...and leaves a LOT unsaid.
Well, we knew something like this would happen, we just didn't know how.
On Monday, SCAR maker FNH-USA shouted from the rooftops in a vaguely-worded press release that SOCOM had approved full rate production of the SCAR "family of weapons." The company said it was "ramping up production" to meet the "delivery orders placed by SOCOM."
We sent a note to FNH-USA spokeswoman Elaine Golladay asking for clarification on what "ramped up" means and SOCOM's "delivery orders" and got no response.
Kit Up! played it straight on our initial reporting of this announcement, but it looks as if the folks at FNH-USA tried to pull a fast one on us and tarnish Military.com's reporting and Kit Up! as well. A company rep forwarded the press release to two popular forums, figuring (correctly) the SCAR fans on the board would read the announcement and assume the Mk-16 is being purchased by SOCOM.
I'm being called a "doofus" and that I "no [sic] more about such things than all others" and that I "jumped the gun" and "made assumptions" in order to "set a negative tone."
I ask these keen analysts to prove that SOCOM is purchasing the Mk-16 in the numbers it had originally asked (about 38,000) or that the command is actually going to keep the 850 SCAR-Ls out in the field. Where in this latest FNH-USA release does it say that SOCOM is indeed going to purchase the Mk-16? You won't be able to find it because it's not there and you won't be able to find any evidence that SOCOM is going to purchase the 38,000 Mk-16s it had originally said it would -- because it's not.
The FNH-USA press release proves nothing, zip, nada and it certainly does not belie (that means render untrue) our reporting that SOCOM shitcanned the Mk-16.
It's a bummer that some are attacking my credibility and character on this story, but I'm not surprised. People basically will believe what they want to believe and if they hear anything to the contrary, they'll just reflexively shoot the messenger.
Anyone who knows anything about this program (including the FNH-USA rep who chummed the waters with this made-up 'news') knew all along the worst kept secret was that SOCOM was going to ditch the Mk-16 for various reasons -- just no one had reported it on the record. Until we did. So for SCAR watchers, this isn't a surprise. People can pick at the margins of the language used in the Military.com story and quibble with the wording and I accept that.
But the bottom line has -- again -- not changed. SOCOM is not buying the Mk-16 and the FNH-USA press release of Monday August 16 changes nothing.