Current Special forces members are using the new-generation weapons system designated the Special Operations Forces (SOF) Combat Assault Rifle (SCAR). Envisioned as a family of weapons, SCAR was developed in two primary configurations: SCAR-Light (SCAR-L, 5.56 x 45mm) and SCAR-Heavy (SCAR-H, 7.62 x 51mm), with SCAR-L leading the acquisition process. A characteristic of the follow-on SCAR-H model is the use of an Open Architecture design that will accommodate changing calibers from the standard NATO 7.62 x 51mm. The initial caliber change is projected as the 7.62 x 39mm used in the AK-47 and other international weapons series.
Both SCAR configurations possesses the capability for barrel modularity and thus will be available in the following variants: Standard, Close Quarters Combat and Sniper Variant. Maximum size for the SCAR-L is 29.9 in. (stock collapsed or folded)/33.6 in. (stock extended with standard barrel) with a maximum unloaded weight of 7.25 pounds. Size and weight goals for SCAR-H are 30.3 in. folded/40.2 in. extended with standard barrel, and no more than 9 pounds. Among its capabilities, the SCAR family is compatible with all components of the SOPMOD kit.
Industry designers have recently unveiled several new weapon design concepts in response to the SCAR requirements. Knight’s Armament, for example, has traced a growth path from its current SR-25/Mk11 weapons to the SCAR-H design. The company has shown great flexibility in recent years, even producing prototypes for an SR-47 (Stoner Rifle) design that was externally identical to the M4 carbine but re-engineered to fire the AK-47 banana clip and 7.62 x 39mm ammo.
“We’ve showed special operations representatives the Mk11 and then we showed them a Mk11 of a different lower receiver that had a collapsible buttstock,” explains David Lutz, Vice President of Military Marketing for Knight’s. “Then we took the upper receiver—which has a 20-in. barrel—off the new collapsible lower receiver and we pulled out what we call ‘The Battle Rifle,’ with either a 16-in. or 14.5-in. barrel. That now goes on the collapsible stock SR-25 lower receiver. As far as we’re concerned, we think this is certainly your ‘immediate term’ SCAR-Heavy.”
Meanwhile, special operations planners continue to support the immediate needs of special operations personnel in the field. For their part, the special operators are continuing to go wherever they are needed and do whatever needs to be done.
by Scott Gorly / Wikipedia