Recent updates to the Compact Semi Automatic Sniper System (CSASS) offer some insight that the Army might be looking to issue a 7.62x51mm NATO M110A2 at the squad level within Infantry companies across the board. Heckler & Koch already won the $44.5 Million contract for 6,069 G28s with accompanying OSS suppressors, now under the nomenclature of M110A1. This rifle is meant to replace the Knight’s M110 SASS in use through out the Army (also used by Marine Scout Snipers). What is especially newsworthy is that the program appears to want to offer the same or at least a similar rifle configuration at the squad level. The Army has issued 7.62x51mm NATO rifles at the squad level in this DMR capacity, but this was only on a urgent need basis during Operation Enduring Freedom for units deployed in country. Although the EBR program worked out successfully, it was essentially a cost effective way to turn stock-piled M14s into match grade precision rifles. The EBR program currently isn’t in operation anymore, with many of those EBRs being sold through FMS sales, some going to Iraqi Special Operations Forces (ISOF) in the fight against the so-called Islamic State.
The infantry is at a crucial crossroads at this point in time. With large OIF and OEF commitments essentially over, infantrymen are being tasked to get back to the practice of either conventional war fighting, or continuing the trend of fighting the asymmetrical fight against an insurgency embedded in the civilian population. DMR rifles at the squad level are force multipliers against forces such as the insurgents in Iraq or the Taliban in the mountains of eastern Afghanistan, but on a conventional battlefield against massed forces having a DMR at the squad level cannot make much of a difference against an equally numbered foe.