Against a backdrop of enhancement efforts toward sniper weapons and associated ammunition by U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Navy representatives, the U.S. Army has recently announced that service’s interest in modifying / reconfiguring its own inventory of M24 Sniper Weapon Systems (SWS).
The recent pre-solicitation announcement notes that the U.S. Army Joint Munitions and Lethality Life Cycle Management Command (JM&L LCMC) Acquisition Center, on behalf of the Office of the Product Manager, Individual Weapons, Picatinny Arsenal, N.J., “has a requirement for the reconfiguring of a quantity of existing 7.62 x 51mm M24 Sniper Weapon Systems (SWS) presently available in Army inventory to the specifications identified in the forthcoming Request for Proposal (RFP).”
Manufactured by Remington Arms Company, Inc., the M24 SWS is a bolt action, internal magazine fed, 7.62 x 51mm six shot repeating rifle chambered for the .308 Winchester M118 special ball ammunition. Intended to engage and defeat personnel targets out to 800 meters, components include a day optic sight with 10X magnification and adjustable focus, metallic iron sights, deployment kit, cleaning kits (rifle and optics), carrying cases, and optional bipod.
Measuring 40.75 inches in length, the M24 has a combat weight (including sling, day optic, and full magazine) of 14.25 pounds, increasing to 17 pounds with bipod and related tools.
In outlining the efforts of the upcoming acquisition, JM&L LCMC planners highlight: Rebarreling or rechambering the barrel to be optimized to accommodate the Mk248 (DODIC A191) .300 Winchester Magnum ammunition; replacement of the existing “Weaver Rail” with a MIL-STD-1913 rail “capable of accommodating both a day optic and in-line, forward mounted, AN/PV-26/29 image intensified (I2) night vision device; reconfiguring the weapon with a stock that incorporates a detachable box magazine, adjustable comb and length of pull;
The addition of “a detachable sound suppressor as well as any necessary barrel modifications required for sound suppressor interface;” and replacement of the existing day optic sight and rings with a variable power day optic and compatible rings.
The pre-solicitation notes that the M24 SWS upgrade is following a nondevelopmental item acquisition approach, under which interested offerors will be required to submit four “bid samples” as part of their proposal submission.
The current schedule anticipates the release of a competitive RFP in late September 2009 or early October 2009, followed 30 days later by delivery of bid sample hardware and written proposals.