US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) has released a pre-solicitation for the Advanced Sniper Rifle (ASR), a replacment for their currently issued Precision Sniper Rifle. Additionally, SOCOM’s Directorate of Procurement, on behalf of USSOCOM PEO-SW, will be conducting a one-on-one industry day for the ASR on 5-7 December, at Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division (NSWC Crane).
The most significant requirement for this bolt action rifle requirment is that the weapon must be capable of firing 7.62 NATO, .300 Norma Mag (NM) and .338 NM, with calibres to be exchanged by the user.
This seems very interesting considering the US Army just announced last year that Heckler & Koch is replacing the M110 SASS and its predecessor the SR-25, which both shoot 7.62 NATO. Additionally, in March 2013, SOCOM awarded a nearly $80 million contract to Remington for 5,150 Mk-21 Precision Sniper Rifles. The Mk-21, like the specs given in the notice for the ASR, is a modular rifle system capable of shooting 7.62 NATO, .300WM, and .338 Lapua.
The government has a Technical Data Package for the two NM cartridges. However, in order to provide a cost efficient option that is more conducive to industry development, the .338NM cartridge will be available with a surrogate OTM (non-AP) projectile by Black Hills Ammunition. While different than the US government’s selected projectile in construction and geometry, this surrogate configuration has been shown to closely replicate the interior and exterior ballistic performance of the AP 338NM configuration with the exception of barrel life. The anti-materiel configuration with the actual AP projectile will also be available to eligible parties albeit at significantly longer lead-times and costs.
Another important aspect is that the solicitation is 100% set aside for small business, as ASR has been determined to be a Commercial Off The Shelf item. Interestingly, the government reserves the right to issue more than ome award.
The ASR acquisition is projected to have a three phase approach, with all three phases outlined in the formal Request for Proposal (RfP; anticipated February 2018). The draft criteria for all phases and draft Source Selection Plan (SSP) will be included in the draft RfP package.