FN changes tune. Says SCAR not cancelled.

FN has published a press released claiming that “allegations recently found on the web that USSOCOM abandoned the 5.56 version of the SCAR” are untrue. This is an interesting twist considering FN previously published a press release that implicitly confirmed that the program was cancelled.

The latest press release …

Belgium-based firearms manufacturer FN Herstal hereby refutes the allegations recently found on the web that USSOCOM abandoned the 5.56 version of the SCAR® rifle and reconfirms USSOCOM’s decision to acquire the full FN SCAR® family of weapons, including the 5.56mm rifle.

The FN SCAR® family of weapons consists of the 5.56mm SCAR® rifle, 7.62mm SCAR® rifle and 40mm LV Enhanced Grenade Launcher Module (respectively designated as MK 16, MK 17 and MK 13 by USSOCOM). These three components were developed by FN Herstal in close cooperation with USSOCOM and have each met all the operational and fielding tests required by the program. This resulted in the notification by USSOCOM last May that the full SCAR® system entered into Milestone C phase, allowing production and deployment of the full range of SCAR® weapons. The 5.56 version will be part of USSOCOM’s inventory.

The choice between the 5.56 and the 7.62 caliber will be left to the discretion of each constitutive component of USSOCOM’s Joint Command (e.g. Seals, Rangers, Army Special Forces, USMC, AFSOC) depending on their specific missions on today’s battlefield.

FN SCAR Mk.16

Military.com, who had the exclusive on the original story, did not claim that USSCOMOM was destroying their FN SCR Mk.16 inventory. They simply said that no more would be purchased that that the M4 Carbine would be used instead.

I look forward to see how this story develops.

UPDATE: I did not realize when I first posted this that this latest press release came from FN Herstal (Belgium) not their subsidiary FN-USA. I would be willing to bet that the Belgium FNH bosses are not happy with FN-USA after their press release.

UPDATE 2: Military.com Kit Up responds to the latest developments.



Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • SpudGun

    ‘allegations recently found on the web’ – nice going FN, what next? Trawling You Tube and thumbing down negative comments?

    Remember when DVD players came out and everyone stopped buying VHS? People didn’t abandon their VHS players to begin with, in fact most people had both, until finally the inevitable happened and stores stopped selling VHS players. Not sure if it’s an apt analogy, but it was the only one I could think of.

    • SpudGun, companies love to blame “the web”, “the forums” or, their favorite: “the blogs”.

  • Rijoenpial

    Well,

    This makes sense for me because annuling a deal after so many tests and greelighting its full production alleging things that were supposed to be noticed during the tests phase AND stating budget issues also makes no sense because as we all know, in ANY contract one thing the buyers always ask first is : How much will this cost?

    So, I tend to believe this to be a big hoax from AR lovers who hated the idea of a Belgian rifle being used by the US best soldiers… And FN may have jumped the gun on their previous announcement without talking with their client OR, kinda farfecthed, they are just making stuff up to save face… Which is obviously ludicrous as they would be unmasked and have their rep far more tainted…

    I always thought this cancelllation made no sense…I agree that FN’s only olbigation is to the contract they signed, so if SOCOM chooses not to prolong or increase the number of weapons to be made, that’s their prerrogative… I think that there is probably a minimum number of weapons to be made… BUt given the description of the prototypes (4 generations of SCAR) and their tests, I hardly believe they would mass produce them without a lock on the contract…If SOCOM was to breach it, surely compensations would be in order to FN…That happens with almost every contract of this nature…Both parties safeguard their own interests…

    I am gonna keep track of the evolution of this ‘soap opera’, but it seems that this cancellation has been a fabrication or merely unchecked rumors…

    I don’t think SOCOM would greenlight production and then go back on it a couple of months later, stating budget cuts (I don’t think they would procure a weapon without already having the money to buy it) or worse, that the SCAR didn’t outperform the M4 (which we already know, from the famous Army tests and the remaining 5 years of testing the SCAR had, to be a complete fabrication)…

    Now, given the long testing period, the budget numbers could have shifted, but surely they did not shift two months ago, when SOCOM greenlit SCAR production… So, unless they are terrible at Math, the budget side of it would have been secured otherwise greenlighting production without it would have been a very irresponsible move…

    So, let’s wait and see, but until official word from SOCOM surfaces stating otherwise, all we have now as official from SOCOM is the ‘SCAR reaching Milestone C’ news from April 2010…The rest should be taken with a grain of salt

    Unconfirmed reports = unverified news = no news!

