Heckler & Koch announced Thursday the first batch of Squad Designated Marksman Rifles left the HK-USA facility in Georgia, headed for the U.S. Army.

The platform, designated the SDMR in military service, is a variant of HK’s 7.62 mm NATO G28/HK417. The base rifles are produced at HK’s factory at Oberndorf, Germany then shipped to the States where HK-USA workers in Columbus, Georgia install optics and accessories drawn from a dozen U.S.-based manufacturers.

The M110A1 SDMR variant in all its glory, complete with HK German roll marks, offset backup sights, a Geissele mount, OSS suppressor, Harris bipod and Sig Tango6 optic. (Photo: U.S. Army)

HK-USA President and COO Michael Holley, in a statement, stressed that the company is working through obstacles presented by recent events to deliver the rifles to the military.

“Obviously, the COVID-19 pandemic creates and very challenging business environment,” said Holley. “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.”

This shipment headed to Uncle Sam is the first as the Army will eventually receive between 5,000 and 6,000 complete SDMR systems, which will filter down to the squad-level when fully fielded.

HK is also supplying the Army with the G28-based M110A1 Compact Semi-Automatic Sniper System– which uses a Schmidt & Bender 3–20×50 PM II on a Geissele mount with accessories to include an OSS SRM6 suppressor and Harris bipod– earlier this year pulling down a $33 million award for both rifles. Meanwhile, the Marines have been fielding the M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle (IAR), a variant of the 5.56mm NATO HK416, in serious numbers for the past decade.

HECKLER & KOCH GRABS $33 MILLION ARMY SNIPER, MARKSMAN RIFLE AWARD

HK stands to bank up to $33.5 million on precision rifles, such as these new M110A1 CSASS platforms, for the U.S. Army over the next couple of years. (Photo: U.S. Army)

The U.S. Army Contracting Command on Wednesday announced a contract award to Hecker & Koch worth over $33 million.

The Ashburn, Virginia-based company was awarded a $33.5 modification to contracts for the Compact Semi-Automatic Sniper System and the Squad Designated Marksman Rifle.

The CSASS, classified by the Army as the M110A1 rifle, is a variant of the company’s G28 (HK241) platform chambered in 7.62 NATO. The rifle, which itself is a development of the HK417 series, was first green-lighted by Uncle in 2016.

As its name program name would imply, the rifle is light, weighing in at 8.48-pounds sans optics and accessories. Its primary day optic is the Schmidt & Bender 3-20 power scope on a Geissele mount with accessories to include a suppressor and bipod.

The HK G28 variant used as the Army’s Compact Semi-Automatic Sniper System, or M110A1. )

The M110A1 is set to augment existing supplies of the legacy M110 Semi-Automatic Sniper System, which is produced by the Florida-based Knights Armament Company. KAC introduced its system in 2007 complete with a 20-inch Chromoly 5R barrel and it has gone on to see extensive not only with the Army but also the Marines and Coast Guard. KAC has a contract through 2024 for its M110 SASS variant.Fort Bliss Alpha Company 4-17 Infantry Battalion, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division Squad Designated Marksman Rifle SDM-R Jan. 25 2019 HK G28 sig 1-6x24mm Tango6 (2)

The SDMR in all its glory, complete with translucent mags, HK Oberndorf roll marks, offset backup sights, a Geissele mount, suppressor and Sig Tango6 optic. (Photo: U.S. Army)

The SDMR is a variant of the HK-produced M110A1 with a slightly different stock and Sig Sauer’s 1-6x24mm Tango6 optic. The Army is moving to adopt between 5,000 and 6,000 SDMRs to replace modified M14 rifles used as designated marksman rifles over the past decade.

The SDMR was evaluated at Fort Bliss by the Army’s PEO Soldier program in 2019

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