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USSOCOM Outlines Restart for Precision Sniper Rifle

Representatives from United States Special Operations Command used a recent “Industry Day” venue to outline the anticipated restart of the command’s Precision Sniper Rifle (PSR) program. The PSR weapon system will consist of a rifle, an enhanced round of ammunition, and other associated subsystems.

Following the anticipated formal cancellation of the original PSR request for proposals in early May, the subsequent Industry Day was designed “to provide an update to the current program changes.” Although not mandatory for program participants, the event reportedly provided interested vendors with an overview of the revised PSR program against the backdrop of current requirements and future needs of United States special operations forces operators.

According to the overview, the newly revised PSR solicitation will include: rifle, enhanced round of ammunition, suppressor, bipod, cleaning kit, operator’s manual, drag bag, spare parts, magazines, sling, and hard carrying case.

The new solicitation is not caliber-specific.

Significant solicitation changes from the previously cancelled solicitation center around an “increased product focused approach” featuring the go/no-go assessment involving weapon and ammunition performance, conducting operational suitability/operational effectiveness assessment prior to entering proposal evaluation, and use of a critical threshold matrix as opposed to the “performance specification” process used in the initial approach.

The recent Industry Day event also included an overview of several “Draft” go/no-go requirements. Examples included: “The PSR product sample shall weigh no more than 18.0 lbs with 12 o’clock MIL-STD 1913 rail, and an unloaded magazine. Weight excludes any protective MIL-STD 1913 rail covers and all other ancillary equipment…The PSR rifle shall have an overall length of no more than 50 inches in the fully extended configuration, less suppressor…The PSR shall have a safety mechanism that prevents the weapon from firing when the trigger is depressed and the safety is in the ‘safe’ position.”

In terms of the ammunition performance, announced “draft” requirements range from: “The projectile shall have a remaining velocity no less than 1,228 feet per second under nominal conditions at 1500 meters (1640 yards)” to “The projectile shall have a minimum of 700 ft-lbs. of kinetic energy at 1500 meters (1640 yards).”

During the assessment process precision capability “shall be demonstrated by the vendor at 914 meters (1000 yards).  A total of twelve (12) five shot groups shall be fired for record. The offeror shall fire two of the product sample rifles for six groups each.  The offeror shall select five of the six groups from each product sample to submit for the Government to acquire an average.  The 10-group average shall be 1.0 MOA or less.  Groups shall be measured for Extreme Vertical Spread (EVS).  The offeror has the option to shoot his rifle from a fixture (to be supplied by the offeror), off the ground/bipod or from a bench rest to demonstrate precision. “

The government expects to release the new PSR solicitation in June 2011.


Scott Gourley is a former U.S. Army officer and the author of more than 1,500...