The US Marine Corps has requested additional 50,000 M27 Infantry Automatic Rifles to replace the M4 carbine that infantry and other units currently use.
Earlier in March, the marine had requested to produce and deliver 11,000 IARs, Marine Corps Times reports. The new pre-solicitation notice of 50,184 appears to be in addition to the earlier order.
Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert Neller had said early this year that he wants the rifle in the hands of every “0311” rifleman in the Corps. Marines began fielding 4,000 M27 IARs in 2010 to replace the M249 squad automatic weapons.
The M27 is based on the Heckler & Koch HK416 assault rifle and it has a 30-round magazine and fires up to 40 rounds per minute.
The IAR was first used in combat by Marines from the Hawaii-based 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines who carried it to Garmser, Afghanistan, in April 2011.
However, the report says the newly ordered IARs come at an increased cost. M27s cost $3,000 apiece while the M4 costs $1,000, the report states.