A standard-length 3rd Generation SCAR-L (top), and a SCAR-H (bottom).
|Type||Assault rifle (SCAR-L)
Battle rifle (SCAR-H)
Sniper rifle/Designated marksman rifle (SSR)
|Place of origin||
Belgium (design)United States (manufacture)
|In service||2009 – present|
|Used by||See Users|
|Produced||2004 - present|
3.04 kg (6.7 lb) (SCAR-L Short)
3.29 kg (7.3 lb) (SCAR-L Standard)
3.49 kg (7.7 lb) (SCAR-L Long)
3.49 kg (7.7 lb) (SCAR-H Short)
3.58 kg (7.9 lb) (SCAR-H Standard)
3.72 kg (8.2 lb) (SCAR-H Long)
2.5 kg (5.5 lb) (SCAR PDW)4.85 kg (10.7 lb) (Mk 20 SSR)
787 mm (31.0 in) stock extended, 533 mm (21.0 in) stock folded (SCAR-L CQC) 
889 mm (35.0 in) stock extended, 635 mm (25.0 in) stock folded (SCAR-L Standard)
990 mm (39 in) stock extended, 736 mm (29.0 in) stock folded (SCAR-L Long)
889 mm (35.0 in) stock extended, 635 mm (25.0 in) stock folded (SCAR-H CQC)
965 mm (38.0 in) stock extended, 711 mm (28.0 in) stock folded (SCAR-H Standard)
1,067 mm (42.0 in) stock extended, 813 mm (32.0 in) stock folded (SCAR-H Long)
632 mm (24.9 in) stock extended, 521 mm (20.5 in) stock collapsed (SCAR PDW)1,080 mm (43 in) stock extended, 1,029 mm (40.5 in) stock collapsed (Mk 20 SSR)
254 mm (10.0 in) (SCAR-L Short)
355 mm (14.0 in) (SCAR-L Standard)
457 mm (18.0 in) (SCAR-L Long)
330 mm (13 in) (SCAR-H Short)
400 mm (16 in) (SCAR-H Standard)
500 mm (20 in) (SCAR-H Long)
171.45 mm (6.750 in) (SCAR PDW)508 mm (20.0 in) (Mk 20 SSR)
|Action||Gas-operated (short-stroke gas piston), rotating bolt|
|Rate of fire||625 rounds/min|
|Effective firing range||
|Sights||Iron sights or various optics|
The Special Operations Forces Combat Assault Rifle (SCAR) is a modular rifle made by FN Herstal (FNH) for the United States Special Operations Command (SOCOM) to satisfy the requirements of the SCAR competition. This family of rifles consist of two main types. The SCAR-L, for "light", is chambered in the 5.56×45mm NATO cartridge and the SCAR-H, for "heavy", fires 7.62x51mm NATO. Both are available in Long Barrel and Close Quarters Combat variants.
The FN SCAR systems completed low rate initial production testing in June 2007. After some delays, the first rifles began being issued to operational units in April 2009, and a battalion of the US 75th Ranger Regiment was the first large unit deployed into combat with 600 of the rifles in 2009. The US Special Operations Command has currently cancelled their purchase of the Mk 16 SCAR-L and are planning to remove the rifle from their inventory by 2013. However, they will purchase the Mk 17 SCAR-H version, and also plan to purchase 5.56 mm conversion kits for the Mk 17, supplanting the loss of the Mk 16. The SCAR was one of the competing weapons in the Individual Carbine competition which aimed to find a replacement for the M4 Carbine.
In July 2007, the US Army announced a limited competition between the M4 Carbine, FN SCAR, HK416, and the previously-shelved HK XM8. Ten examples of each of the four competitors were involved. During the testing, 6,000 rounds apiece were fired from each of the carbines in an "extreme dust environment". The purpose of the shootoff was to assess future needs, not to select a replacement for the M4.
During the test, the SCAR suffered 226 stoppages. Since a percentage of each weapons' stoppages were caused by magazine failures, the FN SCAR, XM8 and HK 416 performed statistically similarly. The FN SCAR ranked second to the XM8 with 127 stoppages, but with fewer stoppages compared to the M4 with 882 stoppages and the HK 416 with 233. This test was based on two previous systems assessments that were conducted using the M4 Carbine and M16 rifle at Aberdeen Proving Ground in 2006 and the summer of 2007 before the third limited competition in the fall of 2007. The 2006 test focused only on the M4 and M16. The Summer 2007 test had only the M4, but increased lubrication. Results from the second test resulted in a total of 307 stoppages for the M4 after lubrication was increased, but did not explain why the M4 suffered 882 stoppages with that same level of lubrication in the third test.