    Cheers!

    • Rijoenpial, Military.com’s information was confirmed. I know who their source was.

  • Brian

    What a convenient twist and slight of hand that not destroying current MK16 stocks but not ordering more, coupled with the MK17 still on the table, is now not a cancellation. However, releasing this after releasing a statement that all but directly said it was cancelled seems to be shooting one’s self in the foot.

  • Nandor

    I just want a New York AWB compliant SCAR 17S without a collapsible/foldable stock. Is that so wrong? The ACR is going to eat their lunch in these AWB states simply because they offer a compliant model.

  • Steveweiser

    That thing is so fugly.

  • Lance

    Steve I don’t think SOCOM will use the MK-16 They are just still in the inventory. It wont replace the M-4. The US Army Rangers have al been seen using M-4s over the last year and many in says they aren’t using the Mk-16.

    I think they are stating that they are selling SOCOM Mk-17s that if SOCOM wanted to easlily readapt to Mk-16s. I stil confadent that theMilitary times is right and will use M-4s for its assult rifle and Mk-17s for battle rifle.

    what do you think Steve? Still believe in Military.com?

    • Lance, yes, I don’t have reason not to believe military.com

  • Alan

    We would like to publicly discredit all those nasty rumors that we posted. Don’t listen to us, we’re filthy liars. But listen to us now.

    • Alan, LOL, that sums it up.

  • Meltron

    Contracts are like relationships in some ways. Just because one side says it isn’t over doesn’t mean it is

  • Lance

    Hay Steve I wrote to Military.com and they replyed

    Lance,

    My information was from SOCOM in Tampa and is accurate. I saw FN-Herstal’s release today and it doesn’t seem to square with what SOCOM itself told me. Needless to say I am trying to get it straightened out now.

    Thanks for your interest,

    Christian Lowe
    Managing Editor
    Military.com

    I think FN is either saying the Mk-16s they have will remain in service or there blowing smoke in anger at SOCOM.

    I will stay with the Military news since it come from SOCOM not the maker of the MK-16 who is very biased in the matter.

  • Lance

    The information is conformed and SOCOM did cancel the SCAR 5.56 the information did come right from SOCOM and What the FN statement says is that the MK-16 will remain in thee arsinals. But they wont be used since the M-4 is standerd there now. The Mk-17 will be bought and used hence there statement is parcially right and the SCAR just the 7.62 verson is not stoped and is in production.

  • CharlesA222

    Well, just this to add to the discussion:

    When I was at the 3rd ID Warrior Leaders Course this last February, one of my battle buddies was a Ranger from the Ranger Bat at Benning. He said they’d ditched the SCAR across the Regiment because of parts breakage and the expense of replacement parts.

  • Lance

    You quite right CharlesA222 the marines too didnt like it and never used it in there Force recon groups. Like the illfated MK-23 pistol the only user of the Mk-16 was the SEALs. I think the .308 version is fine for CQB with a large cliber weapon but the 5.56 verson was never needed especially since Delta Force adopted the H&K 416 in 2005. Like I said I take the military’s word on what its useing more than a angry sales rep at a Forgien firearms company.

  • William C.

    FNH tries to clear up this mess a bit and you people bash them? What is with the AR-15 crowd?

    Lance why did you refer to the Mk.23 as ill-fated, I thought it was entering service, although at an incredibly slow pace.

  • Rijoenpial

    Lance,

    Like I said, official word f(via press release) from SOCOM is all I am willing to believe now… WIth all the desinformation going on, that is the only sensible thing to do righ now..

