The SOF Combat Assault Rifle, or SCAR, is made by Fabrique Nationale (FN) for the elite U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM). The SCAR is a modular rifle made to satisfy the unique and specific requirements of the SCAR competition.
This rifles family consists of two main types. The Scar-H, for heavy, fires 7.62 mm NATO ammunition and the SCAR-L, for light, is chambered in the 5.56 mm NATO cartridge. Both rifles are available in further differing variants such as CQC (Close Quarters Combat) and sniper. The FN SCAR system is in final development and testing phases having won the competition as of late 2006.
SPECIAL OPERATIONS COMBAT ASSAULT RIFLE (SCAR)
The Special Operations Forces Combat Assault Rifle (SCAR), designed by FN Herstal (FNH), is within a modular assault rifle family. The Rifle was designed and manufactured responding to a United States special Operations Command requirement. The weapon won quick prize after capturing the US Special Operations Command (SOCOM) development and production contract in November of 2004. The SCAR family of weapons includes the SCAR L (Light) 5.56 mm version, SCAR Heavy 7.62mm rifle, and Enhanced Grenade Launcher (EGLM) grenade launcher that is able to fire Fuse Programmable Ammunition.
SCAR L (above) is set to replace the M4A1, Close Quarters Battle Rifle (CQBR) and Mk12 sometime in 2007. The CQBR and the Mk12 are currently under SOCOM use and service. The SCAR L is a 5.56 mm assault rifle whereas the SCAR H is a 7.62 mm assault rifle which will replace the Mk11 sniper rifle and M14. The SCAR L and the SCAR H variants share ninety percent (90%) commonality of parts and will have a choice of three distinct barrel dimensions. This feature will allow operators to tailer he SCAR for specific and unique operations, using a Close Quarters Combat (CQC), Ã¢â‚¬Å“standardÃ¢â‚¬Â, or Ã¢â‚¬Å“sniperÃ¢â‚¬Â barrel. Each change of barrel will directly relate to the lethal blow because of the direct affect on the velocity. The EGLM addition is a 40mm grenade launcher with a ballistic and target ranging solution for improved fire control and side opening breech to accelerate loading longer munitions.
Following the ultimate and final design review of the SOF Combat Assault Rifle (SCAR), FNH is finalizing the completion phase of full scale development and is currently preparing and undergoing full scale serial production of the new weapon. After a series of testing and design reviews with the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) and the United States Special Operation Command (USSOCOM) the SCAR appears to be ready for a modest and low rate initial production. The SOCOM contract calls for delivery of the first 1,000 of a total of 85,000 rifles by January of 2007. The military often keep deployment of weapons classified and we have yet to receive confirmation to whether the weapons are in SOCOM possession. The FN SCAR will be produced and manufactured at the FN Manufacturing LLC corporate headquarters and plant in Columbia, South Carolina.
The new family of SCAR rifles was specifically optimized for ergonomic availability, handling, reliability and maintainability. Parts interchangeability between the SCAR-H and SCAR-L will be further maximized to create a distinct and varied family of SCAR weapons. The SCAR's standard finish is a durable desert tan color, specifically selected by SOCOM. The SCAR is cable of lube les firing and is manufactured to be corrosion resistant. The interchangeability between all models is a requirement to improve the SOF operators ingrained emergency and operational procedure by reducing training time which will make responses easier during critical high stress situations.
SOCOM created a Joint Operational Requirements Document for the SCAR in order to specify the high reliability standards required of the rifle. The rifle is designed to meet three times the reliability standards of other assault rifles such as the M4.
At the Las Vegas SHOT show in Nevada, FNH headlined plans to bring to the consumer within two years, therefore around 2008, a semi-automatic variant of the SCAR modular rifle system. This system will be specifically designed for commercial markets and law enforcement.
Feature SCAR L SCAR H Operation principle Gas Operates, Rotating Bolt, Short Stroke Gas Piston Caliber 5.56x45 NATO 7.62x51 NATO / 7.62x39 M43 & others Max. Overall length 33" / 838 mm 40.2" / 1,021mm Minimum length 31.02" / 612 mm 38.7" / 798mm Barrel length 13.78" / 350 mm 19.70" / 500 mm Weight (unloaded) 6.8 lb / 3.08 kg 7.2 lb / 3.26 kg Rate of fire (auto) 550 RPM 550 RPM Magazine capacity 30 (M16 magazine) 20 (7.62x51) / 30 (7.62x39)