The SCAR was one of the weapons displayed to U.S. Army officials during an invitation-only Industry Day on 13 November 2008. The goal of the Industry Day was to review current carbine technology for any situation prior to writing formal requirements for a future replacement for the M4 Carbine.
The SCAR was selected in 2004 out of the Special Operations Forces (SOF) Combat Assault Rifle Program. The MK 16, MK 17, and MK 13 were officially designated as operationally effective (OE), operationally suitable (OS), and sustainable as a result of a 5-week Field User Assessment conducted by operational SOCOM forces in late 2008. These SCAR variants began fielding in April 2009. On 4 May 2010, a press release on FNH USA's official website announced the SCAR Acquisition Decision Memorandum was finalized on 14 April 2010, moving the SCAR program to the Milestone C phase. This was an approval for the entire weapons family of the Mk 16 SCAR Light, Mk 17 SCAR Heavy, and the Enhanced Grenade Launcher Module.
In late October 2010 SOCOM approved full-rate production of the Mk 20 sniper variant of the SCAR, with fielding beginning in mid-May 2011.
|This section's factual accuracy may be compromised due to out-of-date information. (April 2008)|
On 23 January 2004, US SOCOM issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) for solicitation USZA22-04-R-0001. The following amounts were projected for procurement:
|Item/Configuration||Engineering Test Units||Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP)||Production|
|SCAR-L (Order Halted)|
|Sniper Variant (SV)||1||10||11,989|
|SCAR-H (Order Active)|
|Sniper Variant (SV)||0||10||11,990|
Mk 16 Cancellation/Mk 17 Preference
On 25 June 2010 SOCOM announced that it was canceling the acquisition of the Mk 16 citing limited funds and a lack of enough of a performance difference in another 5.56 mm rifle to justify the purchase. Remaining funds would be expended for the Mk 17 7.62×51mm version and the Mk 20 sniper variant. At the time, SOCOM had bought 850 Mk 16s and 750 Mk 17s. SOCOM had operators turn in their Mk 16s and is not keeping them in the inventory, but started developing a conversion kit for the Mk 17 to make it capable of firing 5.56 mm rounds.
"FNH USA believes the issue is not whether the SCAR, and specifically the [originally contracted] MK 16 variant, is the superior weapon system available today...it has already been proven to be just that...recently passing Milestone C and determined to be operationally effective / operationally suitable (OE/OS) for fielding. The issue is whether or not the requirement for a 5.56 mm replacement outweighs the numerous other requirements competing for the customers’ limited budget. That is a question that will only be determined by the customer." FN Herstal though had refuted that the Mk 16 was being dropped from the inventory and stated that the 5.56 mm variant will be retained by SOCOM, and that "The choice between the 5.56 and the 7.62 caliber will be left to the discretion of each constitutive component of USSOCOM's Joint Command (e.g. SEALs, Rangers, Army Special Forces, MARSOC, AFSOC) depending on their specific missions on today's battlefield."
FNH USA's claim contradicted the official announcement from SOCOM and they did not reverse their decision. SOCOM decided to procure the 7.62 mm Mk 17 rifle, the 40 mm Mk 13 grenade launcher, and the 7.62 mm Mk 20 Sniper Support rifle variants of the Special Operations Forces Combat Assault Rifle (SCAR) manufactured by FN. SOCOM would not purchase the 5.56 mm Mk 16. At that point the individual service component commands within SOCOM (Army Special Operations Command, Naval Special Warfare Command, Air Force Special Operations Command, and Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command) would or would not still buy the 5.56 mm Mk 16 SCAR for some or all of their respective subordinate units even with overall US Special Operations Command opting not to.
SOCOM began removing the Mk 16 from their inventory at the end of 2011, and most units will have the rifle completely out of their service by the end of 2013. To maintain the SCAR as a small caliber weapon, they are procuring conversion kits for the Mk 17 battle rifle to make it fire 5.56 mm rounds. The presolicitation for the SCAR program originally called for one rifle that could be adapted to fire multiple calibers including 5.56 mm, 7.62 mm, and 7.62×39mm. When requirements were finalized, the decision was made to separate the 5.56 mm and 7.62 mm weapons into two platforms because converting the medium caliber platform to fire small caliber bullets created an assault rifle heavier than the M4 carbine. After fielding, operators reversed the previous decision and called for a SCAR platform that could change calibers. The Mk 17 was chosen to be scaled down because it had a larger receiver for the 7.62 mm round, and so the 5.56 mm Mk 16 could not be scaled up to chamber the larger round. The 5.56 conversion kit was finalized in late 2010 and orders began in mid-2011.
