The Army’s Newest Rifle

( – U.S. Army Contracting Command announced on Wednesday February 7 that Heckler & Koch have been awarded a contract that is estimated to be worth more than $33 million to manufacture new rifles for the Army. Knight’s Armament Company who had previously provided the U.S. Army with their preferred sniper rifles, the M4 carbine, publicly congratulated Heckler & Koch on earning the contract to make the replacement rifle, referred to as CSASS (Compact Semi-Automatic Sniper System) which will be a variant of the company’s G28 rifle. The new rife will be shorter and lighter, while not sacrificing accuracy or performance.

Heckler & Koch says the G28 is a variant of the 7.62 mm gas-powered G28 currently in use by the German Army with adjustments to make it conform to the requirements of the U.S. Army. Wayne Weber, the Heckler & Koch USA president of the German company, calls the new rifle a “substantial upgrade” over the Army’s current models. The Army’s choice of the Heckler and Koch G28 designated marksman rifle is intended to give infantrymen the ability to penetrate enemy body armor over longer ranges than their current M4 carbines.

The Army’s previous model, currently still in use, is a M110 Semi-Automatic Sniper System manufactured by Knight’s Armament Company, which is based in America. This model, while also an improvement on the models that came before it has been criticized for its longer length, which some believe may make it more noticeable to enemy combatants. The G28’s shorter length and lighter weight is considered more appropriate for a sniper rifle.

The U.S. Army intends to purchase up to 3,643 of the rifles, which could be worth up to $44.5 million. At the higher ranges that would put the price of each rifle at about $12,000. However, Heckler & Koch would also be providing support and spare parts for the weapons. Now that the contract has been announced, the U.S. Army will be purchasing a minimum of 30 of the G28 rifles initially for quality assurance testing.

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