Heckler & Koch Defense Inc. has announced the first shipment of M110A1 Squad Designated Marksman Rifles (SDMR) to the U.S. Army, the company announced.
This shipment is the first of many that will eventually total between 5,000 and 6,000 complete weapon systems.
The new HK rifle is a variant of the 7.62 mm G28/HK417. Under terms of the agreement, the rifles, which are manufactured by HK in Oberndorf, Germany are first shipped to the HK-USA facility in Columbus, GA. There, HK-USA workers install scopes and mounts purchased by the Army under a separate agreement.
Additionally, HK-USA staff kit the scoped rifles with additional accessories from 12 other US-based manufacturers to round out the complete SDMR weapon system delivered to the Army. Heckler & Koch will also provide spare parts, support, and training.
“Obviously, the COVID-19 pandemic creates and very challenging business environment. But as an essential partner in the defense infrastructure of this country, we are 100 percent committed to delivering this essential product to our troops, while keeping our employees safe and healthy,” HK-USA President and COO Michael Holley said. He added that HK SDMR system will add much-needed capabilities to virtually every squad in the Army, making it a top priority for HK internationally. “We have many of the best workers in in the small arms industry, both here in Columbus, Georgia and in Oberndorf, Germany, working together to make this happen,” Holley said.
Deliveries of the M110A1 under the current purchase agreement are expected to continue through the middle of 2021.
The U.S. Army’s M110A1 Squad Designated Marksman Rifles (SDMR) are based on the G28/M110A1 Compact Semi-Automatic Sniper System (CSASS). All these rifles are in turn based on Heckler & Koch HK417 battle rifle, the larger caliber (7.62×51mm NATO) version of the 5.56×45mm NATO HK416.
Unlike the sniper configuration, the SDMR model will be equipped with a different buttstock and barrel twist than the CSASS model. The marksman version is fitted with a simpler SIG TANGO6 1-6×24 telescopic sight, and it fires M80A1 Enhanced Performance Rounds or XM1158 Advanced Armor Piercing Rounds rather than sniper rounds; it will be fielded with a suppressor to make the marksman less identifiable with louder 7.62×51mm NATO rounds.
The new rifle will replace the Mk 14 (M14) Enhanced Battle Rifle (EBR), in use by the Army since 2009.