“Marine Corps Systems Command personnel and gun maker Heckler & Koch staff delivered more than 80 M27 Infantry Automatic Rifles Dec. 3 to 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment armorers,” reports waronterrornews.typepad.com. “The rifles were being assembled and prepared for this week’s operator and maintainer training exercises to be conducted by 1/3 Squad Automatic Weapon gunners and armorers. The hope is that the M27 IAR will be able to someday replace the heavier, less maneuverable M249 SAW in most situations.” Hope? You mean plan. Just over a year ago, the Marine Times reported the H&K contract. In fact . . .
The Marines have ordered 4100 IARs to replace the significantly heavier M249 SAW (9.2. vs. 22 lbs).
The 1/3 will be testing the weapons throughout a full pre-deployment training schedule to deliver a pre-assessment of the weapon. Once the battalion deploys, they will conduct another assessment based on the performance of the weapon through the first one hundred days of operations. After all battalions have completed their evaluations, they will be delivered to the commandant for review.
What’s the hurry?