The marine corps has announced that it awarded a contract to purchase thousands of M27 Infantry Automatic Rifles at a much lower price per weapon. H&K in Ashburn was the company selected to receive the contract worth up to $29.4 million. It’s required to send around 15,000 rifles and their spare parts. The total cost of buying the first 5,650 IARs is $7.4 million, so that means each rifle only costs around $1,300. This is considerably cheaper than the actual price.
This wasn’t the first time the Corps bought the deadly rifles. It has purchased the same exact units in the past, but the individual price was way higher back then, more than double its current price. These IARs will be used by active and reserve infantry platoons next year. Christian Wade who used to be a Chief Warrant Officer 5 is the person behind the decision of the new purchase. He has been an advocate for the weapon since a long time ago.
In a statement he wrote in March, he said that marines had been confident in the rifle for years and the Marine Corps knew it. Personal confidence is highly regarded in military circles. This is an important factor that will determine a marine’s success in combat. It’s also believed to show if his leaders care. The service bought 6,500 M27 rifles back in 2008 from the same supplier. It was done in response to the competition to find a substitute for the M249.
Last year, the Marine Corps announced an open request which basically asked if another company was interested in supplying the service with comparable IAR capabilities, but later it was deemed too expensive. As a result, the plan was cancelled. In a statement, the Corps said the competition would cause a steep increase in cost duplications. Besides, it might also lead to delays, which was another big concern. Each member will now carry a M27 instead of a M4 carbine.