Air Force Fields New Rifle to Airmen


The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s Small Arms Program Office is in the final phase of delivering the Squad Designated Marksmanship Rifle, or SDMR, to units across the Air Force.

The Air Force purchased approximately 1,464 SDMRs that will be distributed across the service based on approved allowances.

The SDMR is a semi-automatic, 7.62x51mm caliber rifle designed by Heckler & Koch for missions requiring combat over-watch with precision-fire capability to accurately engage targets up to 600 meters.

The SDMR was fielded to Air Force units this year. It is a multi-role asset, set to meet multiple missions taking place around the world.

It will replace legacy M24 Sniper Weapon Systems for security forces defenders performing base defense operations in-garrison and in contingency support.

The SDMR is lighter weight in comparison to other 7.62 platforms and will also replace the M110 Semi-Automatic Sniper Systems rifle for pararescuemen and Guardian Angels, saving them 5 pounds in gear while out on missions.

Finally, the SDMR’s precision-fire capability will be wielded by Air Force Explosive Ordnance Disposal technicians to eliminate small munitions in their standoff munition disruption activities.

“We’re excited to field this incredible weapon system,” said Matthew Hamer, Small Arms Program Office lead. “Being able to field one solution that can effectively achieve multiple missions epitomizes Air Force acquisition strategies and shows Airmen ability to adapt to any situation.”

Story by Brian Brackens, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center Public Affairs

Photos by Shaun Ferguson

10 Responses to “Air Force Fields New Rifle to Airmen”

  1. Are Squared says:

    Interesting to see this coming with the Sig win for the Army. There appears to be a fairly widespread thought nowadays that 7.62 Nato isn’t ballistically sufficient anymore. While I understand the Air Force is sitting on a bunch of that round, I’d be curious if that’s the only reason they haven’t moved onto another cartridge.

  2. yahoo says:

    HK hunk of poop. The 13.5″ and 16″ HK417’s were garbage a decade ago and no longer used by SOF units that can choose.

    Absolutely not lighter than other offerings.. laughable.. my HK416 weighed more than my KAC K1

    Congrats AF, way to catch a short bus… late.

    Where are you going to put your stupid size magazines?

    • 03-190S says:

      They’ll probably put them in new pouches unless you dont approve of that either.

    • Vet says:

      You’re grossly misinformed. The HK417 is the current leader in military AR10 type platforms, and is used by dozens of military units worldwide, with LMT and Colt Canada behind. KAC didn’t win any major military contract for weapons in over a decade, and most of their foreign and now domestic clients who previously used the SR25 have since moved elsewhere. Even the Israeli SF, which were among the first to be issued the SR25 have now moved on to the Barrett REC10 and domestically KAC wasn’t down selected for the M110A1 bid.

      • yahoo says:

        The US tier SOF units that thought the hk416 and hk417 were a good idea a decade ago have already dropped them.

        Ironically, when US SOF dumped HK rifles the ill-informed conventional forces bought their heavier, more expensive, pain in tha ass erratic logistics tail.. thinking it was cool. It would be great if they had someone who knew how to run a professionalized down select.

        So I’ve carried them afar, and been unimpressed. A view further reinforced by testing later.

  3. yahoo says:

    you can grind the silly snag hazard connecting nubs off the magazines.. and put one HK417 brick in a two mag SR25/SCAR pouch.. OK well they probably wont let them mod the mags either.

    Dedicated supersize pouches it is.

    For what it’s worth, also don’t approve of that prone to self destructing suppressor.