Thanks to AC for the link!
via Business Insider.
The Marines are considering arming more of its infantry with a lightweight, highly reliable automatic rifle, but there’s one catch: It costs about three times more than the rifle that is currently standard issue.I'm conflicted. I like the M27 more as the standard battle rifle for Marines rather than a SAW replacement but...can we afford it?
The standard-issue M4 carbine could be replaced by the M27 infantry automatic rifle. Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert Neller said the M27s that have already been deployed are "the most reliable, durable, and accurate weapons in our rifle squads," according to Marine Corps Times.
The M27, a variation of the HK416 built by the German gunmaker Heckler & Koch, sells for about $3,000. The M4, which is used by most Army and Marines combat units, is manufactured by Colt Defense and FN America and costs less than $1,000.
If the Marines equipped 11,000 infantry riflemen — the number under discussion — with the M27, the price tag would be about $33 million.
The M27 is said to be far superior to the M4, but Marine Corps Times quoted Neller as saying that while he is looking at a new weapon for infantry Marines, "we have to balance improved capabilities and increased lethality with cost." But, he added, "our infantry Marines should be the most lethal force we can afford."
The Marine Corps once hung its hat on being the most cost effective military force in the Pentagon. Those days are close (if they're not already) to being over and I'm not sure how I feel about that.
How many more gold plated solutions can we ask the taxpayer to swallow? Will we reach a point where the Marines aren't worth the cost? Are we pricing ourselves out of a mission? How much longer can you justify unique/expensive solutions to problem sets that even the freaking US Army can solve for less money?
Yeah. I'm conflicted, confused and concerned. Yet I still want the weapon. Glad this isn't on my desk waiting for a decision!