USMC Issues Production Delivery Order to HK

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.

For more discussion of the IAR and how it will be used, see The Infantry Automatic Rifle: Closing the last 5 yards in the Marine Corps Gazette.


  1. The Commandant and I are both skeptical about the loss of firepower. Replacing a belt-fed machine gun with a magazine gun seems silly. And I don’t see anything about large capacity mags – just lots and lots of 30-rounders.

    The SAW has some serious flaws, but this makes no sense at all to me.

  2. I’m with you on this.

    I knew the USMC small arms lead when they developed the requirement, and got to see the USMC IAR studies — all of which concluded that no existing rifle was a replacement for a SAW. And the requirement was essentially for an M16A1, with rails — which already existed in the form of the M16A3.

    Frankly, it’s just an opportunity for the Marines to buy a new rifle without getting a lot of flack for calling it a new rifle. Just you wait — they’ll buy a whole lot more of them eventually.

    Want a better SAW? Take a look at LSAT, which just concluded a very successful user eval at Ft Benning.

  3. I’m all for an HK 416 variant for the US Marines (or hell, ANY Assault Rifle that doesn’t have a Direct Impingement Gas Operation!), but a weapon of this size, layout, and bore with a 30-round magazine is NOT a Machine Gun by any stretch of the imagination.

    This should be replacing the M16 and M4, not the M249.

  4. Reminds me of the FN-C2 Light Automatic Rifle I carried on occasion during training c.1977. A version of the M16, the Heavy Barrel variant, was proposed as its successor, but the C9/M249 was judged superior.


  5. I’m with the rest of you. Sounds like a bone headed call to me. The Brits ditched the Bren gun for a good reason. It was called, “magazine fed”. Nuff said?

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