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SCAR®-H & SCAR®-L FN Herstal Assault Rifle
 
 
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Scar-L Scar-H Scar L H FN Herstal assault rifle special operations forces technical data sheet description specifications information intelligence pictures photos images Belgium Belgian army weapons Defence industry military technology
 
Description

Early 2004, the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) issued a solicitation for a family of Special Forces Combat Assault Rifles, the so-called SCAR, designed around two different calibers but featuring high commonality of parts and identical ergonomics. The Belgian company Fabrique Nationale de Herstal (FN Herstal) took part in the competition and released prototypes of a brand new family of weapons within the imposed timeframe: the SCAR® family of rifles consists of two main types: the SCAR-L and the SCAR-H. Since the first pre-selection tests, the SCAR system developed by FN Herstal has remained the first and only choice of USSOCOM. The FN SCAR system completed low rate initial production testing in June 2007. After some delays, the first rifles began being issued to operational units in April 2009, and a battalion of the U.S. 75th Ranger Regiment was the first large unit deployed into combat with 600 of the rifles in 2009. At Milipol 2011 International internal state security exhibition, FN Herstal unveiled its semi-automatic SCAR®-H PR precision rifle. Derived from the innovative FN SCAR® weapon system, the new SCAR®-H PR precision rifle has been designed for long-range precision fire applications while also providing the capability to fight close in. The U.S. Special Operations Command later cancelled their purchase of the SCAR-L and planned to remove the rifle from their inventory by 2013. However, they will continue to purchase the SCAR-H version, and also plan to purchase 5.56mm conversion kits for the SCAR-H, allowing it to substitute for the SCAR-L. In 2015, the FN SCAR was already in service in over 20 countries.

On 9 December 2011, the Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division released a sole source 5 year indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity procurement notice for the Mk 16 Mod 0 (SCAR-L), Mk 17 Mod 0 (SCAR-H), Mk 20 Mod 0 (SSR), and Mk 13 Mod 0 (40mm EGLM) from FN Herstal to sustain inventory levels. Navy special operations forces procures their firearms through SOCOM and fielded the MK 16 more than any other unit.

On 25 June 2010, SOCOM announced that it was canceling the acquisition of the Mk 16, citing limited funds and a lack of enough of a performance difference in comparison to other 5.56mm rifles to justify the purchase. Remaining funds would be expended for the SCAR-H and the Mk 20 sniper variant. At the time, SOCOM had bought 850 Mk 16s and 750 Mk 17s. SOCOM had operators turn in their Mk 16s and is not keeping them in the inventory, but started developing a conversion kit for the Mk 17 to make it capable of firing 5.56mm rounds.

"FN America believes the issue is not whether the SCAR, and specifically the [originally contracted] Mk 16 variant, is the superior weapon system available today...it has already been proven to be just that...recently passing Milestone C and determined to be operationally effective / operationally suitable (OE/OS) for fielding. The issue is whether or not the requirement for a 5.56mm replacement outweighs the numerous other requirements competing for the customers’ limited budget. That is a question that will only be determined by the customer". FN Herstal though had refuted that the Mk 16 was being dropped from the inventory and stated that the 5.56mm variant will be retained by SOCOM, and that "The choice between the 5.56 mm and the 7.62mm caliber will be left to the discretion of each constitutive component of USSOCOM's Joint Command (e.g. SEALs, Rangers, Army Special Forces, MARSOC, AFSOC) depending on their specific missions on today's battlefield".

FN America's claim contradicted the official announcement from SOCOM and they did not reverse their decision. SOCOM decided to procure the 7.62mm Mk 17 rifle, the 40mm Mk 13 grenade launcher, and the 7.62mm Mk 20 Sniper Support Rifle variants of the Special Operations Forces Combat Assault Rifle (SCAR) manufactured by FN. SOCOM would not purchase the 5.56mm Mk 16. At that point the individual service component commands within SOCOM (Army Special Operations Command, Naval Special Warfare Command, Air Force Special Operations Command, and Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command) would or would not still buy the 5.56mm Mk 16 SCAR for some or all of their respective subordinate units even with overall US Special Operations Command opting not to.

SOCOM began removing the Mk 16 from their inventory at the end of 2011, and most units will have the rifle completely out of their service by the end of 2013. To maintain the SCAR as a small-caliber weapon, they are procuring conversion kits for the Mk 17 battle rifle to make it fire 5.56×45mm rounds. The pre-solicitation for the SCAR program originally called for one rifle that could be adapted to fire multiple calibers including 5.56mm, 7.62×51mm, and 7.62×39mm. When requirements were finalized, the decision was made to separate the 5.56×45mm and 7.62×51mm weapons because converting the medium caliber rifle to fire small-caliber bullets created an assault rifle heavier than the M4 carbine. After fielding, operators reversed the previous decision and called for a SCAR that could change calibers. The Mk 17 was chosen to be scaled down because it had a larger receiver for the 7.62×51mm round, and so the 5.56mm Mk 16 could not be scaled up to chamber the larger round. The 5.56mm conversion kit was finalized in late 2010 and orders began in mid-2011.

