PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. (Army News Service, Sept. 30, 2010) -- A recently awarded weapons contract means Army snipers can expect to see an improved rifle, with an extended range, in the field by Christmas.
The Army's Program Executive Office Soldier recently awarded Remington Arms Company a contract for the M24 Reconfigured Sniper Weapon System.
The award will result in the near-term fielding of 250 XM2010 weapon systems, which will be chambered for .300 Winchester Magnum cartridges. The new chambering significantly extends the weapon's maximum effective range. It's expected the Army will field the upgraded weapons to deployed Army snipers by the end of December.
"Within the space of a year, we were able to partner with industry to deliver a new capability for our snipers in combat," said Lt. Col. Chris Lehner, the product manager for individual weapons, part of PEO Soldier. "The upgraded weapon system provides extended range for our snipers and incorporates the latest in weapons technology."
The upgraded weapon features a five-round box magazine to make the system easier to load and reload, with the additional option to change out ammunition quickly. The system is also equipped with a rail-endowed chassis and free floating barrel that allows for easier mounting of weapon accessories and greater accuracy.
Locked on to that new rail, the XM2010 sports a Leupold Mark 4 6.5-20x50mm extended range/tactical riflescope with advanced scalable ranging and targeting reticle. The system is also fielded with the AN/PVS-29 clip-on sniper night sight. And the system's included quick-attach suppressor reduces audible and visible signature with an available thermal sleeve that reduces the mirage effect on heated suppressors.
After a full and open competition, the Army awarded the firm fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the upgrade of up to 3,600 M24 systems.
"The XM2010 had pinpoint precision," said Sgt. 1st Class Robert Roof, the chief instructor at the United States Army Sniper School. "We were able to achieve shots well within the weapon's capabilities both during limited visibility and during the day. The optics were clear and easy to use and the ergonomics of the weapon made it very comfortable to shoot."
The M24 upgrade initiative is the result of an Army-directed requirement to provide snipers operating in Afghanistan with a greater capability to engage the enemy. It is expected that the XM2010s will provide at least 10 years of service, officials said, adding it should serve as a precursor to future sniper systems.