The US Army has named FN America LLC and Colt’s Manufacturing Co. LLC as competitors in its $383.3 million contract to supply M16 rifles to Afghanistan, Iraq, Grenada, Lebanon and Nepal.
“FN America LLC, Columbia, South Carolina; and Colt's Manufacturing Co. LLC, West Hartford, Connecticut, will compete for each order of the $383.3 million contract to provide M16A4 rifles for Foreign Military Sales to Afghanistan, Grenada, Iraq, Lebanon and Nepal,” the Pentagon said in a statement today.
Bids were solicited via the internet with three received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of April 28, 2025.
Nepal clears legal hurdles to buy the rifles
Nepal wanted to buy M4, M-16 and A4 rifles for the Army since 2018. The Nepal rulebook, according to which the country was allowed to make payments only in three transactions- an advance once the deal is signed, intermediate as delivery begins and the final payment once all the consignment is delivered- prevented the rifles procurement.
“The legal hurdles have been cleared by the Cabinet in a decision made last month. Now the payment can be made as demanded by the US Army,” Babu Ram Gautam, spokesperson for the Defense Ministry, told The Kathmandu Post in June 2019.
The M16A4 is the fourth generation of the M16 series of military rifles. The US has approved the sale of 80000 and 4400 M16A4 rifles to Iraq in 2008 and 2017, and 891 of them to Afghanistan in 2016. Starting 2015, the US military began replacing the M16 with a shorter and lighter version, the M4 carbine.