Barrett Ships First New MK22 Army Precision Sniper Rifles
Tennessee-based Barrett Firearms recently announced the first batch of new MK22 Precision Sniper Rifles have been shipped to the U.S. Army.
The U.S. Special Operations Command in 2019 tapped Barrett to produce what were then termed new Advanced Sniper Rifles identified in SOCOM’s budget justification book as part of an effort to continue “development of enhanced capabilities to improve performance” of “individual sniper weapons to engage out to 1500 meters.”
They soon followed up with this award earlier this year with a five-year $49.9 million contract under the Army's Precision Sniper Rifle program for Barrett's MRAD (Multi-Role Adaptive Design) MK22 MOD 0 rifle, paired with a Leupold’s Mark 5HD 5-25x56 optic, complete with a flat dark earth coating and the Army’s patented Mil-Grid reticle and sniper accessory kit. The MK22 will replace several currently fielded Army sniper rifles.
The Army's Fiscal Year 2022 budget request asks for 515 new MK22s, at a cost of $11 million, a figure that includes optics, accessories, program management, as well as engineering and logistics support. This follows buys of 315 of the rifles in 2020 and 456 in 2021. All told, the Army hopes to field some 2,800 of the new sniper rifles.
“We are pleased to have passed all preliminary program requirements and to now begin delivery of the MK22 rifle system to the Army soldiers,” said Joel Miller, Barrett’s VP of sales and marketing.
Members of the special operations community and snipers from the famed 82nd Airborne Division recently began operational testing of the MK22 at Fort Bragg, a crucial step before final fielding.
“With a folding stock and removable suppression system, the PSR will provide airborne snipers a more compact load during airborne infiltration operations without reducing their lethality while providing a precision rifle platform more conducive to their combat environment,” said MK22 Project NCO Sgt. 1st Class Jonathan Copley.
Banner image: A special operations sniper exits a C-27 aircraft with his MK-22 Precision Sniper Rifle (PSR) in the “side-mounted” configuration over Laurinburg drop zone, Laurinburg, North Carolina, during the PSR test. (Photo: Staff Sgt. Nicholas Birkner, U.S. Army Operational Test Command)