I just got official word from FN Herstal that the company has begun fielding the SoCom Combat Assault Rifle/Mk16 and Mk17 to commandos in April.
In a bland release from the company's PA shop, FN says fielding will continue through the winter of 2009. A source close to the program tells me so far the Rangers have gotten their new rifles, with Navy Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewmen and SEAL teams 1, 2 and 3 getting theirs through this month and the Army Special Forces operators slinging theirs "shortly."
So that brings us to point #2...if the SWCCs haven't gotten their SCARs fully fielded yet, then what gives on the photo I posted a couple days ago that supposedly shows two SWCCs with SCARs slung across their shoulders?
Well, that same source tells me based on his analysis of the fielding dates, location of the photo and date of the shoot, "it doesn't add up." He claims that a company called Independent Studio Services manufactures look-alike SCARs that the SOCOM buys for training purposes.
Kudos to DT reader Alan for spotting the chipped paint on one of the stocks. That's exactly what our informed source spotted as well before he gave me a call to set my post straight...which I caveated with a smidgen of doubt.
Anyway, officially operators are close to getting their new, high-speed rifle and hopefully that'll mean more sightings and maybe a couple more test shoots!