BREAKING: H&K Wins CSASS Competition with G28E

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It’s not April Fools’ (we already did that, thanks for playing along!), German gunmaker Heckler & Koch has apparently won the US Army’s Compact Semi-Automatic Sniper System competition with its G28E incorporating a baffle-less OSS suppressor. This is a major victory for both H&K and Operator Suppressor Systems, as Heckler & Koch beat out long time rival Fabrique Nationale as well as SASS incumbent Knight’s Armament Company to win this major procurement contract. This is also, so far as I know, the first time that OSS’s baffle-less supressor design has won a major general issue military contract. From FBO.gov:

:
W15QKN-14-R-0065
:
Award Notice
:
March 31, 2016
:
W15QKN-16-D-0051
:
Max Potential Contract Value: $44,500,000.00
:
CLIN 0001-0029
:
Heckler & Koch Defense Inc.
:
134466999
:
19980 Highland Vista Dr Ste 190
Ashburn, Virginia 20147
United States
:
Added: Apr 01, 2016 9:40 am
The U.S. Army Contracting Command – New Jersey, Picatinny Arsenal, NJ on behalf of the Project Manager Soldier Weapons awarded a single award Indefinite Delivery-Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract with Firm Fixed Price (FFP) Delivery and Task Orders with two (2) options for a maximum total of 3,643 Compact Semi-Automatic Sniper System (CSASS) units. The period of performance for the base ordering period will be Twenty-Four (24) months, during which time Production Qualification Testing/Operational Testing(PQT/OT) of 30 CSASS units will be conducted. The minimum ordering obligation for this contract is 30 CSASS units to be used for PQT/OT. Option one (1) will enable additional ordering periods and will include production, spare parts, depot support, First Article testing, and Instructor and Key Personnel Training (I&KPT). Option two (II) is for the purchase of a technical data package and Government Purpose Rights.
And from the contracts page at Defense.gov:
Heckler & Koch Defense Inc., Ashburn, Virginia, was awarded a $44,500,000 firm-fixed-price contract with options for Compact Semi-Automatic Sniper System spare parts, training, and government purpose rights.  Bids were solicited via the Internet with eight received with an estimated completion date of March 30, 2022.  Funding and work location will be determined with each order.  Army Contracting Command, Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey, is the contracting activity (W15QKN-16-D-0051).

The CSASS program aimed to address issues of size and length with the original SASS program that was won by Knight’s Armament Company in 2005, resulting in the M110. The CSASS solicitation appears to combine the concept of a carbine-length 7.62mm semiautomatic support weapon adopted by the British Army and New Zealand Defence Forces with the optionally suppressed flexibility of the original M110 SASS weapon.

The G28E is based on Heckler & Koch’s G28 designated marksman’s rifle designed for the Bundeswehr, itself in turn based on the HK 417 7.62 caliber bigger brother to the HK 416. The G28E incorporates a large, lightweight octagonal KeyMod-like rail with seven sets of mounting positions for attachment of rail segments and accessories.



Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He can be reached via email at nathaniel.f@staff.thefirearmblog.com.


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  • Porty1119

    $12k per rifle? Sheesh, wish I could spend like that. The whole program still comes out at less than the cost of a single F-35…

    • $12 large per system, rifle, optic, suppressor, bipod, etc.

      • That’s a Schmidt & Bender 3-20 x 50 PM II Ultra Short scope, so let’s assume about $5K for the optic alone, that’s $7K for rifle, suppressor, bipod, case, etc. The OSS suppressor is about $1,700 by itself. So that’s $5,300 for the rifle, bipod, case, and other ancillaries.

        LMT’s MWS Sharpshooter (basically L129A1) with bipod and without suppressor or optic costs about $5,500. So actually HK seems to be undercutting them a little, although I don’t know what the British Army pays per L129A1.

      • That probably includes a number of replacement/maintenance parts as well.

        • Joshua

          Know what would have been cheaper? Purchasing K1 conversion kits for the M110.

          Most parts are the same and the kits would cost a fraction of the price of this new weapon.

          • Stan Darsh

            Except that would actually make both monetary and logistical sense. Besides, a select few higher-ups in the Army wouldn’t be getting those infamous HundK kickbacks and perks.

          • FactChecker90803

            I made the same comment about the perks and kickbacks on another Web Site, let’s see The LWRCI™ Rapid Engagement Precision Rifle (R.E.P.R.) , is lighter, cheaper, comes in quick change barrel configuration, has WON, more contracts and is American Made..