    I believe in official documents, NOT rumors, innuendos, desinformation, biased interpretations of rumors, biased ops from AR lovers, etc…

    FNH says they are still a go, just waiting for SOCOM to OFFICIALLY state they abandoned it…

    And I think they (SOCOM) will never do it because confirming the cancellation would imply a clear breach of contract, as I stated before, and they would be in serious trouble, not to mention having to pay compensations…

    So, the OFFICIAL silence (i don’t take individual inputs as the policy of the whole entity SOCOM) either means that they’re trying to hide it from FNH, or these news are false…

    Either way, they’re in big trouble… If they unilaterally cancelled the contract or changed terms without confering with their business partner, there are grounds to terminate contract and demand compensations… The terms of the contract are clearly not being followed here by one of the parties…

    Still, I don’t think the cancellation exists…I could believe though that once the initial length of contract is ended, SOCOM might not prolong it…

    I think SOCOM should issue a statement clearing this matter up because the sites the news showed up clearly have misread, misinterpreted the news and they admitted it…And SOCOM shouldn’t allow individuals affected to it to disperse rumors or innacurate info… That can blow up in their faces…

    Hopefully, tthe dust will settle and we’ll know the actual truth…

    But Lance, don’t believe for a second that those ops you take for granted are not political or biased… I hardly believe a word any word-of-mouth says and one individual op is not the op of the whole entity…

    Remember that!

    Cheers!

  • subase

    Finally the Scar fulfills it’s intended purpose that of making soldiers for press photoshoots look cooler. Observe.
    http://www.defensetech.org/images/SCAR-rangers.jpg

    Scar fanboys are shedding a tear as we speak.

    And the only reason they adopted the Scar heavy was it’s weight savings over the M14 and it probably being cheaper than the M14 (whose maintenance and mods no doubt cost a pretty penny)

  • SoulTown

    This is rich. This goes into the reality show territory. You know, the kind of reality show you stay glued to the TV while it airs, and hate yourself afterwards for enjoying it. The kind that makes you dumber and dumber every time you watch it. But oh! The drama! The incompetence! The waste!

    …sorry, got a little carried away there, but you know what I mean.

  • Big Daddy

    I just don’t understand all this BS from any part of the US military. SOCOM has Scars in 5.56mm then they say no good on that we only want the 7.62 version, the Marines HK416 IARs, SOF had HK416s that they made give back. What’s going on?

    I like what the English did, the Brits realized the FN FAL was NOT a good sniper rifle so they got some good LMT AR-10s. Good show old boy, a weapon that works well and the sights are just great with that CQB sight on top of the scope. Perfect squad marksman rifle for the Stan. Almost picked it right off the shelf of LMT. The Brits realized their bullpup was a POS and had HK fix it. It’s just fine now. Not to mention they figured out what was the best Cammo and got it to their soldiers ASAP. Were as we spent a billion dollars and still don’t have it to all our troops yet.

    The DOD is clueless and at this point could not buy a pair of socks without spending a trillion dollars on R&D. Yet still come up with the wrong type and have to recall them all, then tell all the soldiers to just buy some good cotton ones from Hanes at your own expense. They spend the tax payers money like it grows on trees and we are in an economic depression, thanks guys at the DOD and Washington. I hope you all have nice vacations from all the oil money and kickbacks from weapons manufacturers.

  • Lance

    Ok after reading from Military.com who went back to SOCOM and asked they said the MK-16 is canceled from any future buys BUT some service commands like SEALs by them selfs can buy a MK-16 if they want. Since the Army and mrine Corps Spec Ops never really adopted it they will stay with the M-4 or H&K 416 (Delta Force). They may be some SEALs who may buy some Mk-16s since there the only units to use them. But unlikely.

    The M-4 is here to stay.

    What do you say Jdun1911 and Steve?

  • Lance

    Willam C the Mk-23 SOCOM pistol was adopted, but the SEALs where the only group to use it the rest thought it was WAY TOO big and bulky for a handgun and didnt issue instead they stuck with M-9s and M-1911A1s already in service.

