Last Friday, 1 April 2016, the Army announced its decision to award Heckler & Koch a contract to develop a compact semi-automatic sniper system. The decision would replace the current sniper platform M110 SASS, made by Knight’s Armament of Vero Beach Florida.
The Army has been shopping for a shorter, lighter, more ergonomic and more reliable system as stated in the Program Executives Soldier’s Portfolio.
We’ve read the FedBizOpps.gov notice which disclosed that H&K will produce a maximum of 3,643 rifles over 24 months, as well as spare parts and depot support, at a max contract value of $44.5 million. There’s a minimum purchase of 30 rifles for quality assurance testing.
The announcement did not mention a specific H&K COTS model but we won’t exclude that possibility and there’s no information given to concretely support an H&K (new) development effort. Maybe its an April Fool’s joke on Knight’s Armament.
I’ve shot the M110 SASS on numerous occasion and have never had a problem holding at least 1 MOA, nor have I experienced a catastrophic stoppage of any type. It seems to me that if the Army is looking for a lighter and shorter sniper system to replace the M110, something like the Knight’s Armament Compact SASS with a collapsible stock, 16 inch barrel, lighter and shorter overall length, would be the logical and less costly approach.
None of the interested parties had comments at this time, so we’ll keep an eye out for additional details as they become available.
Our congratulations to Heckler & Koch on their contract award.