In a surprising reversal that follows years of effort to design a one-of-a-kind commando rifle, the U.S. military’s Special Operations Command has abruptly decided to abandon the new SOCOM Combat Assault rifle—the “SCAR,” as the rifle is commonly known—in favor of previously-fielded carbines.
Details provided exclusively to Military.com reveal that SOCOM, the Tampa-based command that oversees the training and equipping of SEALs, Green Berets, Air Force Special Tactics Teams and Marine SOC groups, will stop purchasing the 5.56 mm Mk-16 Special Operations Forces Combat Assault Rifle and might require all units who now have them to turn the new weapons back into the armory.
“The Mk-16 does not provide enough of a performance advantage over the M-4 to justify spending USSOCOM’s limited … funds when competing priorities are taken into consideration,” officials at USSOCOM said in an email response to questions from Military.com. “Currently, three of USSOCOM’s four components receive the 5.56 mm M-4 from their parent service as a service common equipment item.”
To see Industry Insider Cameron Hopkins' analysis of the situation, check out his blog entry on the SCAR Program and his take on what it means that the Mk. 16 was cancelled.