    Rioenpal SOCOM and Military.com talked again yesterday to clear this up and its offical from SOCOM they arnt buying 5.56mm SCARs any more they like to have some MK-17 to fill in the M-110 and M-14s the regular army and Marines took from there stock piles. The M-14s they do have will be in service for a while and in the NAVY in praticluar be in service for a while since in ship and artic senairos the M-14 has some value.

    As I posted earlier the fokes at SOCOM have told military.com again after the FN new relese again they will not buy MK-16s they will leave the use and buying spare parts up to each Sec Ops service but no more MK-16s will be bought. The MK-17 will be.

  • jdun1911

    William C.,

    As far as I know there is no Mk.23 in service. HK doesn’t produce them anymore.

    Have you ever use the or seen a Mk.23? Do you want to know why Special Operators never use it? Here are two pictures.

    http://www.rpginn.com/xgalleryx/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=37326&g2_serialNumber=1&g2_GALLERYSID=053ce8739759cb53981a34a1281b96a6

    http://www.rpginn.com/xgalleryx/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=37324&g2_serialNumber=1&g2_GALLERYSID=053ce8739759cb53981a34a1281b96a6

    That’s the brutal truth. Too big too heavy and for what 12 rounds of .45ACP? My Glock 30 subcompact holds 10 rounds of .45ACP. The only special operators that use the Mk.23 is in video games, just like Desert Eagles.

  • jdun1911

    Here is the deal with today small arms. All that is done has been done in terms of how a firearms operate a case cartridge. History tells us what change firearms is the ammunition they shoot out. So unless we see change in that area we will have the same type of firearms for the foreseeable future.

    I don’t mean changing from 5.56 case cartridge to 7.62 case cartridge. I mean from case cartridge to say energy weapons. Those kind of changes.

  • subase

    Seems to me this is your standard military weapon procurement and development screwup. Someone got paid, some pr photos were taken and that’s the end of it.

    But it wasn’t all a loss. Apart from the weight savings and maybe being cheaper, the Scar heavy with a quick change of the barrel to a shorter one, would make a great CQB weapon. The 5.56 is underpowered and Socom routinely kicking down doors may see the Scar heavy see dual use in this role.

  • subase

    Another point people haven’t mentioned is that the Scar heavy can also change it’s calibre to the AK47 round and probably AK47 magazines themselves. So Socom needing a gun to feed off the ammunition of it’s enemy for extended ops or too remain icognito, has also been achieved.

  • William C.

    Lance and crew, wasn’t the specification that led to the Mk.23 for a large “offensive” handgun with a high degree of accuracy? I don’t think you can blame H&K for giving them what they asked. And it seems the Colt entry was equally large and heavy.

    Now I am somewhat biased towards the H&K USP series (they replaced our Berettas at the local PD) but couldn’t SOCOM have gotten a version of the .45 USP? Or can those upgraded M1911s they have have fit all of the silences, lights, and lasers they want?

  • Big Daddy

    I agree that anything done today is basically reinventing the wheel. But my feelings as an ex solider for the US Army is that if you can give me a weapon that gives me a better chance to survive and some more training to insure that I know how to use it then it’s the duty of the DOD to make it happen.

    Who cares if we need to have some more supply issues. if I were an infantryman right now or even my old MOS 19Delta I would want to carry a hard hitting rifle, short and compact with the ability to hit and kill someone as far as they can hit me. I have carried the M-16A1, M-60, M-203, M-3 Grease gun and the M-1911 45, once I carried a German G3 for a day. All those weapons had their good points and bad.

    I did NOT mind the weight of the G-3 nor the M-3 at all. The length of the G3 was a pain as was the M-16A1 being a driver. I would not mind carrying a heavier piston version of the AR-15 family. I would not mind carrying a bit less ammo if I knew the round would have better ballistics and penetration. Better ability to shoot through and destroy possible cover for the enemy. I would without doubt be more inclined to aim and fire at specific targets rather than spray and pray with a 6.8mm or 6.5mm round as opposed to the 5.56mm round. I would want no more than a 16″ barrel and a collapsible stock. it doesn’t have to be made really short just a tad better for ergonomics. The 6.8mm round was designed for a 16″ barrel.