      • Core

        Hopefully they don’t slack on the barrel quality once they get comfortable supplying these.. History is making turning me into a skeptic. I’d be happier to see Remington, a domestic manufacturer produce these. 1. Remington would have more accountability than a HK GMBH. 2. If the EU decides to raid HK GMBH again do they hold our military contract hostage? 3. If these are produced stateside, I’m okay with this.

    • Thomas S

      12k covers the rifle in a deployable state along with training, depot services, spare parts and the “data package” which is always pricy. It is everything on the engineering of the item and can be used to produce the rifle without HK involved if we went to true war production like in WWII (we could assign any company to make them and not have to worry about any engineering snafu’s mucking it up).

      The support is also pricy. When you buy a rifle, no one comes over to train you on how to shoot it or fix it. You also don’t get a bunch of spare parts. Along with that the company isn’t going to change their design for you if you would like something different.

      We bought the whole damn rifle ready to go, plus spare parts, training and support. That’s what you get for 12k a pop.

      • CommonSense23

        Which is insane. 2k max optics. , 2-3k rifle, 400 pelican case, 2k suppressor, and 500 bipod. Then just stock replacement parts.

      • Anonymoose

        12k is about what an M110 costs on the civilian market, iirc.

        • iksnilol

          Yup, without goodies such as replacement parts or armorer training.

    • Budogunner

      You DO spend money like that. Those are YOUR tax dollars.

      • No? What? If you actually did the math to find out how much each individual taxpayer chipped in to buy these rifles, it would be a matter of mere cents for the entire contract.

        • anon

          don’t be a pedantic jackass

          • I’m not being pedantic, what Budogunner said is flat-out wrong.

        • Budogunner

          That overlooks the fact that these rifles aren’t the only items the government spends money on this way. On the whole, oh yes, we definitely spend money this way with our taxes.

  • Ed

    Well I checked out other main mil blogs and only solder systems stated this as a rumor. Most also posted that FNand LMT will sue to protest this if its proven to be true. Fact is with smaller budgets, and the over price HK offers this battle for a so called CSASS is far from over.

    • Patrick Karmel Shamsuddoha

      it is highly unlikely a protest will change anything all parties will be debriefed on why they lost and the protest will only place a 100 day hold on the contract while the selection process is reviewed

      • Joshua

        It could. I have heard, not verified or had seen any open source evidence yet.

        However I have heard this was rushed and skipped a phase to select a winner, if this proves true a protest may successful.

    • It’s not really overpriced. That’s a Schmidt & Bender 3-20 x 50 PM II Ultra Short scope, so let’s assume about $5K for the optic alone, that’s $7K for rifle, suppressor, bipod, case, etc. The OSS suppressor is about $1,700 by itself. So that’s $5,300 for the rifle, bipod, case, and other ancillaries.

      LMT’s MWS Sharpshooter (basically L129A1) with bipod and without suppressor or optic costs about $5,500. So actually HK seems to be undercutting them a little, although I don’t know what the British Army pays per L129A1.

      • HKGuns

        Don’t ruin his fantasy please. He read it on the internet.

        • Rob

          It really is amazing how some people’s brains just melt when the letters h and k are placed next to each other and they see red…

  • Suppressed

    With the recent news of their founder leaving that was posted here recently, I’m not sure how to feel about OSS getting a piece of this pie. I hope he gets a proportionate share of this contract money as I would assume OSS has been working on this for years now.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      It’s EXTRMELY unlikely OSS “won” anything. Author is just speculating because he saw a kitted gun at SHOT.

      • So, if HK won the contract, and if they said that gun with those accessories is what they entered… Exactly what am I supposed to conclude from this?

  • ColonelColt

    Do we have to buy the backwards KeyMod as well? Or any KeyMod at this point?

    • uisconfruzed

      Backwards Key-Mod, good catch.

  • G0rdon_Fr33man

    If HK could please put a bloody gas regulator on their civvie-G28…

    • iksnilol

      If they did those two lawyers who can actually afford one would be mighty pleased 😉

  • With HK having a track record of accuracy issues… is this a good thing?

    • CommonSense23

      HK actually makes good barrels for the 416 and 417. The G36 I have no first hand experience, and there belt fed machine gun had to deal with swappable barrels matching the optic which is incredibly difficult.

      • iksnilol

        They guarantee 1.5 MOA 10 shot groups.

