrel endurance capability and not change it BEFORE the mission… The barrel change is, like many say so, a ridiculous feature…I cannot imagine an operative who is already heavy with all the normal gear, also carrying bolts, trigger groups, lower receivers, barrels, etc…. He wouldn't be able to take one step with all that!
Therefore, that might explain why the SOCOM requirements demanded capability to changing cals and barrels under 5 minutes, not under 5 seconds!

And the XCR ditching was due to various factors, one of which was surely, what you said last: Robarm is a TOO SMALL company to meet SOCOM production demands… AND the XCR is not without its problems: sand and mud present operational problems, and the sand used in the test I saw was not even that fine desert sand, more like the kitty litter one…! Also, the XCR is heavy, being all metal, and has some problems with some mags, like the C-products ones…

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lwal September 2, 2010 at 11:15 am

LWRC's family of M6 rifles is what they should use. The DEA, FBI, and elite SWAT units already have it.

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bob September 27, 2010 at 3:32 pm

i completely agree with you. idk i just felt like leaving a good comment. heh

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Sean February 7, 2011 at 12:23 am

New info on a replacement. Bushmaster(remington) ACR is being considered as a replacement for all the M4's . In March 100 ACR 's and 100 Sig 516 rifles will be in the hands of soldiers in regular Army infantry in Afghanistan. They are saying the Sig is the most reliable rifle EVER made. Better than the hk416? Yes IMO it is. I am a Sig, colt, FNH, Glock and HK Armorer and Army Special Forces for 11 yrs . I think the men out on everyday patrols need the same highend weapons that SF and the seals are getting , actually they need them more than we do. They are the ones out there in contact everday. If I could give my opinion I would field very soldier the Sig 516 and a Glock 21 and for a Saw replacement the FNH Scar HAMR .

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kenny February 17, 2011 at 6:14 am

Why do we even need the scar? It didnt outperform the m4/m16 to enough extent for them to replace it. the m4/m16 family is old yes. just becasue its old doesnt mean it needs to be replaced. when was the ak 47 releases? 1947? how many countries is it still in use with? The m16 is trained with by marines out to 500 yards. Not long range enough? the DI system will always be more accurate than piston. The m16 family was designed and made in the US. and is about a third of the cost. reliability? nothings reliable if you dont clean it. and soldiers definately keep their rifles clean. if a ar is cared for it is just as reliable as any other gun. Heres when i would consider the scar. its three times the cost of m16. So when its 3 times more acurate. 1/3 as heavy. 3x better in every way. thats when you buy it. Stopping power problems with 5.56 are only solved by 20 inch barrel. call me crazy but if i had a choice id say ahd me a m16 a2

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What-do-I-know? August 9, 2011 at 8:47 am

I had the privilege to fire a civilian model… you are correct, beautiful is the right word! Many people are amazed at the light recoil when they switch from a bolt gun to an AR type. I would say that when you go from an AR type to the SCAR, it's almost like making the same leap… a fine piece of equipment!

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Rogue Monkey November 16, 2012 at 3:20 pm

The Army does use the MK.17. Mostly issued to Rangers and Special Forces.

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