    Although thank goodness I never went into combat I have been out to the field many times. And I know what I would want and what I need as a combat soldier. I think almost everyone whose has served in a combat MOS or fought would agree with me.

    I’ll add I would also want someone behind me with some real fire power like a full 7.62 NATO rifle as a marksman and a 20-30mm semi auto grenade rifle like the M-32 or Neopup, XM-109 25mm Barett rifle or all three. Not to mention a good IAR/SAW in 6.8mm like the Ulimax and a true GPMG at the platoon level in 7.62MM NATO like the M-240L. I don’t want to even get into shoulder launched anti-tank and other weapons like that. or even how about a pistol that will take someone down like the old .45 or .40 cal. How about buying everybody a .40 Glock??????

    When you spend billion on stuff that doesn’t work and never will like the F-35 and it’s alternative engine then complain about the cost of the rifle and other gear the combat soldiers have to use, I think that’s akin to treason.

    So reinvent the wheel until they all have laser guns and get our men on the ground the best and most effective weapons that give them the edge and insure their survivability. I know what it’s like to be treated like a piece of meat with a number on it. It’s not right.

  • Lance

    Willam C yes the marine Spec Ops are useing I beleve Kimber 1911A1s and yes they can carry lazers lights and other devices. the Army stayed with the M-9. The SEALs uses the Mk-23 but its size makes it a problem for evem them ws its too BIG. Seems the MK-23 is much like the 5.56 Mk-16 was BIG BIG news and hype when it was adopted but never was accepted by manny due its its faults. When it comes to weapons the “old Timmer” M-1911A1 in its new M-45 configuration and the M-4 have been doing fine in combat thats what the solders say they want.

  • jdun1911

    Scar was in the field testing stage. It was tested by Rangers and other US forces in Afghanistan/Iraq. It was found that the Scar wasn’t worth the effort to continue the project. There was no procurement and development screw ups.

    The development of the SCAR stated that it must have a universal receiver. It didn’t came out that way. That’s why they made two versions. If they couldn’t do it from the getgo than I doubt they would be successful in the future.

  • Rijoenpial

    jdun1911,

    you’re wrong…The Milestone C reaching (April 2010) happened AFTER the tests were conducted… So, for all intents and purposes, the SCAR production was approved AFTER the extensive testing took place… So, their 5.56 excuse doesn’t stick… And so doesn’t the budget excuse…

    That is like you going to a store, wanting to buy something and realise at the last moment, namely at the cashier, you don’t have enough cash to purchase it… Tell me you wouldn’t feel embarassed by that…

    SOCOM has repeated the XM8 debacle, which cost more than 30 million dollars to the US taxpayer, didn’t purchase it AT ALL and now they repeat the dose, this time at least purchasing only PART of it…

    This weapon was done exclusively for SOCOM, hence the S in SCAR, so after the prototype 4 testing, they should have told FNH ‘Well, the performance of the 5.56 version doesn’t add anything relevant to the M4’s’ and be done with it… I repeat, giving the green light for mass production of BOTH versions after extensive testing, only to back out a couple of months later, spells ‘irresponsibility’ all over it…

    The Army procurement officials need to get their act together and stop costing millions and millions of dollars to the taxpayer… This is getting ridiculous…

    Not to mention the rep they are starting to get among manufacturers, first with HK and then with FNH, for ditching projects like they do…

    If they want an exclusive weapon, first they need to know if they ACTUALLY NEED it and in an ulterior moment, realise if they can AFFORD it!

    Like I said, if I ran my business like this, I would be out of business!

    The only difference is that SOCOM doesn’t pay the penalty for wasting the hard earned money of the US citizens like this! More will come every year, maybe more, maybe less! An unending fountain of funds!

