Long Range Rifle Optic
Vertical fore grip
Harris 9-13 bipod, LaRue Picatinny mount
25 round magazine loaded with long-range intermediate caliber ammunition
This setup is similar to how the British L129A1 Sharpshooter Rifle and USMC M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle are configured, and that’s not a coincidence. These weapons would all – despite their different calibers – have similar roles and therefore also similar requirements for precision, optical quality, and sustainment of fire. This also means that when determining how expensive the new long range infantry rifle might be, we can look to these two weapons as models.
To start, let’s determine what the US Government paid for each M27 IAR, fully kitted out. While the contract was for $23.6 million for just over 4,000 rifles (resulting in about $6,000 per gun), this includes life cycle costs and spares. Reportedly, the actual unit cost of a single M27 IAR was roughly $3,000 per gun, and this apparently includes the bipod, foregrip, sling, and other accessories, but not the Trijicon Squad Day Optic. The SDO was purchased as part of a $33 million contract for 10,500 scopes, breaking down to $3,143 per scope, although again this probably included support and other costs not directly related to the to the optic. Civilian cost on an SDO is about $2,300, so we can assume the government price is somewhat lower. The M27 is also sometimes mounted with a laser unit like the PEQ-15 Advanced Target Pointer/Illuminating Aiming Laser, which is important for our purposes here. It’s not clear exactly what the US Army pays per unit for their PEQ-15s, but we do have an FBO listing of the United States Coast Guard ordering 500 PEQ-15Cs (the civilian version with less powerful laser) for $540 a unit. So then, a cost of $600 per for the military model seems reasonable, if just an educated guess.
The British L129A1 from Lewis Machine & Tool is a bit pricier, with 440 purchased as part of an ‘Urgent Operational Requirement’ in 2010 for about £1.5 million, or $2.5 million. That comes to a cost per unit of about $5,700 per gun, which includes a case, magazines, and other accouterments but (almost certainly) not the TA648-308 ACOG optic or the AN/PVS-27 Magnum Universal Night sight. We’re not worried about the cost of the MUN, and for our purposes the civilian cost of the TA648-308 (about $2,500) is close enough, especially since they were shipped with Trijicon RMRs for the sharpshooter rifle contract.
Therefore, a new rifle of this type would probably have a cost breakdown like so:
Base rifle, grip, bipod, rails, light – $3,000 – $5,000
Long Range Rifle Optic – $2,000 – $3,000
PEQ-15 – $600
Total cost for our new long-range infantry rifles would therefore be somewhere in the ballpark of $5,000-$9,000 per unit, not including spares and support. This, however, is an estimate based on contracts with relatively low procurement numbers, so to adjust for economies of scale, we need to look to a larger contract. The French this year awarded Heckler and Koch a contract for over 100,000 of their HK416F rifles, at about $4,200 per unit, including spares and support. If we compare that to the USMC M27 contract, we get an imperfect but serviceable adjustment of 0.70 to account for the economy of scale, resulting in an estimated cost per unit for our rifles of $3,500-$6,300 per. We’ll just round that to $3,500-$6,000.
The current price of an M4 Carbine is far lower, with the most recent contracts for the rifles coming in at less than $650 per unit. Still the most common optic for these weapons is the M68 CCO, the military designation for the famous Aimpoint red dot sight, which the government purchases at around $600-$700, estimated. The Army also issues M150 Rifle Combat Optics, a variant of the famous Trijicon ACOG, initially purchased at $1,450/unit including accessories. Ancillaries on the M4 and M4A1 likely cost less than $500; even in 2003 the government paid less than $300 for the Knight’s rail system, and less than $60 for pistol grips and rail covers. Then, we can estimate the cost of a fully equipped M4 today as between $2,300 and $3,200.
The new long range rifle, then, represents a price hike of between 10% (lowest over highest) and 170% (highest over lowest), but probably between 50-100%, versus just procuring new M4 Carbines and all their kit. This extra expenditure might indeed be worth it, but only if troops were trained to use such a weapon to its fullest potential. That brings us to our next topic of discussion, training.
Концерн смотрит на такие цифры с чОрной завистью.