    • JSmath

      Not referencing the G36 thing are you?

      Pretty much anyone who looked into it has concluded that sentiment wasn’t true.

    • Vitor Roma

      The M27 is known for having an outstanding barrel, the PSG1 is known for having outstanding accuracy. I’m sure that HK is fine on this department.

    • Blue Centurion

      Seriously? That was a political mess over the G36.

    • HKGuns

      How has HK ever had accuracy issues? Seriously? Pretty obvious you don’t own any HK rifles or you wouldn’t have posted that nonsense. Most companies would love to have HK barrels in their rifles.

  • These will pair well with the Canik .40s! *chuckle*

  • YOYO BATOU

    SO now are all the M110s going to be for sale at the CMP? Hehehe.

  • Vitor Roma

    Tim from MAC has only great things to say about his 417. I’ve always found the m110 kinda over the top for its role, too long and heavy.

    • Mac also seems to have way more disposable income than any of us.

      • Rocky Chen

        ikr xD

    • Joshua

      Army got what it wanted in the M110.

    • Sam

      He seems like the kinda guy that only does positive reviews.

      For instance, High Threat Concealment sent him stuff to review and of course it’s nothing but great feedback from him. But I have that stuff for work and it’s pretty close to garbage… that seems to be the going trend with his videos.

      Get an HK417. Shoot a few rounds. Recommend it to everyone. Profit.

      • Vitor Roma

        He tested the accuracy of his 417 and did as good or better than many bolt guns. He was extremely disappointed abyt the VP9 in the reliability test.

  • Geoff

    Backwards KeyModish proprietary attachment system. Kudos HK, kudos.
    Might as well make it in a proprietary exclusively HK-produced round while you’re at it.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      “7.60×56 HK$”

  • John

    $44.5 million huh? Well, I guess we’re lucky, this is the military, that could be for just ONE rifle!

  • TheSmellofNapalm

    Did they lay out their reasoning for going with HK? Can we see how each rifle ranked?

    • Joshua

      Because Big Army ignored all recommendations by SOCOM to just adopt the KAC ECC upgrade kit.

      The best part is, this is the one rifle no one wanted.

      • Beomoose

        I don’t mean to direct this at you personally, but I hope for several reasons that’s all just rumint. Really broken reasoning by the Army if it’s true.

        • Joshua

          It’s true. Verified it last night with two seperate people I know.

          This is the way things are now. It’s done to stop wasting funds on failed procurement trials like the individual Carbine and such and to drum up interest by companies that normally wouldn’t be.

          Since its more “fair” to companies now that there won’t be a monopoly on small arms platforms anymore.

          So despite all the push from SOCOM to adopt the M110K that everyone wants, the Army chose to be “fair” and selected HK…..because choosing KAC again wouldn’t have been fair since they hold the current M110 contract.

          • JumpIf NotZero

            M110K5 seemed like the most obvious choice.

          • Joshua

            It was, but that wouldn’t be fair to the companies who don’t normally win or currently hold any contracts of significant value.

            Just like how I reckon the MHP will go to someone who doesn’t currently hold any significant government contract.

          • Uniform223

            It was too obvious and too easy… there for the good idea fairy had to come around.

          • Beomoose

            Sigh

      • CommonSense23

        I find it hilarious most of the guns running 417s want something else.

        • Joshua

          The most infuriating part of this whole thing is that we will eventually be losing our M110ks for this POS rifle, since the M110 we had were from the Army with the conversion kits being procured separately.

          Without a M110 program to get rifles we’ll have to sacrifice performance to use this rifle instead of what we want.

        • HKGuns

          Source and examples please.

      • n0truscotsman

        thanks for being the bearer of bad news. i thought this adoption was an april fools joke tbh

        • Joshua

          Enjoy the ECC while you have it. With no more M110 contract to piggyback SOCOM will be moving to these eventually.

  • JumpIf NotZero

    The contract does not seem to actually say anywhere that the OSS can is part of the system.

    Do you have a source on that or is it just speculation?

    • Joshua

      Speculation.

      • Fair enough, it doesn’t actually say that. However, that was H&K’s proposal, so far as I know.

        • Joshua

          I haven’t seen the entered rifle, however that picture is the G28E1 that was at SHOT this year. From what I’ve heard it’s just the basic G28 that was entered. Which is even more dumb.

