The U.S. Army May Be Abandoning Its 7.62mm Rifle Program
The U.S. Army’s new Interim Combat Service Rifle (ICSR) program is rumored to have been canceled, just a few weeks after it launched. The project, announced last month, sought to procure a standard-issue infantry rifle chambered in the larger 7.62x51mm round.
The Army’s rifle program fell victim to a “massive review of US Army small arms programs,” unnamed military sources told The Firearm Blog in a Sep. 20 post. The report coincides with the news that budget uncertainty has led the Department of Defense to limit investment in new projects — and has caused consternation among service heads. In a letter to the Senate Armed Forces Committee earlier this month, Secretary of Defense Mattis warned that “continuing resolutions” — stopgap three-month budget bills to get around congressional disagreements, “impact the readiness of our forces and their equipment at a time when security threats are extraordinary high.”
The new rifle was intended to give troops the ability to extend their effective range over the current M4 and to penetrate modern body armor. The program launched earlier this year with a “directed requirement” from the then-vice chief of staff, now-retired Army Gen. Daniel Allyn.
While the rumors that ISCR has been cancelled are not yet confirmed, Task & Purpose has reached out to the Army for comment.
Matthew Moss is a British writer and historian specializing in small arms development and military history. Follow Matthew Moss on Twitter @historicfirearm.
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Image: Department of Defense