Army.mil reports (emphasis added) …
Another lawmaker questioned Fuller about the Army’s individual carbine competition, to find a follow-on to the M4 Carbine weapon Soldiers are using now in Afghanistan. Fuller told the lawmaker the competition was not about meeting a specific need but about seeing if there was something better for Soldiers.
“We want to continue to improve the M4 — not necessarily associated with a complaint or challenge the field might be having — but we want to refresh that technology,” Fuller said. He told legislators there’s been 63 improvements to the M4 since it was first fielded in 1991
“This (competition) is another iteration of improvements,” he said. “We want to see through a full and open competition is there something better? That’s what this competition will be doing for our individual carbine.”
After competition, he said, the Army would evaluate what comes out of that and measure it against the current M4 to build a business case for making the investment to replace it.
Rather than the M4 Carbine competing against the challengers, the challengers will first have to fight it out1 before the powers that be will even consider if the M4 needs a replacement. This is weak sauce.
[ Many thanks to Lance for emailing me the link. ]