We're breaking a story from our good friend Matt Cox who left Army Times and is now going full-time into the freelance world on the Corps giving preliminary go-ahead to field five-battalions worth of the new M-27 Infantry Automatic Weapon.
This is a major development since the Kit Up!/Military.com team last spoke with the Commandant about this issue and he said he and others within HQ were still evaluating the IAR and where it would fit in the platoon. But that was back in March and since then the CMC has decided on a limited fielding of the M-27.
What I'd like to know is how Grunts will use the IAR in place of the SAW. Again, the 30-round magazine seems to me to be a show stopper since the SAW is used to fix enemy with supressive fire, right? Matt's story tells us the Corps is looking at magazines that can hold 50-100 rounds, but the M-27s to be fielded this fall won't have them.
Can anyone out there give us the gouge on how leathernecks are supposed to use this thing? What's the SAW gunner's mission now? How is this used in US SOCOM?