The US Army’s program to field a new standard-issue 7.62mm caliber rifle is dead in the water, it seems. Multiple anonymous sources have informed TFB that the Interim Combat Service Rifle program has been cancelled as part of a massive review of US Army small arms programs. The program was officially announced on August 4th, and lasted just over a month before its cancellation.
Few specifics about the cancellation have been revealed, but TFB’s sources cited the lack of a pressing threat necessitating the change, poorly written requirements, little or no support from the ranks, and no backing holistic DOTMLPF assessment. If these reflections are accurate, then it indicate that ICSR may have been a poorly-constructed program driven by the preferences of the brass and not the needs of the actual soldier.
The cancellation of ICSR does not necessarily mean the end of the 7.62mm rifle effort, but any future programs of this type are likely to be organized in a more limited and conservative manner. It does seem likely that there will eventually be a new program for a 7.62mm or 6.5mm/.260 designated marksman rifle, which may offer the option for “assault” or “rifle” configurations in addition to a baseline squad marksman variant. However, for now, it seems that the effort to field a 7.62mm individual weapon en masse has ended, stillborn.