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USMC Awards H&K Sole Source Contract For 15,000 Additional M27 IARs

The United States Marine Corps has awarded Heckler & Koch $29,427,750 for 15,000 M27 Infantry Automatic Rifles. This culminates efforts over the past couple of years to increase issue of this rifle to the Marine rifle squad. In February, 2017, the Marines released their initial RFI to industry for production of additional M27s.

Below is the announcement:

Heckler and Koch Defense Inc.,* Ashburn, Virginia, is awarded a maximum ceiling $29,427,750 five-year, firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the purchase of up to a maximum 15,000 M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle systems and spare parts. Work will be performed at Oberndorf, Germany (70 percent); Columbus, Georgia (20 percent); and Ashburn, Virginia (10 percent), and is expected to be completed by April 30, 2023. Fiscal 2016 procurement (Marine Corps) funds in the amount of $37,536; fiscal 2017 procurement (Marine Corps) funds in the amount of $2,650,003; and fiscal 2018 procurement (Marine Corps) funds in the amount of $4,771,071 totaling $7,458,610, will be obligated on the first delivery order immediately following contract award. The fiscal 2016 funds in the amount of $37,536 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was awarded on a sole source basis under the authority of the Federal Acquisition Regulation, Part 6.302-1. The Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Virginia, is the contracting activity (M67854-18-D-1248).

When you consider the relatively low numbers associated with this procurement, you must take into account Commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen Robert Neller’s mantra, “All Marines are riflemen, but not all Marines are infantrymen.” Consequently, the Marine Corps is working hard to increase the lethality of their Infantry forces. However, despite knowing how many additional IARs they plan to buy, we still don’t know how the Marines plan to field them.

Last May, we reported the Marine Corps had determined that the M27 has the longest range in the squad and planned to capitalize on this capability.

In 2010, the Marines adopted the M27. Made in Germany, the IAR is based on the HK416, a piston driven 5.56mm rifle. The concept behind the IAR was to supplant the belt-fed M249 Squad Automatic Weapon in the Infantry Squad with the more compact box-fed design of the M27.

Since then, a small number of M27s have been fitted with an optical sight and redesignated as M38 Squad Designated Marksman Rifles.

45 Responses to “USMC Awards H&K Sole Source Contract For 15,000 Additional M27 IARs”

  1. Stickman says:

    It would be nice to see where some of this trickles back to. Then again, the same question could be asked of many GOV purchases.

  2. Jim says:

    70% should have been mfg. here in the US.
    Missed opportunity for more job growth.

    • Conrad says:

      It’s a German manufacturer…and Germans make better stuff anyway. Just look at their excellent apprenticeship manufacturing programs in the automotive field as an example. Americans excel at making pointless apps and should stick to that. I want the best when it comes to arms for Marines.

      • theDude says:

        BS on German manufacturing, the wife and I had a BMW with AWD and the front differential went out around 50k miles and four years of ownership from new. At that point the car was worth $15k blue book and we were quoted between $3k and $10k because they wouldn’t know the severity until they took it apart. Meanwhile my toyota tacoma with basic maintenance is still running just fine at 12 years old with 130k miles.

        • Jeff S says:

          What model BMW? Are you sure it wasn’t built in SC or even South Africa? How do you know the differential was manufactured in Germany? Odds are it was outsourced to Bosch, Siemens, et al and made in Poland, Spain, Portugal or other relatively low wage country.

        • Erik says:

          Looks like you need to buy Japanese guns 😉

      • balais says:

        Ill take the later iterations of the M4 and AR family over anything HK has to offer.

        German engineering is overrated. Arguably it always has been.

        • Tom says:

          Agreed, German manufacturing is way over hyped. They’re definitely the best at marketing that’s for sure.

    • J_B says:

      Not really as contracts like this has helped lead to H&K building a factory here in the US like FN did back in the day. So its already helping long term in bringing more manufacturing to the US.

  3. Bill Wilson says:

    Single sourced to H&K, while Remington files bankruptcy? What happened to America first? And why do these rifles cost $8,000 each? Who’s the decision maker, McCain? Is he romancing Merkel?

    • FormerDirtDart says:

      The average person should be able to discern with a simple glance that contract price is slightly less than $2,000 per rifle & accessories. You might want to invest in a simple calculator, since basic math is obviously beyond you..

      • Erik says:

        No kidding. At $1960.85 per rifle, that’s a a good price for an HK.

        • Matt says:

          Not to mention, the 2K per rifle includes X amount of accessories/parts for sustainment.

          If Remington made a decent gun… maybe it would be a competitor to the UberGun, but as we see they can’t make a decent gun.

    • LCSO264 says:

      I know math is difficult, but yeah just below $2k isn’t a bad deal when it includes all the other stuff coming with the rifle package.

      As stated, if Remington made a decent product, anything other than bolt guns, then this argument might have merit.

      The M27 won the IAR trials, despite conspiracy theories and other tin foil hat opinions, it won. I have to assume, by winning the testing/trial, it was the better of the rifles tested. Now the Corps has decided to widen the fielding of the better rifle that won their trials. It is a pretty simple concept.

