PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J -- The Army has approved its new long-range .50-caliber sniper rifle, the M-107, for full materiel release to Soldiers in the field.
The M-107 program is managed at Picatinny Arsenal, N.J., by the Project Manager Soldier Weapons with engineering support provided by Picatinnys Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center.
The term full materiel release signifies that the Army has rigorously tested and evaluated the item and determined that it is completely safe, operationally suitable and logistically supportable for use by Soldiers, officials said.
Product Manager for Crew Served Weapons Lt. Col. Kevin P. Stoddard said that PMSW previously equipped combat units in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as other units supporting the Global War on Terrorism, with the M-107 under an urgent materiel release.
The Army expects to complete fielding of the M-107 in 2008, Stoddard said.
The M107 was funded as a Soldier Enhancement Program to type classify a semi-automatic .50 caliber rifle for the Army and other military services. It underwent standard type classification in August 2003.
A production contract was awarded to Barrett Firearms Manufacturing, Inc., Murfreesboro, Tenn., the following month.
Compared to the M24 7.62mm sniper rifle, Stoddard said, the M107 has more powerful optics and fires a variety of .50 caliber munitions.
This provides sniper teams greater capability to identify and defeat multiple targets at increased ranges, he said.
The M-107 is based on the Marine Corps special application scoped rifle, the M82A3.
The M-107 enables Army snipers to accurately engage personnel and material targets out to a distance of 1,500 to 2,000 meters respectively, he said.
The weapon is designed to effectively engage and defeat materiel targets at extended ranges including parked aircraft, computers, intelligence sites, radar sites, ammunition, petroleum, oil and lubricant sites, various lightly armored targets and command, control and communications.
In a counter-sniper role, the system offers longer stand-off ranges and increased terminal effects against snipers using smaller-caliber weapons.
The complete system includes the rifle itself, a detachable 10-round magazine, a variable-power day-optic sight, a transport case, a tactical soft case, cleaning and maintenance equipment, a detachable sling, an adjustable bipod and manuals.
The Army plans to modify the M107 in the future by adding a suppressor to greatly reduce flash, noise and blast signatures.