The US Army’s program to establish a new standard-issue 7.62mm caliber rifle is out of the picture, so it seems. The multiple sources were anonymous that was relayed to TFB (the Firearm Blog) that the Interim Combat Service Rifle program has been cancelled as part of a massive review of US Army small arms programs. The program was officially announced on August 4th, and lasted just over a month before its cancellation.
Few specifics about the cancellation revealed, the lack of a pressing threat necessitating the change, poorly written requirements, little or no support from the ranks, and no backing holistic DOTMLPF assessment.
If these sentiments are accurate, then ICSR may have been a poorly-constructed program driven by the preferences of the brass and not the needs of the actual soldier. In other words from a grunt view, its one of the brass just trying to make a name for themselves at high command level.
The cancellation of ICSR does not necessarily mean the end of the 7.62mm rifle effort, but any future programs of this type are likely to be organized in a more limited and conservative manner. But, if the Army re-do the proposals with backup statements from ground foot soldiers, this may compel the panel to accept it.
It does seem likely that there will eventually be a new program for a 7.62mm or 6.5mm/.260 designated marksman rifle, which may offer the option for “assault” or “rifle” configurations in addition to a baseline squad marksman variant. However, for now, it seems that the effort to field a 7.62mm individual weapon en masse has ended, for the moment.
Sentiments from Social Media:
Sources: ArmyTimes, TFBlog, Nathaniel F, Daily News