The U.S. Army’s M4A1 carbine contract is up for grabs, and the bidding war may get a little heated.
Since the U.S. Army intends to replace the respected M-16 with the M4A1 as the standard-issue weapon, upgrades will be needed. The company that gets the contract for those upgrades will be in for a huge pay day.
For over 10 years, Colt Defense was the sole manufacturer of the standard M4 and M4A1 carbines used by the U.S. infantry. In 2011, Freedom Group, a subsidiary of Remington Arms, took the contract by immediately cutting the price per weapon and still kept it under an American brand.
By 2013, everything changed when Belgium Company FN Herstal came in with a rock-bottom price of just $642 per rifle.
Now that generals have gotten the go-ahead to improve their weapon, the Army has made one thing clear: they want to deal with one, and only one, prime contractor to upgrade the M4A1.
Upgrades include, but are not limited to:
- Extending the forward rails to 12 inches, to facilitate straight-arm shooting.
- Adding room for more attachments on the carbine.
- Making front and rear iron sights removable.
- Adding a floating barrel to decrease vibration and improve accuracy.
- Requiring proof that the new design is more accurate.
- Adding a flash suppressor.
- Adding an optional ultra-sensitive, single-stage sniper trigger.
The contractor that wins the bid will have their hands full and their pockets as well.