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USMC Issues Notice of Intent To Sole Source Purchase Up To 50,814 M27 IAR From H&K

Back in February, MARCORSYSCOM issued an RFI to industry seeking companies capable of manufacturing the 5.56mm NATO M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle, designed by German manufacturer Heckler & Koch and based on their HK416 rifle. Based on internal evaluations, the Marine Corps had determined that it wanted to expand use of the M27 within the rifle squad. Released under the guise of “market research”, “Request for Information (RFI) M67854-17-I-1218 For Marine Corps Systems Command (MARCORSYSCOM), Quantico, VA Infantry Automatic Rifle (IAR)” was used to create a a sole-source “Justification and Approval” in order to purchase the rifles directly from manufacturer H&K without going for an open solicitation. Although several companies who manufacture 416 clones answered the RFI, MARCORSYSCOM evaluated those submissions, and determined that only H&K was capable of producing the weapon they had adopted as the M27.

Late last week, MARCORSYSCOM released Notice of Intent to Sole Source – M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle (IAR). Based on that earlier RFI, it found only one Responsible Source (based on (FAR 6302.1 (a)(2)(ii)) and intends to solicit and negotiate with Heckler & Koch (H&K), for up to 50,814 – M27 Infantry Automatic Rifles (IAR).

Companies who still feel they can meet the Marine Corps’ needs may submit a capability statement, proposal, or quotation, which shall be considered by the agency, only if received by the closing date and time of this notice. A determination not to compete the proposed requirement based upon the responses to this notice is solely within the discretion of the Government. They’ve got until 08/28/2017 to state their case.

Some of you may remember that RFI, which specified 11,000 rifles. Many attempted mental gymnastics to explain how just 11,000 rifles could possibly be enough to equip the Marine Corps. However, I maintained that the figure was just a nice round number, based on H&K’s annual production capacity from a study performed during the initial M27 purchase. Based on the scuttlebutt I was hearing, I knew the actual number would be much higher. While 50,000 guns isn’t enough to pure fleet the Marines, it does support the premise, “Every Marine might be a Rifleman, but every Marine isn’t an Infantryman.” These are going to select Marines. Perhaps they’ll buy more down the road. Remember, it did take a long time to transition from M16s to M4s.

With the US Army just releasing their own solicitation for ~50,000 examples of 7.62mm Interim Combat Service Rifle, and a 417 variant being a favorite after adoption of the G28 as the Compact Semi Auto Sniper System and the ensuing directed requirement for 6,069 rifles in the Squad Designated Marksman role, it puts H&K in an interesting position. They’ve won the French Army’s rifle program with the 416, developed and are offering the 433 for the German Bundeswehr’s G36 replacement, and now face production of over 50,000 M27s for the Marines. That’s a lot of requirement for H&K’s factory in Oberdorf, Germany. I’m not saying they can’t do it, but delivery expectations for customers will have to be very carefully managed. Some in industry have posited that this Marine solicitation will take them out of the ICSR running. Time will tell.

For those of you under the impression that H&K as-yet-uncompleted factory in Columbus, Georgia will be used to manufactured CSASS, SDMR, IAR or ICSR, it won’t. As of right now, H&K’s vision is that factory will not be used to build defense products.

The Marine Corps is modernizing its service rifle to the M27, a fulfillment of a plan many feel was set in motion when it was first selected as a squad-level replacement for the M249 in 2010.

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39 Responses to “USMC Issues Notice of Intent To Sole Source Purchase Up To 50,814 M27 IAR From H&K”

  1. Joglee says:

    I don’t think this means what you think it means.

  2. CWG says:

    in before joglee

  3. Josh says:

    Is the SOST round done with the Core? They completely moved to M855a1?

  4. Kind-of Angry Lance Corporal says:

    HK could purchase some of the competitors that build 416 copies, upgrade the rifle manufacturing capabilities of the new acquisitions, and sell them as HK rifles. Considering that the rifles could also be used by the US Army for their program it might be smart to buy the competitors now.

    • EzGoingKev says:

      Are you on dope?

