The US Special Operations Command (US SOCOM) issued a solicitation for the procurement of SOF Combat Assault Rifles (SCAR) on October 15th, 2003. This solicitation requested a new combat rifle, specially tailored for the current and proposed future needs of the US Special Forces, which are somewhat different from latest generic US Army requirements,which are being fulfilled by the newest Heckler-Koch XM8 assault rifle.
|FN SCAR-L / Mk.16 rifle prototype (1s generation, late 2004), left side view|
The key difference in basic requirements between XM8 and SCAR is that, while XM8 is a single-caliber weapon system, tailored for the 5.56x45mm NATO ammunition, the SCAR should be available in various different calibers. Initial SOF requirements included two basic versions of SCAR system - the SCAR Light (SCAR-L), available in 5.56mm NATO, and the SCAR heavy (SCAR-H), which should be initially available in significantly more powerful 7.62x51 NATO chambering, andshould be easily adaptable in the field to other chamberings. These other chamberings initially include the well-spread 7.62x39 M43 ammunition of the Soviet / Russian origins, and probably some others (like the proposed 6.8x43 Remington SPC cartridge, especially developed for US Special Forces).
|FN SCAR-L / Mk.16 rifle, 2nd generation prototype, with FN EGLM 40mm grenade launcher attached|
|FN SCAR-H / Mk.17 rifle prototype in CQC (Close Quarter Combat,short barrel) configuration,7.62x51 mm NATO version|
|FN SCAR-L / Mk.16 rifle partially disassembled; note additional quick-detachable barrel|
|5.56mm NATO FN SCAR-L / Mk.16 rifles of current (2007/2008) production, top to bottom in Long Barrel (LB), standard (Std) and Close Quarter Combat (CQC) configurations|
|7.62mm NATO FN SCAR-H / Mk.17 rifles of current (2007/2008) production, top to bottom in Long Barrel (LB), standard (Std) and Close Quarter Combat (CQC) configurations|
Mk.16 SCAR-L rifle will use improved M16-type magazines, made of steel; Mk.17 SCAR-H will use proprietary 20-round magazines in 7.62x51 NATO chambering, or standard AK-type magazines in proposed 7.62x39 M43 chambering. Current prototypes of SCAR rifles do not have bayonet mounts,and, probably, will never have one.
|Mk.16SCAR-L (Light)||Mk.17 SCAR-H (Heavy)|
|Caliber||5.56x45 NATO||7.62x51NATO basic |
7.62x39 M43 and others additionally
|Overalllength, standard configuration||850 mm(max) / 620 mm (min)||997 mm (max) / 770 mm (min)|
|Barrellength||254mm/10" (CQC), 355mm/14" (Std), 457mm/18" (LB)||330mm/13"(CQC), 406mm/16" (Std), 508mm/20" (LB)|
|Weight||3.5kg empty||3.86 kg empty|
|Rate of fire||600rounds per minute||600 rounds per minute|
|Magazinecapacity||30 rounds standard||20rounds (7.62x51 NATO) |
30 rounds (7.62x39 M43)