Another tidbit from the PEO Soldier roundtable yesterday was the revelation that the Army might just go ahead an procure more than 2,500 of the new "rebuilt" XM2010 enhanced sniper rifles for the entire force of service sharpshooters.
In a major shift brought on by experience in Afghanistan, the XM2010 is being built to fire the .300 Winchester Magnum round, which can hit targets up to 1,200 meters away. The current M24 -- much the same as the civilian Remington Model 700 -- fires a 7.62mm round that can reach targets about 800 meters away.But here's the kicker: it's unclear whether the Army will carve out the funds to do it. The deal is that back in 2010, a second-term congressman from the New York district that's home to Remington's Ilion Firearms Plant pushed funding through in an earmark to purchase the "rebuilds" of the M40 for snipers in Afghanistan. Though $28 million was allotted for up to 3,600 rebuilds, the service has only executed 250 for snipers in Afghanistan.
"We're trying to reach those extended ranges in Afghanistan … so [snipers] can reach out and hold that enemy out farther," said Brig. Gen. Pete Fuller in an April 14 interview with military reporters.
Fuller went on to say that the success of the XM2010 in Afghanistan caused the Army to consider fielding the longer-range rifle to all snipers servicewide.
"There is ongoing discussion in the Army right now whether we are going to 'pure fleet' the whole Army with this capability," Fuller said.
"I believe the Army will go in that direction" but a final decision hasn't been made, he said.
Problem is, that NY congressman lost his re-election last year so it's up in the air whether the program to kit out all snipers with the XM2010 will have the advocacy it needs to get fully funded.