On 9 December 2011, the Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division released a sole source 5 year IDIQ procurement notice for the Mk 16 Mod 0 (SCAR-L), Mk 17 Mod 0 (SCAR-H), Mk 20 Mod 0 (SSR), and MK 13 Mod 0 (40mm EGLM) from FN to sustain inventory levels. Navy special operations forces procures their firearms through SOCOM and fielded the Mk 16 more than any other unit.
- SCAR-L Mk 16 Mod 0 – 5.56mm NATO Assault Rifle
- Mk 16 CQC (Close Quarters Combat) – 10 inch barrel
- Mk 16 Standard – 14 inch barrel
- Mk 16 LB (Long Barrel) – 18 inch barrel
- SCAR-H Mk 17 Mod 0 – 7.62mm NATO Battle Rifle
- Mk 17 CQC (Close Quarters Combat) – 13 inch barrel
- Mk 17 Standard – 16 inch barrel
- Mk 17 LB (Long Barrel) – 20 inch barrel
- HAMR IAR (Heat Adaptive Modular Rifle Infantry Automatic Rifle) – Automatic rifle entered in the United States Marine Corps' Infantry Automatic Rifle competition. It was eventually beaten by the M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle, a Heckler & Koch HK416 variant.
- FNAC (FN Advanced Carbine) – 5.56 NATO assault rifle entered into the US Army Individual Carbine competition. The competition was cancelled before a winning weapon was chosen.
- SCAR 16S – Civilian 5.56mm (5.56×45mm NATO) semi-automatic version. Offered in matte black or flat dark earth (brown) color.
- SCAR 17S – Civilian 7.62mm (7.62x51mm NATO) semi-automatic version. Offered in matte black or flat dark earth color.
|Belgium||Federal Police Special Units||-||-||-|||
|Special Forces Group||-||-||-|||
|Chile||Chilean Marine Corps||L, H||1,800||2013–|||
|Croatia||Special Operations Battalion||-||-||-|||
|France||Recherche Assistance Intervention Dissuasion (RAID) police unit||-||-||-|||
|Commandement des Opérations Spéciales (COS)||-||-||-|||
|Compagnie de Commandement et de Transmissions (CCT)||-||-||-|||
|Germany||German Federal Police counter-terrorist unit GSG 9||L||-||-|||
|Mobiles Einsatzkommando (MEK) special units of the criminal investigation units of the German state police||-||-||-|||
|Spezialeinsatzkommando (SEK) special units of the German state police||-||-||-|||
|Georgia||Georgian Special Forces||-||-||-|||
|Kenya||Kenyan special forces were observed using SCAR-H rifles while responding to the 2013 Westgate center shooting.||H||-||-|||
|Lithuania||Lithuanian Land Force||H (PR)||-||2014–|||
|Malaysia||Royal Malaysian Navy counter-terrorist unit PASKAL||L, H||-||-|||
|Mexico||Policía Federal and various state police forces||L, H||-||-|||
|New Zealand||New Zealand Army||-||-||-|||
|Peru||Grupo de Fuerzas Especiales (GRUFE) of the Peruvian Armed Forces||L, H||-||2009–|||
|Poland||Biuro Ochrony Rządu||-||-||-|||
|Serbia||Military Police Battalion Cobra||- 3rd Gen FN SCAR-L CQC||-||-|||
|South Korea||Republic of Korea Army 707th Special Mission Battalion||L||-||-|||
|Turkey||Turkish Land Forces||-||-||2010–|||
|United States||U.S. Armed Forces (used by all branches of USSOCOM)||-||-||-|||
|U.S. Marine Corps||-||-||-|||
|U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Office of Air and Marine (OAM) interdiction unit||-||-||-|||
|Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) SWAT||L, H||-||2010–|||
|Richland County Sheriff's Department SRT||L||-||-|||
- "Une arme liégeoise en Afghanistan". Dhnet.be. 23 August 2010. Retrieved 19 September 2011.
