SOFIC 2018: USSOCOM releases Advanced Sniper Rifle solicitation
United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) has released the official solicitation for the Advanced Sniper Rifle (ASR) program.
While the majority of ASR solicitation material is locked or restricted from broad dissemination, draft documentation released in mid-November 2017 justified the emerging ASR program as 'designed to address the operational requirements of the sniper' and 'enhance operational effectiveness of Special Operations Forces [SOF] operators'.
The documentation went on to describe the system as a 'modular, multi-caliber bolt action sniper rifle capable of engagements to beyond 1,500m' noting that the rifle 'will be chambered in 7.62x51mm NATO, .300 Norma Magnum and .338 Norma Magnum with caliber conversions occurring at the user level'.
The specification of the two different Norma Magnum (NM) cartridges for ASR is reflective of apparent growing interest in those newer calibers within USSOCOM. Further evidence of interest in the .338NM can be found in the 2017 request for information that USSOCOM and the Marine Corps jointly released for a new lightweight medium machine gun.
In the case of ASR, the earlier draft documentation noted that the US government had developed technical data packages for both .300NM and .338NM ammunition, with the final configuration USG ammo to be utilized for all source selection testing.
Additionally, it stated that the USG was working with Black Hills Ammunition to provide 'surrogate cartridges' to industry to support ASR development.
The 3 May 2018 ASR solicitation release, which followed industry day activities and a draft solicitation released on 18 April, notes that ASR product samples from industry respondents are due at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Crane, Indiana on 9 July 2018. Supporting proposals are due at the USSOCOM AT&L office at MacDill AFB, Florida on 27 August 2018.
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