The Mk 17 is now in widespread use by United States SOF forces in Afghanistan, where its relative lightweight, accuracy and stopping power has proved of worth on the battlefield.

The SCAR is built at the FN Manufacturing, LLC plant in Columbia, South Carolina, in the United States. Since 2008, FN Herstal has been offering semi-automatic versions of the SCAR rifles for commercial and law enforcement use. These are dubbed the 16S (Light) and 17S (Heavy), and are manufactured in Herstal, Belgium and imported by FN Herstal's U.S. subsidiary FN America of Fredericksburg, Virginia. FN America slightly modifies the rifles (supplying a U.S. made magazine and machining a pin in the magazine well) to be in compliance with U.S. Code before selling them.

HAMR IAR
In 2008, a variant of the FN SCAR — the Heat Adaptive Modular Rifle (HAMR) — was one of four finalist rifles for the Infantry Automatic Rifle (IAR) competition. The IAR was a United States Marine Corps requirement for a lightweight automatic rifle for squad automatic rifle use. The FN entry was different from existing SCAR versions in that it combined closed bolt operation (fires from bolt forward/chambered cartridge) with open bolt operation (fires from bolt to the rear, no chambered cartridge), switching automatically from closed to open bolt as the weapon's barrel heats up during firing. There have been previous firearms with mixed open/closed bolt operation, but the automatic temperature-based operating mode switch is an innovation. The IAR competition was expected to result in Marine Corps procurement of up to 6,500 automatic rifles over five years,[33] but eventually the SCAR variant was passed over in favor of the Heckler and Koch HK416 rifle, later designated as the M27.

 
Variants

Military variants

SCAR-L – 5.56×45mm NATO assault rifle
   * SCAR-L CQC (Close Quarters Combat) – 250 mm (10 in) barrel
   * SCAR-L STD (Standard) – 360 mm (14 in) barrel
   * SCAR-L LB (Long Barrel) – 460 mm (18 in) barrel
SCAR PDW – 5.56×45mm NATO personal defense weapon variant with a 170 mm (6.5 in) barrel length
SCAR-SC- 5.56×45mm NATO subcompact carbine. Weighs 3.1 kg (about 6.8 pounds), has a 7.5-inch barrel, and has a pistol grip with no finger rest. It has a lower effective range of 200m. A 300 blackout version will also be released. Available since mid-2018.
SCAR-H – 7.62×51mm NATO battle rifle
   * SCAR-H CQC (Close Quarters Combat) – 330 mm (13 in) barrel
   * SCAR-H STD (Standard) – 410 mm (16 in) barrel
   * SCAR-H LB (Long Barrel) – 510 mm (20 in) barrel
   FN SCAR Sniper Support Rifle (SSR) – 7.62×51mm NATO semi-automatic sniper system
   Precision Rifles (7.62×51mm NATO)
      * FN SCAR-H PR (Precision Rifle) - 510 mm (20 in) barrel, two-stage match trigger, folding stock, and M16A2 pistol grip.
      * FN SCAR-H TPR (Tactical Precision Rifle) - 510 mm (20 in) barrel, two-stage match trigger, adjustable fixed stock, and M16A2 pistol grip.

Prototypes
   * HAMR (Heat Adaptive Modular Rifle) – Automatic rifle entered in the United States Marine Corps' Infantry Automatic Rifle competition. It was eventually beaten by the M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle, a Heckler & Koch HK416 variant.
   * FNAC (FN Advanced Carbine) – 5.56 mm NATO assault rifle entered into the US Army Individual Carbine competition. The competition was cancelled before a winning weapon was chosen.

Civilian variants
   * SCAR 16S – Civilian 5.56×45mm NATO semi-automatic version. Offered in matte black or flat dark earth (brown) color.
   * SCAR 17S – Civilian 7.62×51mm NATO semi-automatic version. Offered in matte black or flat dark earth color.
   * SCAR 20s – Civilian 7.62×51mm NATO semi-automatic version. Offered in matte black or flat dark earth color.

