OICW-1 Canceled, Door Closes on XM-8 For Now
On July 22, 2005, DID reported that the U.S. Army had temporarily suspended the Request for Proposal (RFP) for the acquisition of a new family of small weapons – Objective Individual Combat Weapon Increment 1 (OICW-1). Increment 1 would have opened the door for the new H&K XM-8 weapon family, which was touted as the successor to the M16A4 assault rifle, M249 SAW light machine gun, and even the M9 pistol via a cut-down version. See DID’s full coverage and links.
Now Murdoc Online reports that OICW increment 1 has been formally canceled while the Pentagon reconsiders its plans in light of lessons from Iraq and Afghanistan. The USA may also wish to take into account Israeli lessons learned under related conditions during military operations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, which resulted in the new TAR-21 Tavor assault weapon family.
JULY 2007 UPDATE: The XM8 is going to be tested against the current M4 carbine, the improved HK416 version, and SOCOM’s FN-SCAR 5.56mm rifle for reliability in sandy conditions.