We're running a story at Military.com by Kit Up! contributor Matthew Cox that examines how pessimistic the nation's leading gunmakers are about the Army's Improved Carbine program.
The Army released a draft solicitation Jan. 31 to announce the endeavor, but long-arm manufacturers began preparing for this event more than three years ago when the M4's performance came under scrutiny from Soldiers and lawmakers alike.Of course, this is two weeks before the IC industry day (scheduled for March 31), so surely more of this will be cleared up then. But I can see why gunmakers are skeptical of the Army's staying power sincerity with this -- we've seen that it might be a little tough to get the "leap ahead" mantra out of the equation.
Companies are already expressing concern over the guidelines competitors will have to follow to participate.
One issue causing anxiety is the lack of clarity over how the Army will test rifles that can shoot more than one caliber of ammunition.
While a formal solicitation for the competition is scheduled for release in May, the current rules seem to limit companies from entering more than one carbine design.
[EDITOR'S NOTE: For those of you who might have misunderstood the intent of my Pararescueman post yesterday I cannot say clearly enough that PJs are total bad asses. Why the heck do you think I included that photo? Very impressive people.]