          • I can’t see the basic G28 winning at all. It’s way, way over the Army’s weight limit. The G28E actually looks like a CSASS entrant, although like you I don’t know exactly what their proposal was.

        • JumpIf NotZero

          You are confusing how in love HK USA is with OSS, not HK GmbH.

          I would be SHOCKED to see an OSS on a real mil gun. I’m almost certain the real CSASS does not have an OSS can on it for like 10 different reasons.

          • MikeSmith13807

            Why would you be shocked to see OSS included? Do you realize applications like this was the original intent for them?

          • JumpIf NotZero

            lol, because I don’t believe everything I read on the Internet about the next greatest thing.

          • Stan Darsh

            Didn’t all the OSS “suppressors” trialled at Ft. Bragg have catastrophic failures in November 2015?

          • MikeSmith13807

            Oh ok, so you The Great Keyboard Warrior Skeptic knows more than the people who actually own the product and have used it. Got it.

          • HK USA is the company that won the contract, mate, not HK GmbH.

            You have ten different reasons for believing the OSS can couldn’t possibly be on a military gun, OK – care to share them?

          • Eagleeastcoast

            Please list your 10 reasons, since 3 out of the 5 the entrants used the OSS suppressor…and the contract is for the complete as submitted package.
            So the OSS, the S&B and the H-Keymod is it….

  • Petto

    I find it kinda funny , that the US army selected probably the most expensive rifle from the all and most likely on purpose.

    Hk417 are not bad rifles but expensive as hell – for Hk417 you could get like 2 high quality LMT .308 rifles , that could do the same job as Hk417.
    I can get the idea for SF (they always must have expensive toys) but for regular army?
    Just weird , now i wonder how the whole pistol MHS program will end up.

    • Doesn’t look like the G28E is any more expensive than the L129A1/MWS-SS:

      Total per-unit cost: $12,215.21

      Schmidt & Bender 3-20 x 50 PM II Ultra Short scope – ~$5,000

      OSS suppressor – ~$1,700

      Cost of rifle + bipod + case + whatever else is in the package (e.g., spare mags):

      ~$5,500

      An LMT MWS-SS/L129A1 costs almost exactly the same for the bare rifle, case, and ancillaries.

      • jono102

        Maybe in civilian pricing. Our LMT DMW’s as a complete package (suppressor, Leo Mk 6, case, bipod etc) had a lower Mil/Def complete package cost than above.

        • Yep, I’d imagine so since it was a large order. However, I don’t know exactly what that cost is.

  • Fargo007 .

    Where are these going to be manufactured? I thought US .MIL guns had to be made here. That’s why FN, Beretta, etc. set up shop here.

    • SGT Fish

      No. They don’t

    • Joshua

      Usually yes, but this is only for a maximum of 3,654 rifles.

      It’s a small procurement in the big scheme of things. It doesn’t warrant or need a US factory to fulfill, plus the Army has the ability to buy the TDP should they choose.

  • SGT Fish

    The dumb OSS hex tube they use overtop of the cans round tube is absolutely retarded. No benefit except looks. All that weight just to have a different look

    • HKGuns

      Oh really? When exactly have you used one and how are you qualified to make that statement? It is pretty clear you know nothing about the design with that statement.

      Gotta love how any article about HK on this blog brings all of the know-it-all crowd out of the woodwork.

      • SGT Fish

        It has nothing to do with HK. Everything to do with OSS.

        • G0rdon_Fr33man

          Increased surface area, less mirage.

          • JumpIf NotZero

            Not even remotely true.

            Such marketing BS.

    • At least according to the OSS guys, the octagonal shape is there to reduce mirage formation.

  • Anonymoose

    What are the going to do for mags? We finally get the SCAR-H to take affordable, common SR-25 mags, and now they go and switch to this…

    • jono102

      They should have made the SR-25 mag as one of the requirements. It would’ve maintained commonality and fitted in better with the existing logistics chain. It would’ve also minimized the cost and control of the supplier

      • Joshua

        These new mags also will not fit current mag pouches. New ones will have to be procured now.

        • jono102

          The “H&K self licking icecream” continues…..

          • Joshua

            It always continues.

      • Anonymoose

        Maybe if we’re lucky HK will produce SR-25-mag-compatible lowers, the same way Armalite finally caved and made the AR10A. Who am I kidding? They’d rather gouge us for $100 proprietary mags. I kinda wish the HK417 was still backwards compatible with G3 mags, like the early versions were.

