Carbine competition may be killed

82nd-Airborne-M4-carbineU.S. Army Spc. Robert Zarlenga, a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team, fires his M4 carbine at insurgent forces June 15, 2012, near Joint Security Station Hasan, southern Ghazni Province, Afghanistan. Zarlenga was assigned to Company D, 1st Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment.
story by: Lance M. Bacon
photo courtesy of: Sgt. Michael J. MacLeod, USA
The $50 million competition to build a better carbine is on its way to being canceled.
The decision is not yet official, but Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno on Tuesday said word is coming soon. He was hesitant to elaborate, but did take the opportunity to salute the venerable M4 carbine that would have been replaced.
“My position on the M4 [is] we’ve modernized it and it’s a great system,” he said. “I feel very comfortable with the M4. Very comfortable. I think it’s a great system. We’ve made like 95 improvements with it, we’ve improved ammunition, I feel very good about it.”
The Army is moving forward with efforts to pure-fleet its M4 inventory with the ambidextrous M4A1, which has a better barrel and bolt. A reprogramming proposal will see $7 million, or one-fourth the budgeted total, cut from that effort this year. That money is part of larger cuts designed to help cover a $7.8 billion shortfall in emerging overseas contingency operations.
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