Military Eyes ‘Extreme’ Sniper Rifle for Future Battles

Military Eyes ‘Extreme’ Sniper Rifle for Future Battles

The U.S. military and special ops community are reportedly getting useful lessons from Ukraine about warfare and technology — and now are in the hunt for an “extreme” sniper rifle.

Army Rangers, Navy SEALs, Marine Raiders, and Green Berets all have snipers who play a key role, Business Insider reported — but it’s the war in Ukraine that’s shown the impact snipers can have on the battlefield.

According to the outlet, the Special Operations Command — SOCOM — put out a solicitation for offers for a new sniper rifle as the Extreme Long Range-Sniper Rifle program looks for a new modular, magazine-fed, multi-caliber capable system to replace the M107 Barrett and MK15 anti-personnel and anti-materiel sniper rifles. 

The requirement states the weapon’s operator be able to swap barrels easily within 5 minutes, the outlet reported.

SOCOM also wants the new sniper rifle to be lighter — a maximum weight of 22 pounds, 9 pounds lighter than the M107 Barrett and about 5 pounds lighter than the MK15. 

It also is looking for a precision weapon that can hit targets up to 1.5 miles away and has a barrel life of between 1,200 and 1,500 rounds, the outlet reported.

It should also be capable of firing the Department of Defense-approved .300 Norma Magnum bullet, as well as having subsonic and supersonic rounds.

The new sniper rifle also has to take a sound suppressor no more than 8.5 inches long, with recoil-reducing attributes; the command also wants a rifle with as little recoil as possible since the less recoil, the more accurate the shooter can be.

“Sniper ops are very much part of the way we fight,” an Army Green Beret serving in a National Guard unit told Insider.

“There is always some guy coming from or going to sniper school. It’s an important capability and useful beyond just the shooting part. Sniper-qualified guys excel in special reconnaissance,” the unnamed Special Forces operator told the outlet.

The fighting in Ukraine has shown sniper operations can be part of large-scale modern battlefields, the outlet pointed out — and Ukraine boasts it has the the longest sniper kill in history.

In November, a Ukrainian commando with the country’s security services, the SBU, claimed a kill shot against a Russian soldier almost 2.4 miles, away. The shooter was Vyacheslav Kovalskiy, the outlet reported.

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