    I actually feel baffled why so many of you who are from the US, are not concerned about the sheer waste of money, brainpower and time wasted on these botched projects (XM8 and now the SCAR).. It is YOUR money, after all!

    Not to mention that if SOCOM was always gonna stick to the more prolific M4, and I think they were, they could have just bought/rented (LOL) a part of the USArmy latest M4 batch and be done with it… They would have saved a ton of money…

    This episode is as appaling as it is funny…

    Not to FNH, I gather… but SOCOM’s procurement division can’t be laughing either…

    Cheers!

  • subase

    30 million is peanuts man. They ‘lost’ couple of billion in Iraq and your complaining about 30 million.

    I think this was a success since they got the Scar heavy. And just transferred all the money into purchasing it and not the normal Scar.

    FN lost some credibility with Scar mk16 but nobody, except fanboys cares about the gun anyway. Quality piston ar’s are flooding the marketplace, the Scar might have been hot a few years ago but now it’s just another piston AR.

    FN might not have their rifle be the best in Call of Duty multiplayer like the ACR, but having SCAR H adopted by Socom is a nice consolation price, this is still a publicity win for them.

    Also I wouldn’t call the HK Mk 23 pistol a failure completely. Keep in mind this was in the early nineties, before the Sig Sauers, before Para Ordnance made a double stack 1911. The only advanced pistol design was the Glock 21, but it was probably too inaccurate or maybe they just don’t like Glocks.

    The entire concept of an ‘offensive pistol’ is flawed hence it was destined to crap out an inferior bulky weapon. Hk still won bigtime because they only needed to lighten the model and the USP tactical special forces super pistol (as used by Socom) was born.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heckler_%26_Koch_Mark_23

  • subase

    Actually on second thought, as an accurate ‘hi cap’ .45 pistol the HK MK23 was a success. It’s only problem was that it was quickly superseded by more compact, just as accurate, higher capacity designs in the forthcoming years which quickly made it an inferior choice. Sig Sauer’s P226 was not in the .45 calibre.

  • Lance

    You forget this is the same lilitayr who biuhgt the 1000 dollar hammer. LOL

  • Bill Lester

    Rijoenpial,

    Trust me, there are quite a few American taxpayers wondering why the Pentagon wastes OUR dollars like it does.

  • Rijoenpial, you need to clam down. That post was way out of line.

  • Interesting

    Christian Lowe was the only web source to report that the mk-16 was ‘cancelled’. Interesting. Any collaborative or secondary sources on this? …wouldn’t be the first ‘cry wolf’ from christian.

  • Lance

    Sorry “Interesting”

    The source was SOCOM nad other reports from Rangers and other GI stated that they didnt like or want the MK-16. If you dont like the new dont read it dont cuss out the poor reporter.

  • Rijoenpial

    Steve,

    I again apologise…I have had the chance to review my post and you’re absolutely right… I was indeed out of line…

    Anyway, I have said what I had to say about the SCAR and the events surrounding it in previous posts anyway, so time to move on…

    Sorry again, Steve… That will be the last time, I promise…I just need to avoid Lance and jdun1911 from now on… LOL

    Cheers!

  • john

    Funny, I bought a SCAR 16S and came home and read this. Happened the same day! Just checking back now.
    Anyway, Having been around many rifles, I’d have to say the SCAR’s a good design with a lot of good design compromises. It’s definitely very light weight. However….it’s not designed for Magpul mags (lot of guys like em), double fed, and if the 5.56 case get’s flipped around backward in the ejection port (stovepipe) it’s bad news. The extractor recess in the breach for the new bolt head is just a little narrower than the case head and when the bolt slams forward on the stove-piped case… it’s seriously wedged in the breach. That would seriously suck on the 2-way shooting range. All that said, there have been no malfunctions after break-in. If an FN engineer or SOCOM personnel wants to contact me and discuss solutions to the design issues, I’d be happy to share from my experience in engineering and small arms.

    BTW, Merry Christmas!