Source: FN HerstalFN has received notification from the USSOCOM Program Executive Office-SOF Warrior (PEO-SW) that the SCAR Acquisition Decision Memorandum (ADM) was approved and signed on April 14, 2010. This decision authorizes the production and deployment of the Special Operations Forces (SOF) Combat Assault Rifle (SCAR) MK 16 and MK 17, as well as the Enhanced Grenade Launcher Module (EGLM) MK 13.The SCAR is the first new assault rifle procured by the US Military through a full and open competition since the M16 trials were held in the mid-1960s.Following a worldwide solicitation to the military firearms industry, nine vendors submitted a dozen different designs for a new modular, multi-caliber weapons system. The FN SCAR submission was the only weapons system to pass all of the Go/No-Go criteria and was unanimously chosen in November 2004 by the selection board composed of senior operators from every SOF component.Tests in reliability, accuracy, safety and ergonomics were administered from August 2005 to September 2008 and were conducted in a variety of environments including urban, maritime, jungle and winter/mountain operational test scenarios. The SCAR weapons system successfully endured more than two million rounds of ammunition during these trials, therein making it one of the most heavily tested weapons in the history of small arms.The FN SCAR system consists of two highly adaptable modular rifle platforms and a grenade launcher.Type-designated as the MK 16 MOD 0 5.56mm Special Operations Forces Combat Assault Rifle and the MK 17 MOD 0 7.62mm Special Operations Forces Combat Assault Rifle, both weapons are available with three different barrel lengths optimized for conducting operations in close-quarters combat, standard infantry and longer-range precision fire roles. All SCAR barrels can be easily interchanged by the operator in just minutes to instantly meet the requirements of virtually any mission.The MK 13 MOD 0 40mm Enhanced Grenade Launcher Module (EGLM) quickly mounts under the barrel of either SCAR platform, providing additional capability to the individual warfighter’s firepower, and can be easily configured for use as a stand-alone weapon as well.Because of the SCAR system’s modular design, ergonomic commonality (100%) and parts commonality (greater than 80%), it represents a significant reduction in training costs and life-cycle support. The weapon system’s open architecture is also designed to support future advancements in operational requirements including ammunition, aiming devices, sighting systems and other mission critical equipment.* UPDATE * So, that’s the news from FN. For an insightful and objective analysis of what it really means, check out this story on Soldier Systems Daily.