|FN SCAR-H / Mk.17 rifle prototype in CQC (Close Quarter Combat,short barrel) configuration,7.62x51 mm NATO version|
Late in 2004 USSOCOM announced, that the winner for the initial SCAR contracts is the FN USA, an US-based subsidiary of the famous Belgian company Fabrique Nationale Herstal. Prototype rifles were manufactured by FN Manufacturing Inc, US-based subsidiary to FN Herstal; This company will also handle series production of rifles. Starting mid-2005, first SCAR rifles went to end users in US Special Operation Forces. Since USSOCOM uses Navy-type "mark" designations, SCAR rifles were officially designated as 5.56mm Rifle Mark 16 (SCAR-L / Light) and 7.62mm Rifle Mark 17 (SCAR-H/ Heavy). It is believed that Mk.16 and Mk.17 rifles will gradually replace most rifle systems now in service with US SOCOM forces, such as M4 carbines, M16 rifles, M14 rifles and Mk. 25 sniper rifles.
| FN SCAR-L / Mk.16rifle, 2nd generation prototype, with FN EGLM 40mm grenade launcher attached |
As it turned out, FNSCAR rifles are not based on any previous weapons but designed from the scratch. In all variants FN SCAR rifles feature gas operated, short stroke piston action with rotating bolt locking. Bolt system appears to be somewhat similar to that of FN Minimi / M249 SAW machine gun. This system apparently is less sensitive to fine sand, dust and any other fouling inside the receiver, than any system with M16-type multi-lug bolt and plunger-type ejector.
|FN SCAR-L / Mk.16 rifle partially disassembled; note additional quick-detachable barrel|
Receiver is made from two parts, upper and lower, connected with two cross-pins. Upper part is made from extruded aluminium, lower part is made from polymer. SCAR-L and SCAR-H use similar upper receivers that differ only in the size of ejection port. Other different parts include caliber-specific bolt, barrel, and lower receiver with integral magazine housing. Parts commonality between SCAR-L and SCAR-H is astonishing 90%. Barrels are quick-detachable, and held in the upper receiver with two cross-bolts. Barrel change procedure requires minimum amount of tools, takes just several minutes and there is no need to adjust the headspace after the change.
|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|
The trigger unit with ambidextrous safety-fire mode selectors witch allows for single shots and full automatic fire, with no provisions for limited-length bursts mode. The charging handle could be easily installed on either side of the weapon, so the upper receiver has respective cuts on both sides. Top of the upper receiver is covered by the full-length integral Picatinny rail (MIL-STD 1913); additional Picatinny rails are mounted on both sides and under the free-floating handguards. Side-folding polymer buttstock is adjustable for length of pull, and is shaped to provide positive cheekrest with adjustable cheek support. SCAR rifles are fitted with removable, adjustable iron sights, with folding diopter-type rear sight on the receiver rail, and folding front sight onthe gas block. Any additional type of sighting equipment, necessary for current tasks, including telescope and night sights, can be installed using MIL-STD 1913 compatible mounts.
|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.
|FN SCAR-L / Mk.16 rifle prototype (First generation, late 2004), left side view|
|Mk.16SCAR-L (Light)||Mk.17 SCAR-H (Heavy)|
7.62x39 M43 and others additionally
|Overall length, standard configuration||850 mm(max) / 620 mm (min)||997 mm (max) / 770 mm (min)|
|Barrel length||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|
|Magazine capacity||30 rounds standard||
20rounds (7.62x51 NATO)
30 rounds (7.62x39 M43)