Program officials maintain that the increased accuracy will compensate for the M27′s slower, sustained rate of fire. Unlike the M249, the new IAR doesn’t have a spare barrel that can be switched out to prevent overheating. Marine gunners will have to keep their sustained rate of fire at 65 rounds per minute compared to the M249′s 85 rounds per minute.
Each company in the three active infantry battalions and one reserve infantry battalion will receive 28 M27s, one for every SAW gunner and one extra to remain organic to the unit. These companies will also retain six M249s to give commanders more firepower if necessary, Clark said.
The LAR battalion will receive 14 M27s per company and will not retain any M249s.
The Corps plans on buying 4,476 M27s and reducing its number of M249s from 10,000 to approximately 8,000, Marine officials said.
Read more here.
[ Many thanks to Lance for emailing me the link. ]