The Dutch Ministry of Defense is looking for a Designated Marksman Rifle (DMR) via their Defence Materiel Organisation.
They are requesting a supplier to supply semi-automatic Designated Marksman Rifles including ammunition and additional items such as spare parts, training and documentation.
So far so good, but what is worth noting that the DMR should be capable of using 260 Remington ammunition (6.5 x 51 mm).
This is quite odd, as other NATO forces have – or are specifying – calibers like .308 Winchester or 6.5 Creedmoor. For instance, the Naval Surface Warfare Center that went for M110K1 6.5CM Upper Receivers from Knight’s Armament Co.
Don’t get me wrong, the 260 Rem caliber has the performance to deliver what is needed, but from a purchasing and logistics standpoint it becomes more challenging
Some Dutch operators are already using the Heckler & Koch HK417, but to my knowledge, you cannot get this rifle in 260 Rem., and I doubt anyone would be interested to make one in such limited numbers.
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From FN Herstal there might be an option with the .260 Remington Conversion for FN SCAR Mk 20 which TFB reported about in 2017. The FN factory is close to the border, and perhaps this is the rifle they are looking at? ITAR wouldn’t be an issue either.
I don’t think SIG Sauer has anything to offer that fits the tender either.
Otherwise, the Dutch have to look for smaller suppliers like LMT Defense, for instance, a rifle with a barrel like this: 20″ .260 Remington. LaRue Tactical also has a few options like the PredatOBR 260.
Below: Photo from Ministerie van Defensie – NL.
The award criteria according to the tender is: “The most economically advantageous tender in terms of the criteria stated in the specifications, in the invitation to tender or to negotiate or in the descriptive document.”
Which manufacturer and which rifle do you think will win?
Source: TED Europe