Friday, January 02, 2009

Marines evaluating SAW replacement

Replace the SAW

Via Military Times:

The Corps has awarded four contracts to three companies to produce prototypes of the 5.56mm Infantry Automatic Rifle, which is slated to supplant the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon, or SAW, according a Dec. 26 Marine Corps Systems Command announcement.

The three firms will compete for a contract that could be worth up to $27 million. The firm selected will manufacture from 4,476 to 6,500 rifles.

There always a need for heavy firepower, even at the squad level. The specs of the weapons seem pretty impressive, but what stands to me is the compact size and magazine (as opposed to box/drum) feed, which should mean a Marine or soldier can carry more. For more on the candidates, see this episode of Future Weapons, on of my son’s favorite shows. I watch too, just to make sure it’s OK for him, of course…

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Anonymous said...

Ahhh..who carries open belts with the 249 these days? Even back when I was in, the belt was encased in a plastic attachable box. The idea of a Squad Automatic Weapon is to lay down a lot of lead. Magazine fed is not going to allow for any sustained fire superiority. Its a thorowback to the full auto M16...the open bolt operation is a nice touch. I suppose that if it could be outfitted with a large capacity drum mag it could fullfil the SAW role.

Nathan at TDA Training said...

No idea if it'll be practical. But I like the basic idea of a smaller weapon with comparable power. I agree on the magazine idea, depending on the capacity, but perhaps it would accept either? Still to early to judge, but fun to talk about!

scott said...

well i personally think this gun is an oxymoron. the point of a SAW/heavy gunner is to keep the enemy down. therefore you need a large mag so you dont reload every 5 seconds. and i agree tgace, who in the world does not use a box mag???? so if there were to be a round drum that could be outfitted, fine by me. but if u are using stand 30 round mags--bad idea. however, i like the idea also of a smaller gun. so maybe just make an m4 body, round drum, folding stock and shorter barrel.