From karkatoa, over at The Mothership, comes word that the Army is once again taking a look at replacing the M-4/M-16 family. Previous efforts have been pretty disastrous. This time, it looks like the Army is going to take a hard look at what is out on the market today, and for once, they are open to looking at rounds besides the current 5.56mm.
The Army’s abrupt change in direction — after long stating it would stick with the M4 until there was a “leap” in technology that would far surpass current carbine performance — comes after nearly two years of pressure on the service to re-examine the M4 and entertain a nearer-term replacement.
Some in Congress have called for the Army to hold a “shoot-off” with several other carbine designs alongside the Colt-built M4 to demonstrate the state of the art in today’s military arms market. Sen. Tom Coburn (R – Okla.) briefly held up the nomination of Army Secretary Pete Geren in mid-2007 to force the service into side-by-side comparisons of M4 competitors in extreme dust conditions.
I’ve said before that I liked the M-16 and the M-4, but I also understand a lot of the frustration with both weapons and the round. What do you want to see the services go to?