  4. Joglee says:

    Could have had the URGI.

  5. Strike-Hold says:

    Some of these comments – LOL. Maybe for once the end-user rather than the politicians made the decision – based on which submission best satisfied the requirement, rather than which submission would get the most votes next election…

    • SLG says:

      The MK4 2.5-8 as well?

      Not disagreeing with you, just curious. Time to update the scopes…

      • Lt M says:

        Recycled optics from the MK 12 program. Now that they have the rifles they can shop for some new optics.

        • SLG says:

          I figured as much, just used to seeing optics as a part of the complete package.

        • LCSO264 says:

          seems pretty responsible to me, they had the glass in inventory, it will do what they want/need in the M27 package. decision made responsibly, I’d say.

    • Kirk says:

      The end-users ain’t always the font of all wisdom, either. Generally, when all these things shake out, it’s a little from Column “A”, a little from Column “B”, and some from a column nobody bothered to think about or document…

      I’m not convinced that the M27 is a good idea, but that’s not my issue to call. This is a Marine thing, and so long as they are able to articulate good reasoning for going down this path? I say, let them–They’re doing more actual thinking about what they need in terms of small arms than a lot of our other branches are.

      That said, I would really like to know why the hell they had to pick the boutique solution for this program, and then didn’t bother to buy the TDP in order to mass-produce from a US source. Leaving aside Colt, how many other manufacturers are there that could support this Marine requirement, and never leave the US…? Is it really a good idea to sole-source a provider from a country run by the likes of Merkel and all the other anti-defense types who’ve been so blatant about shutting down HK’s sales in the arms market? What do the Marines propose to do, if the German government decides tomorrow that the US government isn’t someone they want their defense contractors dealing with…?

      Tactically, this may be a great idea; in terms of politics and procurement? I’m not so sure…

      • Joglee says:

        Look into stuff being posted about testing on this weapon. It’ll tell you everything.

        • Erik says:

          Could you please share a source? I’m very curious.

        • LCSO264 says:

          Info posted on the internet without cited sources. Or posted by people or businesses stumping for one of the not selected platforms……

          seems legit?????

  6. Hubb says:

    So the Piston versus Direct Impingement debate has finally been settled.

    • Joe_K says:

      Not by a long shot, piston guns are a work around to a problem that no longer exists.

    • Seans says:

      Yeah, and piston lost. But the Marines bought them anyway.

    • balais says:

      Yes it has. Pistons on the AR platform are superfluous, needless, redundant, etc.

    • Hubb says:

      Can anybody think of a Direct Impingement rifle/carbine/assault rifle other than the M-16/M-4/AR-15 family that has been widely adopted by a military?

      • JB says:

        Other than the gold standard? hahahaha

        The vast majority of the small amount of piston guns that have been adopted by the military are for very specific roles, that are generally only applicable to some very small Units.

  7. James says:

    I think it makes a lot of sense if you look at it from the Marines perspective. The way they used the saw really overburdened a squad, 1 M27 i per FT isn’t enough to make up for the loss, but if most of the squad has them you have a lot of flexibility and good volume of fire. There was also some talk of adding a single machine gun into the squad. Have to see how it all works out.

    • sean says:

      But at the same time, they can’t even mount grenade launchers to the rail systems of the IAR without permanent unit-level modifications done to the rifles. I get that this was probably the fastest way to procure new rifles without doing a multi-year competition, but I don’t think they are getting the best value for their money.

  8. Bill Brandon says:

    This is nuts!

    The USMC is sole sourcing a German company!

    Forget about the part where a paltry 30% will be produced here in the US, it should be 100%! There are plenty of quality US firearms manufacturers that should have gotten this contract.

    The BIGGEST slap to the US is that Germany doesn’t allow ITAR companies to bid on military contracts!! So while the USMC is doing business with Germany, our firearms manufacturers are prohibited from doing business with the German government!!! Everyone should be unhappy with this.

    • RT from UT says:

      To put it very bluntly Germany is no friend to the United States and hasn’t been for a very long time!

      It would be in our best interest to acknowledge that and realign priorities accordingly. Even with the multiple billions of dollars it would cost us to pull out of Germany completely and install ourselves elsewhere, the cost to the Germans would be several orders of magnitude higher and IMMEDIATELY felt in excruciating and long lasting economic effects that would put the lie to all their bluster and braggadocio post haste.

      The reality is that such a pull out, while gut wrenchingly expensive up front, would in a relatively short time pay for itself just in the amount we’d save in the costs of “living off the local economy” in Germany which is ridiculously expensive…

      And we’d be seriously economically damaging a country which does everything it can to obstruct us and dictate policy to us while being economically very dependent upon us. That’s the kind of messaging that would be worth paying full MSRP for, much less the high upfront cost with substantial savings over the next couple decades alone we’d actually have to pay.

      To put it very bluntly, other countries who actually like us and support us would absolutely LOVE to have us. And I think that rather than rewarding Germany for being horrible partners with us we should instead reward nations who actually deserve it.

  9. Bryan Stevens says:

    This is nuts. We’ve got American firearm companies laying off employees and the USMC is tossing dollars to German firearm companies. MAGA much??