  • NewMan

    Doesn’t surprise me at all. HK makes fine weapons for serious use. I’m glad that they won. The SR-25 is known to be a POS for quiet a while now I’m glad that they’re replacing it.

    • Joshua

      Must be why SOCOM suggested keeping the M110 and procuring K1 kits.

    • TheSmellofNapalm

      Have you ever fired one? What about the new models? You must be super smart.

    • Uniform223

      HK fan boy alert

  • Joshua

    KAC never had a chance. The new procurement system is about being fare and not having companies be repeat procurement winners.

  • Joshua

    So apparently it’s been slapping us all right in the face.

    PQT/OT was skipped. Two of the most important phases of a contract like this.

    Production ability and Operational Testing. There is a very real chance HK cannot actually meet production requirements and that these rifles may fail horribly in actual combat environments, yet the Army chose to issue out an award anyways.

    Slap in the face to every tax payer there is.

  • iksnilol

    I just think the west is sorta missing the DMR concept. This thing i like 7 kg.

    Point is to have something that can reach out a decent distance whilst being not much heavier than your run of the mill assault rifle.

    Seriously, try to stick to a 4kg weight unloaded without scope.

    • Rob

      CSASS required sub 9lbs. So there is your 4kg weight… I don’t think it was the west that missed something…

      • iksnilol

        Then why the actual f*** do they accept a rifle that weighs barely under 6 kg?

        That’s like missing your mark by 50%.

        • rob

          Are you assuming that HK put whatever rifle they had in inventory and mailed it to Picatinny for the trail? The CSASS has some significant differences from previous G28/417 rifles. Must of them to save weight.

          • iksnilol

            Doubt it.

            Lightest versions of the hK417 are the “Assaulter” and “Recce” versions with 12″ and 16″ barrels. They manage to weigh under 4 kg and almost exactly 4 kg. Lightest version of the G28 is the “Patrol” version which weighs a bit more than 5 kg.

          • Well, the G28E has a different, lighter handguard, for one, and a 16″ barrel, for another.

            It’s not like the L129A1 is a terribly light gun either, at 4.5kg unloaded.

          • Rob

            The rifle HK showed at shot also has the forward assist deleted and some other weight saving measures.

  • CS

    Maybe with this over now FNA will finally push some mk20 ssr rifles out the door to the civilian shooters.

  • LeftThumb

    So does mean the end of the M110 and also the SCAR 20?

  • LazyReader

    Didn’t they already have the M110

  • Travis

    Key-Mod? I thought that fell out of favor for M-Lok? Or was it K-Lok? Or was it G-Lok? I wouldn’t know, there have been so many flavor-of-the-moment Picatinny rail “replacements” over the past few years that ultimately fizzled out, that I can’t keep track of them.

    I’m not knocking the rifle itself (though I do think it’s kind of a waste to junk all the M110s bought so far, considering how I’ve heard, through third-person admittedly, that MARSOC have been using M110K1s with good results), but there had to be a reason for SOCOM’s sticking with Picatinny rails for the RIS II.

    And can you guys stop deleting or not approving my posts on this blog? I don’t spam, I’m respectful to other posters, and I keep my language clean. I’m not mad at the blog staff and contributors, it’s just getting a bit aggravating how seemingly every time I check back after posting, my posts are never there.

    • Evan

      Ironically, HK had all those beat to market with their PCAP system on the XM8 over 13 years ago now…

  • Hensley Beuron Garlington

    I wonder how this will play out after the change in management and employees at OSS? A great product, being tested and improved upon through customer feedback, research and Battlefield Vegas data now suffering a huge internal fallout and exodus. I liked OSS and what I was hearing, how sad if they get this and they aren’t the same company from a year ago.

  • Franklin

    I don’t think there will be any issues with the suppressors based on the fact it was technology that was finished not tech in a design phase when it was erected.

  • NewMan

    I want to clarify my points again regarding the SR-25.

    Most who have used the SR-25 in combat confirmed that it is a POS. The gun is notoriously unreliable and has a relatively short lifespan with parts breaking quiet often. It was NOT properly designed to handle the much bigger .308 round. It is simply an inferior gun when compare to the SCAR-17 and HK 417 – both of which were actually designed around the .308 cartridge. Even KAC themselves admitted that the SR-25 is inferior compare to the 417 – I would include link to KAC’s official statement but this site doesn’t allow user to post link to another site. It’s long overdue that we replace it with a superior 308 rifle.