Our story on the official cacellation of the Mk-16 variant of the Socom Combat Assault Rifle rippled across the internet this past weekend and we're still peeling the onion on this as we get more information about the program and where it stands.
But one thing I've been keeping an eye on is the impression of troopers in the war zone who use both the Mk-16 and Mk-17 (as well as the Mk-13 EGLM). On a BTDT board, one trooper who appears to be an Army SOF operator said his Mk-16 is fine, but the Mk-17 and its 7.62x51 ammo is confidence inspiring...
I will say that hands down, having 7.62 rounds (LR) flying out towards the enemy at significant range (600-800m) has been a big advantage. Most of our engagements have been at range.The writer says that his team has 6 Mk-16s and 6 Mk-17s and that some of the crusty Green Berets refuse to carry the new toy. He said that on one occasion his team "went black" on ammo during an engagement (he's in Afghanistan).
The SCAR-H works well with the GripPod forward pistol grip with internal bipod and the LCAN (what's that?)...
I like the capability this weapon system brings to the team. With our SR25s, 240, SCAR-Hs, M-24s, and the sketchy M110s (no more sketchy then the SCAR I suppose), we have a team wide 7.62 capability which is pretty relevant for this AO.The one interesting thing the writer says is that he was frustrated by the capacity of the SCAR-H magazine at 20 rounds. Now, our friends at Soldier Systems report that Socom is pushing a 25-round magazine for the Mk-17, but we haven't been able to confirm it...though we agree that more is better.
At the end of the day, as most of us suspected, the Mk-17 with its 7.62 round is wildly popular and we'll keep a close eye on which direction Socom goes with its buy.
I've also heard rumor the we (USASFC) will not receive more SCARs or parts, but this team has definitely enjoyed the 7.62 capability on this trip, regardless of platform. Who ever has the power, we've got to get the teams this 7.62 capability (besides belt feds and sniper systems) for this theater.