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USMC Selects H&K Carbine To Replace FN M249

December 07, 2009  | 

The U.S. Marine Corps has selected the Heckler & Koch Infantry Automatic Rifle, an AR-type carbine that's based on the HK416 carbine/SBR (Short Barreled Rifle) platform, Marine Times is reporting.

The carbine replaces the FN M249 SAW/LMG (Squad Automatic Weapon/Light Machine Gun) that's been used since 1984.

The HK IAR is a 5.56×45mm NATO (5.56mm NATO) gas piston/op-rod AR-15-config lighter-weight rifle/carbine package that's "easier for mobile infantry warfighters to carry and employ/deploy than an M249, but also gives them an similar weapons signature to the rest of the fire team/rifle squad, so they're harder to identify, and thus target, by enemy forces," according to Defense Review.

Several Marines are concerned about the reduction in firepower compared to the M249, because the IAR is mag-fed not belt-fed, and therefore isn't designed to operate with a 200-round drum/ammo container.

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