USASOC Reveals FNH-USA Mk20 Plan

So a couple of you have asked about the status of the FNH-USA-built Mk20 Sniper Support Rifle in last week’s post and I thought I’d put out what I know and don’t know (which is a lot).

First off, I’ve pinged SOCOM for an official update, but I also wanted to share with you a slide I obtained that shows Army Special Operations Command’s plan for their sniper rifle inventory. All I’m doing at this point is reading tea leaves, but here goes.

According to the slide, USASOC plans to divest itself of the Mk11 (7.62)-Mk12 (5.56)  rifles in their inventory beginning in the last quarter if this fiscal year (which is now). They will replace them with the Mk17 SCAR Heavy and the Mk20 SSR through Q3 of 2017.

Now, what’s confusing to me is that in paralell to the USASOC initiatives on the SCAR and SSR, the Army is also running its own M110 upgrade and is replacing all Mk11s with M110s. If the M4 is good enough for USASOC to cancel its Mk16 purchasing plans, then why isn’t the M110 and the newly modified M110 A1 good enough? Honest question, not being critical at all.

(Check it out after the jump!)

SOF Warrior - Sniper Rifle

18 Comments on "USASOC Reveals FNH-USA Mk20 Plan"

  1. To answer that question, my opinion is that SCAR (Mk. 17 & 20) are multi-caliber, while M110 (and A1?) will be of more general issue to the big Army and USMC. Further, I surmise you will see multi-caliber kits / mods for SCAR fairly soon offered by FN for SOCOM in 7.62 mm NATO, 7.62 mm x 39 (for AK-47), 5.56 NATO, and 5.56 x 39 mm (AK-74).

  2. christian my favorite writer i think we all know the reasons "MONEY" and who gets what put into their pockests. I say and agree with some generals that procurement needs to go back into the hands of the generals in charge instead of the current major waste policies. There are to many whys? going on and the cash register is wide open for the taking.This is happening while they are going to cut troop pay?. this to me is the typical pentagon thinking of putting the cart before the horse.This happened back as far as the civil war until generals grabbed their balls and took charge. Your #1 fan Jim!

  3. I also want the Mk-20 Sniper Support Rifle for fathers day! a wish that i can only hope could ever come true. maybe one decade down the road

  4. The fact is there is still alot of Spec Ops armed with older weapon because they chose them over new ones. The fact is many chose M-110 over Mk-20 because reglar troops use them and parts and mags will be alot more easy to get.

    Thats another reason military personnel special or not still use M-14s.

  5. Glad to hear that the SCAR is gaining ground in SOCOM. Great weapon for great warriors.

  6. FormerSFMedic | June 8, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Reply

    Well Christian, I can answer that for you. First of all the USASOC never adopted the M110. Something many people fail to understand is that SOCOM is kinda like the fifth branch of service. They have their own defense budget and are also tasked with equipping and training themselves. With that said, the USASOC is separate from the big Army. SOCOM did not put out a solicitation for an M110. They did put out a solicitation for a weapon system specific to the needs of SOF units. That weapon being the SCAR. We all know the MK16 didn't make the cut, but the MK17 did. The SF is simply following the plan that it originally had when it asked for the SCAR in the first place. That plan was to replace all existing weapons systems with the SCAR. The MK11 is an obvious one to be replaced, but how about the MK12? It appears that SOCOM is forcing FNH to developed a caliber conversion to 5.56. At least that is the plan.So why not the M110?

    The MK20 is more accurate, more reliable, and more versatile. Most importantly, its specific to SF needs. Not only that, but its been battle proven over years of service and it has already been through a formal solicitation.

  7. There were some reliability isues with M110.
    From what I understand the SCAR heavy proved to be more reliable than other 7.62mm rifles available to SOCOM.
    While 5.56mm rifles have been done and perfected to death in recent years and there's little difference between top contenders, the 7.62mm market was kinda dry. M14 upgrates can only go that far and AR10 versions avaible had some issues until very recently.
    SCAR heavy came in the right time, when a lot of people started asking for 7.62mm rifles and it proved to be capable of very good acuravcy, very solid reliability and all the bells and wistles modern warfighter wants, all in a light package.
    SOCOM paid for most of the testing anyway. They may as well use them.

  8. Wait…so is the M110 going to disappear now from all Army SOF units? Will it not be available to them even if they prefer it over another platform?
    Also, what happened to the HK416 being the new AR for SOF? So did FN win that contest a while back?

  9. Skysoldier173 | June 9, 2011 at 5:25 am | Reply

    Iam getting confused. Colt makes a 7.62 rifle, and if it was good enough to kill OBL, then why not issue it to big Army? SOCOM i presume, can use watever they want, but chose a gas operated Colt. There are so many choices, so many different rifles available, it gets confusing. I still think the M-14 was the best of the lot, and will be around forever. Changing calibers, the parts, ammo, may be asking a bit much of Joes. Its a great option, but practical? For SOCOM, yes.

  10. You are correct. Little 5.56 HK 416 dropped OBL

  11. From what i see the generals adopt some weapon like this FN crap BUT I don't see men in the field use it. Most SOCOM units in battle use M-4 and AR-10s. So theirs a gap between leadership and combat teams.

    The M-14 is a stop gap but it continues to evolve and most troops like it. Prof it works.

  12. El Conquero | June 9, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Reply

    Frogman, would you say the MK17 is your dream gun? Or what would be . . .?

  13. It all goes back to a SecDef having enough balls to do what McNamara did in the Vietnam era, Tell Procurement "You Will Adopt & Issue This Weapon" and that's it! It's way past time for the Military to stand up straight and pull their collective pants up as the one sided financial sex with suppliers has been going on way too long!

  14. really why the special force unit like the delta force don't take the magpul masada/remington acr and also the magpul massoud ? theyre were much better than the scar by a long shot.

    theyre adaptability and performanre would be better for them and it's american made !

  15. Infidel4LIFE | June 11, 2011 at 7:39 am | Reply

    If this system is proven, and it sounds like it is, good move. SOCOM uses the 416 also? Well it must be all they say it is. If the Mk-20 is more accurate and soldier friendly its a good move.

  16. Daniel E. Watters | June 14, 2011 at 11:14 am | Reply

    You should note that this briefing was from USSOCOM, not USASOC. Moreover, the items are color-coded to distinguish between SOCOM-wide initatives and individual service initatives. Replacing the Mk11 and Mk12 with the Mk17 and Mk20 is a SOCOM initative. USASOC intendeds to replace its Mk11 with its parent service's M110.

  17. Skysoldier173 | June 28, 2011 at 7:33 am | Reply

    Wow i was waaay off. I believed the story about the Colt, but the 416 makes sense. Well, they really lied thru their teeth. Iam so embarrased..but i chose to believe it. Thanx for the correction.

  18. Is there any new news on the mk 20?

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