The Marine Corps has eyes on the Army’s new sniper rifle hunt, according to Army officials who said both the Marines and Air Force are contemplating adopting the new weapon system when it becomes available.
Task & Purpose reported that the despite budgetary issues currently sweeping through the Department of Defense, the Army fully intends to continue with the Compact Semi-Automatic Sniper System, or CSASS. Originating in 2015, the CSASS was created to find a replacement for the M110 Semi-Automatic Sniper System. Gun maker Heckler & Koch secured a winning $44.5 million contract in August 2016, offering a lightweight version of the 7.62mm G28E sniper rifle.
The CSASS program soldiers on, though, despite issues plaguing procurement in other military programs. The Army officially tossed the 7.62mm Interim Combat Service Rifle program out a month after the first solicitation citing budget uncertainties. Despite the ICSR falling by the wayside, the Army says it remains fully committed to the CSASS program.
CSASS PEO Soldier spokeswoman Debi Dawson told Task & Purpose on Jan. 24 that “all [CSASS’s] sniper performance requirements and capabilities are still valid.”
While the Army trudges on, the Marine Corps has been wading through deep waters, struggling to find a replacement for its M110 and M40A5 variants. The delay in finding a suitable replacement has created frustration among its Marine snipers who say the M110 and M40A5 suffer from a limited range.
While the CSASS’ future is unclear, the Marine Corps and Air Force seem poised to snap up the new sniper rifle should an acquisition prove fruitful.