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The United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) is in search of a new sniper rifle that would provide accuracy at record-shattering distances in a bid to keep up with the U.S. military’s largest competitors.
In a notice posted to Sam.gov, a U.S. government website connecting private contractors to the federal government, the command posted its desire for a new “extreme long range-sniper rifle,” which it hopes will be able to replace “older anti-materiel and anti-personnel rifles such as the M107 and MK15 with a newer system.”
USSOCOM said in the notice that it is seeking a rifle with a “precision fire capability” of 2,500 meters, or 2,730 yards, a distance that could break existing confirmed kill records. According to a report from Military.com, the current longest confirmed sniper kill was set in 2002 by a Canadian Army sniper, Cpl. Rob Furlong, who used his country’s military version of the TAC-50 to record a kill from 2,430 meters, or 2,657 yards.
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The M107 semi-automatic long range sniper rifle. (Thomas Alvarez/Idaho Army National Guard)
When reached for comment by Fox News Digital, a USSCOM spokesperson confirmed the search for the new rifle while downplaying any issues with existing platforms.
“The M107 and MK15 rifles are still incredibly capable platforms that fulfill multiple requirements for Special Operations Forces,” the spokesperson said.
Instead, the search for a new rifle is aimed at giving U.S. special operations forces a leg up on “near peer” rivals such as China and Russia.
U.S. Green Beret and Rangers assigned to 7th Special Forces (Airborne), fire multiple weapon systems in preparation for the 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) best sniper competition at Camp “Bull Simons” training area in Florida., June 27, 2023. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Stefano Dabdoub-Olivera)
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“The [Extreme Long Range – Sniper Rifle] requirement is based off capabilities and advancements developed by industry partners as well as the long-range shooting sports community,” the spokesperson said. “The ELR-SR will leverage these advances and will provide improvements in long range precision applications that will increase effective range and probability of hit in support of the great power competition for Special Operations Forces in near peer conflicts.”
In the posting, USSOCOM said it is looking for a rifle that will be “a modular, magazine-fed, multi-caliber capable system which will include barrel configurations with required bolts and barrels of each caliber, required magazines of each caliber, stock, receiver, sound suppressor, ballistic computer, operator manual, cleaning kit, tool kit, bipod.” Additionally, the caliber the for the rifle “shall be sub-sonic and supersonic capable” and have a length no greater that 56 inches and a weight of no more than 22 pounds.
The MK-22 Precision Sniper Rifle sights view a target on the range at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, Oct. 22, 2023. The MK-22 replaced the Army’s existing M2010 and M107 sniper rifles. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Spc. Michael Schwenk)
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“The Extreme Long Range – Sniper Rifle will increase the effectiveness of Special Operations Forces by utilizing the most recent advances and capabilities in small arms design, performance, and commercial manufacturing technologies to increase reliability, survivability and availability by replacing decade old weapon systems,” the spokesperson said.