View Full Version : SAW Replacement-Real World Testing

08-09-10, 12:38 PM
SAW replacement set for real world testing

5 units to use Infantry Automatic Rifle during pre-deployment workups
By Dan Lamothe - Staff writer
Posted : Monday Aug 9, 2010 8:24:31 EDT

This fall, Marine units will finally get their hands on the experimental M27 infantry automatic rifle as several units employ the 5.56mm weapon during pre-deployment training. It will likely be another year before the weapon is sent down range, however.

The plan is part of a new round of experimental testing called for by Commandant Gen. James Conway, said Lt. Col. Mark Brinkman, who oversees the program’s development at Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Va. The commandant has authorized the command to buy 458 IARs, with limited fielding to one infantry battalion in each Marine expeditionary force, one light armored reconnaissance battalion and one reserve infantry battalion.

Marine officials declined to comment on which units were selected or why, but the decision would appear to indicate that Conway is seeking additional feedback on the weapon’s performance from the infantry. The Corps has tentative plans to buy about 4,100 M27s to replace the aging M249 squad automatic weapon in some infantry formations, but the commandant is concerned the new weapon, carrying a 30-round magazine, would provide enough firepower to establish superiority in combat.

The units receiving the IAR will be in the pipeline to deploy in 2011, but will get the weapon in “sufficient time to train with the weapon prior to deployment,” Brinkman said. Marines in the selected units will carry it through pre-deployment workups, including Enhanced Mojave Viper training at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center at Twentynine Palms, Calif.
The limited fielding is the latest step for the program, which has been closely scrutinized by Marines who share Conway’s concerns. Proponents have countered that fielding the IAR will give Marines a lighter-weight alternative to the SAW and is also more accurate in combat.
In the last year, the Corps has narrowed its search for the weapon to a specific variant, Heckler & Koch’s HK416 IAR, and tested it at Twentynine Palms, Fort McCoy, Wis., and Camp Shelby, Miss.

The testing at Twentynine Palms enabled the Corps to see how it performed in a dusty environment, Brinkman said. Cold-weather testing was conducted at Fort McCoy last winter, and hot-weather testing was completed in June at Camp Shelby. The Marine Corps Operational Test & Evaluation Activity, based at Quantico, oversaw testing, but its report is not yet complete, Marine officials said. The agency independently tests gear that the Corps may field.

The Corps is still interested in potentially fielding a high-capacity magazine that would carry between 50 and 100 rounds, but is “not actively pursuing” it currently, Brinkman said.
“If we do pursue a high-capacity magazine, it will be critical that it does not have a negative impact on the reliability of the weapon,” he said.

Backhaus 1103
08-09-10, 06:14 PM
No good...no magazine fed weapon can match the fire power of a belt fed one. Just get us new SAWs because the ones my battalion has are old and sh!tty.

08-09-10, 06:48 PM
This is not a replacement weapon for the M249, but a supplemental weapon.

08-10-10, 12:26 PM
This weapon is intended to bring the MC back to the days of having an automatic rifle per fire team and not a light MG. Think BAR.

08-10-10, 01:17 PM
Loading a 100 round magazine....... dreamy. Would love to have 6 of those flopping all over my gear.

08-12-10, 03:01 PM
So basically they are just thinking about using the highly un-reliable P.O.S. Beta C mags??? 100 rounds of 5.56 pulling straight down on a magazine catch thats about 1/8th of an inch thick... no thanks. I can see the mag easily dropping out during a sprint to cover. That's my opinion.

09-05-10, 02:25 PM
Worst. Idea. Ever. I'd really like to know which officer (and you know it was a shiny that kicked this whole thing off) looked at this weapon, then looked at the SAW, and said to himself, "you know what? that's a perfect replacement!" No grunt worth his salt would EVER give up his SAW in exchange for a mag fed weapon. Seriously, WTF?!? How about we keep the SAW, pretend we're grunts and not complete bitc*es, and if higher has such a boner for an automatic rifle, just start issuing us some M4A1's--Not ONE grunt would complain about receiving one of those.

09-05-10, 05:59 PM
Not realy up on the new stuff been out to long but it seems to me that power to be never ask the grunt who has to use these things what he thinks he needs. It was that way when I was in and seems to never stop, just NUTS.