Noting a desire to close a potential gap in troops being able to penetrate body armor using existing weaponry, the Army has posted a contract for new rifles.
The Solicitation for what the Army has termed the Interim Combat Service Rifle was posted last week for select-fire rifles chambered in 7.62x51mm NATO.
The rifle will be used in tandem with the new M80A1 Enhanced Performance Round “to engage and defeat protected and unprotected threats,” the solicitation says. “The ultimate objective of the program is to acquire and field a 7.62mm ICSR that will increase Soldier lethality.”
The contract specifies the Army will downselect to as many as eight proposals, who will then have to submit seven rifles each for testing.
The rifle submitted must be capable of both semi- and full-auto fire, accommodate a suppressor and include enough detachable weapon magazines to support the basic load of 210 rounds. Each must also have a cleaning kit, specialized tool kit (if one is needed), spare parts kit, and manual.