    • straps says:

      Yeah the Facebook model of buying competitors for that 10,000 lines of code and they want for their own platform doesn’t apply to companies that make metal things that go bang–at least not companies known for the kind of reliability a machine like the IAR requires.

  5. Lcso264 says:

    If the Army gets out of the 5.56 game, the Corps can go to whatever 5.56 round they like.

    Here is an interesting point:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BUha3UAZMM4

  6. Richard Schagen says:

    Asa complete outsider, it seems the Marines as a general rule operate in a smart efficient manner, as opposed to the other forces. I.e uniforms and equipment etc.
    we need….
    That’s a good solution…..
    Put it in place……done

  7. mudd says:

    How does the USMC intend to deal with German law that prohibits arms companies selling to beligerints?

    HK has been asking USG customers to certify yearly their weapons are not being used in war.

    Will be a bit hard to pencil whip with M27’s on CNN…

    • Strike-Hold says:

      Interesting point – also, what about requirements to buy “Made in USA” as well?

      • SSD says:

        Initial M27s weren’t made here. Other 416s in US service weren’t made here. SCARs weren’t made here.

        • Harry says:

          I think that’s a problem. The weapons issued to members of the US Armed Forces should be US Made. I bitched about it years ago when the M9 pistol was adopted with their quality magazines and I fail to see why the current manufacturers can’t make what is needed in the USA. End of rant, carry on….

          • charlie says:

            You do realize that the M9 as used by the US armed forces was entirely manufactured in the U.S. right? And furthermore the magazines that had issues were not the original Italian mec-gar but the U.S. manufactured checkmate ones.

            I’m all for major contracts requiring U.S. manufacturing to drive jobs and to make sure that our supply lines are firmly on U.S. soil, but to say it’s an issue of quality is simply not true.

            • bloke_from_ohio says:

              If American companies want to sell stuff to the USG, then they should have to provide the best value to the tax payer and the troops. The set asides and economic engineering that is baked into US acquisitions frankly is something to behold. I love America, but there are products and ideas worth adopting from outside our own borders.

              Whether the Tutonic wonder guns are the best solution is up for debate and a bit out of my lane, but being made in Germany vs my prefered congresional district is just not that important.

              TL;DR
              Juche is dumb, and should be confined to the DPRK! The DoD should not be seen as a jobs program!

    • AbnMedOps says:

      What war? There is no war. Besides, the Germans are also occasional participants in the not a war.

    • SSD says:

      Belligerent means someone who is a party to a conflict. You perhaps mean a ban on exporting to countries who destabilize regions?

  8. Marcus says:

    Create a “sole source Justification and Approval” for the 416. Shockingly only Heckler and Koch could respond capably. Surprise!

    I’m sensing this unfortunately isn’t over yet.

    • PPGMD says:

      This is pretty normal. After the initial competition the follow up contracts are typically sole source.

      • SSD says:

        The problem here is that they bought the gun fir one thing and are now using it fir something else. They didn’t leave room on their contract fir this buy. Essentially, they’ve moved into sustainment territory which means the TDP should be offered up to industry for competitive bid for manufacture. Consider the M16 or M4. Colt hasn’t always manufactured those for contract.

  9. Mike says:

    The road to piston operated rifles grows ever shorter.

    • Seans says:

      The US has been using piston operated for decades. External piston on a AR isn’t a good idea though.

  10. GD442 says:

    I saw a quote once about the IAR:
    “A SAW keeps the enemy’s heads down. The IAR blows the enemy’s heads off.” or something like that. Either war it sounded cool.

    • Rick says:

      Sounds all motivational and all – until you need a weapon to suppress an objective while an element maneuvers on it…then the IAR fails miserably.

      • ALexC says:

        60 Round P-Mags?

        • Russell says:

          Are more bulky and take up more space than the 100rd nut sack or 2 30rd mags. more complicated and slower to load than standard mag. Only save you a couple seconds on a reload. No thanks.

  11. Invictus says:

    Is that a carbon fiber wrapped barrel?

  12. Jason Lee says:

    Are we just not going to talk about this kid rocking an ALICE pistol mag pouch that’s probably older than he is?