Sooooo…… here we go again. The Army is starting up a competition for a new carbine to replace the M4, which is getting a bit long in the tooth.
Frankly, what surprised me was the piddling sums the manufacturers were spending on lobbyists. I mean, $100,000 for a lobbyist? That’s chump change. LockMart spends that much making a 3 minute YouTube video telling us yet again that the F-35 is doing just fine.
I’ve heard some rumblings on what the scope of the comptetition will be, but haven’t really looked hard to get into specifics. What parameters will be open to the competitors? Can they choose any caliber, or will it be restricted to the current 5.56mm cartridge? How will results be weighted? How will reliability be tested? Is there severability between the design and procurement sides of the competition? This is, might one manufacturer win the contract to build based on another company’s design (much as FN won the contract in the 90s to build M16A2’s)?
In spite of being one of the most visible items around, the fact is, small arms purchases are chump change compared to other contracts. What’s a couple billion for small arms compared to a fleet of trucks? But the small arms purchases are ALWAYS some of the most emotionally charged contracts.
What do you want?