FN Herstal, MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, TAMPA: The United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) today announced that it has awarded the contract for the Special Operations Forces Combat Assault Rifle (SCAR) to FN Herstal.  
 
The USSOCOM awarded an Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract after conducting a full and open competition throughout ten months beginning in January 2004. The program will provide the first 21st century modular assault rifle designed and built from the ground up for the finest fighting forces in the world. The SCAR will be made in the United States. The $634K (FY05) contract is set to begin immediately and will be managed by USSOCOM.  
 
Troy Smith, Program Manager, Special Operations Forces, Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC), the center conducting the testing, said, “I am pleased to announce this partnership with FN Herstal. We announced the RFP in January 2004 and the company was selected from numerous world wide competitors in November 2004. This company has a long and successful history of designing and manufacturing weapons that make a difference, having made the Mk 46, Mk 48, the M249, M240 and the .50 Cal M2/M3 Series machine guns. The command vision of USSOCOM is to be the premier team of special warriors, thoroughly prepared, properly equipped, and highly motivated: at the right place, at the right time, leading the Global War on Terrorism, accomplishing the strategic objectives of the United States.  
 
“We are very excited to continue that legacy with this award and the SCAR program. We have begun this at a time where world events dictate that Operators have a 21st century modular weapon. As we all know, modularity is the key to flexibility. The SCAR Heavy, especially, comes not a moment too soon — with less weight, increased lethality, reduced maintenance and logistics burdens. I am proud to begin this relationship to help deliver a product that will make a difference in the way Operators fight.”  
 
FNH USA President and CEO Louis Dillais said, “Along the lines of its 30- year commitment to the United States Defense community, FN Herstal will fully support the SCAR program to provide the United States Operators in the field with a weapons system that meets their requirements.”  
 
Specifically, the SCAR L, a 5.56 mm assault rifle, replaces the M4A1, Close Quarters Battle Rifle (CQBR) and Mk12. The SCAR H, a 7.62mm assault rifle, replaces the M14 and Mk11. Both variants of the SCAR will have three barrel lengths. The SCAR barrel change allows Operators to best tailor the weapon for each operation, using the “standard”, the Close Quarters Combat (CQC), or “sniper” barrels. These changes will affect the velocity and directly relate to lethality. Modularity also allows Operators to choose the right time for these tradeoffs. Finally, there is more than 90% commonality between the SCAR L and SCAR H versions.  
 
The SCAR will be built at the FN Manufacturing LLC, plant in Columbia, South Carolina, which employs approximately 500 people. The Herstal Group, a 2500-person strong corporation, employs nearly 900 people in the United States. The Herstal Group has its headquarters in Liege, Belgium, the heart of Europe, and offices as well as manufacturing facilities in nine other European countries, Asia and North America.