Tactical Tailor

US Army Officially Cancels Interim Combat Service Rifle Solicitation

Earlier today, Army Contracting Command issued this official cancellation for the full-auto fire capable, 7.62mm Interim Combat Service Rifle, bringing to a close this controversial initiative which began early this year. This cancellation also clears up any confusion over the true status of the program.

This notice is to inform interested parties of the cancellation of the Commercial Opportunity Notice (CON) for the Interim Combat Service Rifle (ICSR), under CON W15QKN-17-Z-0ANP due to a reprioritization of funding previously allocated for the ICSR.

Resulting from a change in strategy, the Government is reallocating the ICSR funding to the Next Generation Squad Weapon (NGSW). The NGSW will be a long term solution to meet the identified capability gap instead of the ICSR, which was an interim solution.

Unfortunately, the assertion that the Army is reallocations the funds to NGSW is a bit of a stretch considering the program is only in its infancy, and the funds to procure ICSR would have been spent in the near-term, while NSGW will need to be funded in the out years. DoD procurement Dollars can’t be kept in a bank to be spent later.

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Although the cancellation was just formally issued, testing ceased almost before it had started after multiple companies jumped through hoops in August to answer the Army’s call for this rifle.

In a speech during last month’s AUSA Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, Army Chief of Staff, GEN Mark Milley alluded to a new path forward, calling for new small arms which offer a “10x improvement over any existing current system in the world.”

It is our understanding that any near-term requirement for a 7.62mm capability at the squad level will be fulfilled by the directed requirement for 6069 examples of the H&K G28 rifle, to be employed in the Designated Marksman role. This capability is a derivative of the M110A1 CSASS program.

14 Responses to “US Army Officially Cancels Interim Combat Service Rifle Solicitation”

  1. AbnMedOps says:

    The way this procurement action has unfolded, I wouldn’t be surprised if this is only an “interim” cancellation of an “interim” program.

  2. JM Gavin says:

    Keys to a successful career in the modern US Army:

    1. Spend time and money on proposed uniform changes.

    2. Spend time and money dreaming up and then canceling “new, improved, MOS-specific Physical Fitness Tests.” Extra points for blathering about “combat readiness” before cancellations.

    3. Spend time and money on weapons solicitations and cancellations.

    Works like a charm, apparently.

    That is all…

  3. Bruce says:

    And to think that Eugene Stoner pretty much nailed this back in the 1950s with his AR-10 series.

    Not perfect, but, if you ever get a chance to fire an original one, you will get the idea.

    I once owned and regularly shot two of them. As a semi-auto, quite pleasant, the early lighter ones were a bit lively, but the in-line design helped a LOT.

    Rock’n Roll would NOT have been pleasant, but, the “winnah” in the US rifle trials, the M-14, was not much fun in that mode, either.

    There must be something in the water where some of these ideas are concocted.

    The current “enhanced ammunition” project is attempting to squeeze 20″ barrel performance our of a 14.5 inch barrel, but not be a “problem out of a 20 inch rifle or LSW barrel………….Hmmmmmm….

    Going to a new, actually “intermediate” round, like the 6.8 SPC is a theoretical solution, except for the logistical implications, not to mention that 5.56 ammo development has come a fair way; at least, in a pinch, you can fire MOST of the stuff from almost any vintage, out of any 5.56 platform. YMMV on accuracy.

    Ammo and rifles should be developed in parallel, however, it makes a lot more sense to have ammo refined AHEAD of the platform.

    Military ammo is made in prodigious quantities, VERY quickly. It is (generally) made to a very tight, UNIFORM specification. Ammo is developed under tight constraints using very precise test rigs, barrels etc, to achieve a DESIRED ballistic performance, (including “terminal”) down-range. Given production ratios, the ONLY rational approach is to tweak any prospective platform to the ammo. Military forces are NOT really big bench-rest clubs.

    A classic example of this is the old ’03 Springfield. When the Germans introduced their light-weight, spitzer bullet for the 7.92 x 57 in 1904, EVERYTHING had to change. The Germans themselves had to re-calibrate / redesign ALL of the sighting systems on ALL of their weapons in that calibre.

    Thus the ’03 rifle, which was designed around the big torpedo shaped ’03 bullet in a slightly longer case, had to have the barrel (throat, etc.) and sights completely redesigned. The Brits had to do the same with their Lee Enfield rifles, but also had to to redesign the magazine to accommodate the different shape of the Mk 7 bullet. They retained the long throat for the Mk6 ammo, despite it being theoretically “wrong” for the Mk7 bullet, because there were already BILLIONS of Mk6 (and earlier), rounds in store and ALL the rifles in the system had to be able to handle whatever the quartermaster could deliver to any future two-way rifle range.

    My two South Sea Shekels’ worth.

  4. Will Rodriguez says:

    Amen!

    Just to be clear, I’m not against a new rifle/caliber. It’s ludicrous though to field a 7.62 rifle for a base for a yet to be determined caliber to be developed next decade.

    Way too many variables as a better platform than the 7.62 rifle may be available when they develop the “wunderround” and in the meantime we are almost doubling the weight of ammo on the grunt.

    Errrr, in the meantime, what about another look at how we train to enable the average Soldier the ability to use his current rifle to its full potential?

    • joe says:

      The whole point of this is to defeat body armor. Who’s to say that materials will not continue to improve more/faster than the bullets to defeat it can be built? I’d say that materials science is moving way faster than ballistics and we’re nowhere near the end of it.

      Analysis on TheFirearmsBlog seems to indicate that trying to defeat modern armor with better/larger/faster bullets is a losing race, at least until something better than tungsten is considered. (Carbon nanotude/DU rounds?)

      Maybe just giving up on the plate and going with explosive effects like the XM-25 is the better solution?

      • BillC says:

        I wouldn’t put much stock into what The Firearms Blog says, especially when it comes to modern military requirements or needs. I’m not saying they are always wrong (when they are right, or at least close, usually it’s because they essentially parrot what was here first or what was analyzed at WeaponsMan), just that they are not a good source for that, not even close; but hey, if you need a product announcement for latest release by Strike Industries, those are your guys. Or if you need a link to a video stating why the RAS-47 is a “good rifle” or 5 reasons that will blow your mind on why the Mini-14 is better than an AR15.

        The XM-25; that program, purpose, and product was garbage, for many reasons worse than the ICSR.

      • SurfGW says:

        Best way to defeat body armor is more practice aiming for head and neck.

  5. Tuukka says:

    And in the meanwhile several western countries have tendered, tested, chosen and used for several years 7.62 NATO semi auto DMR type rifles…

    Smaller countries do not have the luxury of wasting time and money in the fashion that the U.S. military seems to be able to do.

    • Joglee says:

      We have DMR’s as well in 7.62.

      The ICSR was a 7.62 rifle for all to replace the 5.56 M4A1.

      • SSD says:

        It was a rifle for some.

        • Tuukka says:

          Joglee,

          I know

          Yes, was referring also to the new CSASS and how soon those might actually be in use ( initially awarded March 2016 )

          Of course the U.S. military is much larger than other militaries, so things often take more time due to that in itself.

          But history is also full of long drawn out/canceled/postponed projects, that other countries cannot afford to do.

  6. Dave says:

    I dream of an Army that realizes you can exceed the capabilities of 5.56mm NATO without trying to fill a SR-25 magazine.