- 75th Rangers will take SCAR to War, Matthew Cox, Army Times, 12 May 2009
- "FNH USA - PDW". FNH USA. Retrieved 2012-12-21.
- "FNH USA - MK 20 SSR". FNH USA. Retrieved 2012-12-21.
- "FNH USA - MK 16 CQC". FNH USA. Retrieved 2012-12-21.
- "FNH USA - MK 17 Long". FNH USA. Retrieved 2012-12-21.
- FN SCAR at Modern Firearms. Retrieved on 2 March 2011.
- [dead link]
- "FN SCAR. The Next Generation of Assault Rifles". FNH USA. Retrieved 24 June 2010.[dead link]
- "Internet Archive Wayback Machine" (PDF). Web.archive.org. 1 July 2006. Archived from the original on 1 July 2006. Retrieved 19 September 2011.
- Humphries, Michael. FN's SCAR: A Cut Above[dead link], American Rifleman, July 2009.
- Defense Tech: Meet the SCAR[dead link]
- Fuller, BG Peter N.; COL Douglas A. Tamilio (18 May 2010). "Project Manager Soldier Weapons Briefing for NDIA". PEO Soldier. United States Army. Retrieved 17 November 2011.
- "Army Agrees to M4 Sand Test Shoot-Off". Military.com. Retrieved 19 December 2011.
- "Newer carbines outperform M4 in dust test". Army Times. Retrieved 19 September 2011.
- Defense Tech: ...And Here's the Rest of the M4 Story[dead link]
- "Army considers options in replacing the M4 – Army News | News from Afghanistan & Iraq". Army Times. Retrieved 19 September 2011.
- "Military Photos: military images, military pictures, Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines". Military Times. 16 February 2007. Retrieved 19 September 2011.[dead link]
- "Press Release Detail". Fnh Usa. 12 May 2009. Retrieved 19 September 2011.[dead link]
- "Press Release Detail". Fnh Usa. Retrieved 19 September 2011.[dead link]
Janeswas invoked but never defined (see the help page).
Cite error: The named reference
- SOCOM Developing Caliber Conversion for SCAR - Kitup.Military.com, 29 June 2010
- "FNH USA Stands Behind the SCAR Rifle Program". Ammoland.com. 1 July 2010. Retrieved 19 September 2011.
- "FN 5.56 SCAR Retained in USSOCOM's Inventory". FNHerstal.com. 7 July 2010. Retrieved 19 December 2011.
- "SCAR Mk-16 Reverb (To Buy or Not To Buy)". Kitup.military.com. 9 July 2010. Retrieved 19 December 2011.
- United States Army Special Operations Command to dump FN SCAR Mk16 - Thefirearmblog.com, 8 June 2011.
- Update on the FN SCAR - Shootingillustrated.com, 27 June 2011
- Navy to buy additional FN SCAR Mk. 13, Mk 16, Mk. 17 and Mk. 20 – The Firearm Blog, December 15, 2011
- "Combat assault rifle and enhanced grenade launcher module". Fbo.gov. 9 December 2011. Retrieved 19 December 2011.
IC_cancelwas invoked but never defined (see the help page).
Cite error: The named reference
- "Press Release Photo". Europe 1 France. Retrieved 22 March 2012.
- "Le détachement COS en VO" (in French). Retrieved 13 July 2012.
- "[CCT forces spéciales] s’aguerrir pour" (in French). Retrieved May 13, 2014.
- German GSG-9 seen using FN SCAR-L | The Firearm Blog
- "KDF under fire after mall siege". Jane's Information Group. October 3, 2013. Retrieved October 26, 2013.
- http://www.kam.lt/lt/naujienos_874/aktualijos_875/lietuvos_kariuomenes_prades_naudoti_naujo_tipo_saulio_ginklus.html Lietuvos kariuomenė pradės naudoti naujo tipo šaulio ginklus
- Taibo, Javier. "Así fue SITDEF 2009" (in Spanish). Defensa. Retrieved 9 February 2010.[dead link]
- "SCAR and BOR (polish secret service)". Retrieved 22 October 2011.
- ŔŻżëżřŔÇ ąşťçźź°č
- LAPD Equipment - official website of THE LOS ANGELES POLICE DEPARTMENT
- 03212010-StB-LAPD-SWAT-SCAR-001 | Flickr – Condivisione di foto!
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to FN SCAR.|
- Official website — SCAR-L
- Official website — SCAR-H
- Official website — FNH USA
- FNH Firearms Blog
- FN SCAR Forum