 
Technical Data
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Scar-L Scar-H Scar L H FN Herstal assault rifle special operations forces technical data sheet description specifications information intelligence pictures photos images Belgium Belgian army weapons Defence industry military technology
Design
The SCAR® system is a gas-operated (short-stroke gas piston) self-loading rifle with a rotating bolt. It is constructed to be extremely modular, including barrel change to switch between calibers. More precisely, it consists of two highly adaptable modular rifle platforms, i.e. the 5.56x45mm NATO SCAR®-Light (or SCAR®-L) and the 7.62x51mm NATO SCAR®-Heavy (or SCAR®-H), and an enhanced grenade launcher module (EGLM or FN40GL®). Both SCAR® platforms are available with two different barrel lengths: a CQC barrel for Close Quarter Combat and a Standard barrel (STD) for longer distances. The SCAR features an integral, uninterrupted Picatinny rail on the top of the aluminum receiver, two removable side rails and a bottom one that can mount any MIL-STD-1913 compliant accessories. It has a polymer lower receiver with an M16 compatible pistol grip, flared magazine well, and raised area around magazine and bolt release buttons. The front sight flips down for unobstructed use of optics and accessories. The rifle uses a 'tappet' type of closed gas system much like the M1 Carbine while the bolt carrier otherwise resembles the Stoner 63 or Heckler & Koch G36.

The operator can replace the standard barrel with a short 10" barrel for close quarter combat in less than five minutes. The rifle is then called SCAR-L CQC.

The Mk 16 was intended to replace the M4A1, the Mk 18 CQBR and the Mk 12 SPR currently in SOCOM service, before SOCOM decided to cancel the order for the Mk 16 Mod 0. The Mk 17 will replace the M14 and Mk 11 sniper rifles. However, the weapon will only supplement other weapons while issuing remains at the operator's decision.

The Mk 20 Mod 0 Sniper Support Rifle (SSR) is based on the SCAR-H. It includes a longer receiver, a beefed up barrel extension and barrel profile to reduce whip and improve accuracy, and an enhanced modular trigger that can be configured for single-stage or two-stage operation together with either a folding or a non-folding precision stock.

Ammunition
The SCAR is available in two calibers, and in versions for short and long-range combat. The SCAR-L (L for light), is chambered in the 5.56x45mm NATO cartridge and the SCAR-H (H for heavy) fires 7.62x51mm NATO ammunition, also from proprietary 20-round magazines. Mk.16 SCAR-L rifle will use improved M16-type magazines, made of steel; Mk.17 SCAR-H will use proprietary 20-round magazines in 7.62x51 NATO chambering. The initial solicitation indicated that the SCAR-H would also be able to be chambered in 7.62×39mm M43 Kalashnikov cartridge and 6.8×43mm Remington SPC cartridge. However, FN is not currently offering them and they likely have been cancelled.
Accessories
The SCAR assault rifle features an upper Picatinny rail for optional day or night sighting systems (in-line mounting possible) and lower and side rails for optional accessories (e.g. light, laser, foregrip).
Further accessories are available, such as sling, bipod, Picatinny rail covers, carrying bag and blank firing system.
The SCAR assault rifle features a foldable buttstock, an adjustable cheek piece (2 positions) and an adjustable length of pull (6 positions) to adapt to any operators.

The FN40GL® 40mm grenade launcher quickly mounts to the lower rail of any SCAR® platform, providing additional punch to the individual war fighter’s firepower and can be easily configured for use as a stand-alone weapon as well.
 
Specifications
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Identification

FN Herstal write to the left side of the weapon, with the identification number.

SCAR®-L Technical Data
Caliber:
Operating:
Length:
a
Barrel length:
Weight:
Magazine:
5.56 x 45 NATO
Gas operated, rotating bolt
835 - 900 mm (STD Model)
724 - 788 mm (CQC Model)
14.5"
3.545 kg
30-round steel magazine
Security
Security selector to each side of the weapons, three positions, S (Security), 1 Single shot, A (Automatic)
SCAR®-H Technical Data
Caliber:
Operating:
Length:
a
Barrel length:
Weight:
Magazine:
7.62 x 51 NATO
Gas operated, rotating bolt
906 - 969 mm (STD Model)
830 - 893 mm (CQC Model)
16"
3.720 kg
2 0-round steel magazine
 
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Scar-L Scar-H Scar L H FN Herstal assault rifle special operations forces technical data sheet description specifications information intelligence pictures photos images Belgium Belgian army weapons Defence industry military technology
 
Scar-L Scar-H Scar L H FN Herstal assault rifle special operations forces technical data sheet description specifications information intelligence pictures photos images Belgium Belgian army weapons Defence industry military technology
Scar-L Scar-H Scar L H FN Herstal assault rifle special operations forces technical data sheet description specifications information intelligence pictures photos images Belgium Belgian army weapons Defence industry military technology
     
 
Scar-L Scar-H Scar L H FN Herstal assault rifle special operations forces technical data sheet description specifications information intelligence pictures photos images Belgium Belgian army weapons Defence industry military technology
 
Scar-L Scar-H Scar L H FN Herstal assault rifle special operations forces technical data sheet description specifications information intelligence pictures photos images Belgium Belgian army weapons Defence industry military technology
Scar-L Scar-H Scar L H FN Herstal assault rifle special operations forces technical data sheet description specifications information intelligence pictures photos images Belgium Belgian army weapons Defence industry military technology
 
 
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