Heckler & Koch was awarded a competitive contract to produce the U.S. Marine Corps’ new Infantry Automatic Rifle (IAR). The formal "Full Rate Production" announcement by the Marines caps a competition that began more than three years ago.
Designated the M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle, the lightweight, 11.62 pounds weapon with ancillary equipment, is a variant of the highly successful Heckler & Koch HK416 used by military, law enforcement, and special operations units in the U.S. and throughout the world.
The M27 IAR replaces the heavier, M249 SAW (Squad Automatic Weapon) which has been used by the Marines in Infantry Squads since the mid-1980s in the automatic rifle role. Both weapons fire the 5.56 mm NATO cartridge.
The five-year, indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract calls for possible delivery orders up to $23,600,000 for the production, delivery, and associated support of the Marines’ Infantry Automatic Rifle program.
The Marine Corps approved the full rate production and fielding of the M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle during the summer of 2011. There will be one M27 IAR per four-man fire team, with three M27 IARs per squad, 28 per company and more than 4,000 across the entire Marine Corps.
"After a rigorous testing process, both in garrison and deployed environments, and in-depth consultation with weapons experts through the Corps, the commandant approved the fielding of the M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle," said Marine spokesman Major Joseph Plenzler in a press statement in June.
"The fielding of the IAR will significantly enhance the ability of our infantrymen to gain and maintain fire superiority, reduce their fighting load and provide them a more ergonomic and accurate weapons system that can keep up during the assault."
"Winning the Marine’s IAR competition is another milestone for our HK416," said Wayne Weber, President of Heckler & Koch USA.
"Developed at no cost to the U.S. taxpayer and with U.S. military input in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks on America, the HK416 competed against-and beat many worthy challengers. This contract award is a direct testament to the superior performance of the HK416 and it is an honor for Heckler & Koch to equip the Marines with such a fine rifle."
Heckler & Koch’s long anticipated MR762A1 rifle (in caliber 7.62 x 51 mm) debuts at SHOT Show 2012, joining the 5.56 mm model (MR556A1) released in 2011. The new MR762A1 rifle is inspired and influenced by recent Heckler & Koch piston driven rifles, including the new HK G28 designated marksman rifle developed for the German military.
A semi-automatic rifle originally developed from the fully automatic HK417, the MR762A1 uses the same HK proprietary gas piston operating system found on current HK rifles and carbines, using a "pusher" rod in place of the gas tube normally found in AR15/M16/M4-style firearms. This method of operation virtually eliminates malfunctions that are common to direct impingement gas systems since hot carbon fouling and waste gases do not enter the receiver area. This is the same key feature critical to the success of the HK416/HK417 rifles used by leading military and law enforcement customers.
The MR762A1 uses many of the same assemblies and accessories that originated on the HK417 including the HK free-floating four-quadrant rail system. This handguard system allows all current accessories, sights, lights, and aimers used on M4/M16-type weapons to be fitted to the MR Series.
The HK rail system can be installed and removed without tools and returns to zero when reinstalled. Like their HK military counterparts, the MR (for Match Rifle) series rifles use barrels produced by Heckler & Koch’s famous cold hammer forging process. The highest quality steel is used in this manufacturing process, producing a long-life barrel that provides superior performance with minimal degradation of accuracy and muzzle velocity after prolonged use.
The barrels are manufactured in Germany and finished in the USA. MR762A1 rifles are produced in the USA from a combination of American and German-made components. Suggested retail price on the MR762A1 is $3,995.
HK45 Compact Tactical
The HK45 Compact Tactical builds on the tough, military lineage of the Heckler & Koch HK45 series of handguns to devise the ultimate operator’s pistol. The HK45 pistol series (compact and full-size models) were chosen as the first firearms made at HK’s American manufacturing facility so it is only fitting that a modified variant would be adopted as the new pistol of a major U.S. special operations unit.
The HK45 Compact Tactical (CT) is the closest a civilian can get to that military pistol. The HK45 CT comes standard with a threaded barrel, 10-round magazine with extended floorplate, and replaceable grip panels to adjust the feel and grip circumference of the pistol to suit individual hand size and shooting preferences.
The HK45 pistol series were originally developed as candidates for the U.S. military’s next generation handgun competition so there is little wonder that the HK45 CT is so well-suited for military, law enforcement, and security use. An HK proprietary internal mechanical recoil reduction system reduces the recoil forces effecting the weapon and shooter by as much as 30 percent, improving shooter control during rapid firing and prolonging component service life. An "O-ring" barrel means better slide-to-barrel lockup and enhanced accuracy.
The HK45 Compact Tactical uses all HK45 magazines, from 10-rounders to the smaller 8-round magazine. A Picatinny MIL-STD-1913 rail for mounting lights and accessories is molded into the polymer frame of the HK45 Compact Tactical.
The HK45CT can also be converted to nine different kinds of trigger firing modes including HK’s enhanced double action only "LEM" (Law Enforcement Modification) mode and the "decock only" mode found on its special operations counterpart. Suggested retail price ranges from $1,392 to $1,461 (depending on trigger firing mode selected).