Special Forces with a FN SCAR SSR in Afghanistan

NSWC Crane Looks to Extend Sole Source Contract For Combat Assault Rifle

On the April 27 Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division posted a sole source notice announcing their intention to extend the current Combat Assault Rifle (CAR) Indefinite Delivery-Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract for a further five years.

The Combat Assault Rifle (CAR) contract is due to expire this month (May 2018) and the new contract will fund procurement of rifles, engineering services and Provision Item Order (PIO) Spares for an additional five years. The contract is currently held by FN Herstal, who would continue to be the sole source contractor.


FN’s 7.62×51 MK 20 SSR (FN Herstal)
FN’s 7.62×51 MK 20 SSR (FN Herstal)

NSWC Crane’s sole source notice states:

The proposed contract action is for the supplies and services for which the Government intends to solicit and negotiate with one source, FN Herstal (FNH), A.S (Cage Code B0897) located in Herstal, Belgium, under the authority of 10 U.S.C 2304(c)(1) as implemented by FAR 6.302-1. This is being sole sourced due to the lack of sufficient technical data, duplication of cost to the Government that is not expected to be recovered through competition, and unacceptable delays in fulfilling the agency requirement through any other source. Responsible sources may submit a capability statement which shall be considered by the agency. However, a determination by the Government not to compete with this proposed contract based upon responses to this source sought is solely within the discretion of the Government. Information received will normally be considered solely for the purpose of determining whether to conduct a competitive procurement.

The CAR program dates back to Special Operations Forces rifle acquisition program of the early 2000s. The FN SCAR Mk 16, Mk 17, and Mk 20 were designated suitable for operational use by SOCOM, the Mk 17 and Mk 20 have since seen widespread use.

The Mk 20 Sniper Support Rifle (SSR), essentially a SCAR-H with an elongated, strengthened receiver and heavier barrel profile, has been in use with elements of SOCOM for over 7 years. SOCOM have recently been evaluating .260 Remington and 6.5 Creedmoor, Hrachya recently reported on a .260 Rem conversion for the Mk 20. However, with SOCOM’s recent decision to adopt 6.5 Creedmoor, the new sole source contract would allow Crane to refit its existing Mk 20 SSRs in inventory from 7.62x51mm to 6.5 Creedmoor, as well as procure more if necessary.