View Full Version : Corps to reveal SAW replacement in October

09-18-2009, 04:48 PM
Corps to reveal SAW replacement in October

By Dan Lamothe - Staff writer
Posted : Friday Sep 18, 2009 14:31:36 EDT

The Marine Corps plans to announce next month a heavily anticipated plan for the infantry automatic rifle, which is expected to replace the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon in Marine fire teams.

“We’re close to having a decision,” said Maj. John Smith, the weapon’s project officer at Marine Corps Systems Command in Quantico, Va. “I’m on schedule to have a decision on the program to move forward. Maybe within three weeks or so, there will be a lot more information.”

Testing is complete, Smith told Marine Corps Times on Wednesday, and plans are underway to make sure logistics, training and maintenance of the weapon are handled.

Late last year, the Corps chose three companies — Colt Defense, FN Herstal and Heckler & Koch — to compete for the IAR contract, saying the new weapon would allow Marines to maneuver under fire more quickly and improve accuracy.

But the plan has incited some debate. Critics don’t like the idea of giving up the SAW, which can carry a 200-round drum and unleash a massive volume of fire, in favor of the IAR, which is drastically lighter but uses 30-round magazines. The IAR finalists weigh between 8 and 11 pounds empty, whereas the SAW weighs about 16 pounds empty — 22 when loaded.

Smith acknowledged that Commandant Gen. James Conway has questioned how the IAR will fit into fire teams but said that concern was “answered in short order.” He declined to elaborate. SysCom anticipates the project staying on schedule, with initial fielding next year. Maj. David Nevers, a spokesman for Conway, said the commandant was unavailable for comment.

In April and May, the Corps held reliability testing for the IAR at Marine Corps Base Quantico, using two weapons from Colt and one each from FN Herstal and Heckler & Koch, Smith said. Over three weeks, 20,000 rounds were fired from three makes of each weapon. The Corps also held limited user evaluations for about three weeks in April in Hawthorne, Nev., with Marines from Camp Pendleton, Calif. assessing each of the finalists.


09-18-2009, 05:21 PM
If the're changing out, maybe they might have a garage sale,,,,,,, I'm in.

09-18-2009, 08:41 PM
Is this really a smart move? What is the point of a SAW, if you can't lay down suppressive fire? I have wondered this for a very long time, ever since I found out about this IAR program. I have yet to see my question answered... Isn't the machine gun one of the main focuses on modern infantry tactics? Fire and maneuver?

I'd like to hear what some of the Marine grunts have to say about this.

09-19-2009, 01:13 AM
All I know about infantry combat is what I've read, but the ability of the SAW to throw a shitload of lead downrange in a battle is a frequently mentioned topic that is greatly appreciated by our troops. 30 round mags? Seriously?

09-20-2009, 08:37 AM
For the same reason the M-16 ended up with a 3 round seer. throwin lead is not a good answer. Besides, have you ever humped a M-14? Even 12 pounds at the ready will hurt.

09-21-2009, 03:31 PM
We've had a 30 round magazine fed "Support weapon" in the LSW for years....... it's shit. Even if this new IAR fixes the overheating problems we have with the LSW when used like an LMG, it cannot fix the inate problem of having only 30 rounds at a time before reload o'clock. I bet Marines will be asking for their SAWs back after a few contacts in Afghanistan.

09-21-2009, 03:37 PM
Sorry Bob didnt mean to repost..edited.

09-21-2009, 03:40 PM
Sorry Bob didnt mean to repost..edited.

The 30rd mag could be swapped out for the Beta C mag

09-21-2009, 03:50 PM
The 30rd mag could be swapped out for the Beta C mag

From what I've heard/read, they aren't all that reliable. Could be wrong, though.

09-21-2009, 03:51 PM
Yea, the Beta C mag could be an option, but i wouldn't trust them like i would a belt. Also, imagine rebombing one of those in a contact, nightmare. With the SAW you can just have guys throw you the link that they have in their daysacs and you're ready to go, you don't have to put the belt into the box or bag if you dont have the time.