SHAH ALAM: As others debate on terminal ballistics and penetration, and assault rifles as just a component of a soldier system, we are back again on a musical chair, the assault rifle version.
15 years ago they said they had the answer. Choose an assault rifle whose manufacturer was willing to give us the license to manufacture it locally and it would become our holy grail.
The chosen gun then was the Steyr AUG1. Now they are saying they need a new one and like the Steyr, the chosen gun would be manufactured locally, technology transfer they said.The musical chair is on full swing now. The M16A4/M4 combo is back on the track, the SIG now renamed SG 550 is also part of the equation.
Those in the know claimed that the M16/M4 is the fav to win the contract. Why? Because Colt (the US manufacturer) has teamed up with SME Ordnance (the same outfit which manufactured Steyr).
As they want local manufacture, the M16/M4 is already a sure bet.
Which brings us to the pertinent question. Are we going backwards? The people of Steyr Manlicher already says so. Why? Isnt the M16A4/M4 state of the art. Maybe. But with the US already looking for a new assault rifle to replace them arent we just another Johnny come lately? I believe so.
Even the SIG 550 series is at least comparable to the latest AR being tested to meet the specs of the US forces. By September the US will announce the replacement for the M16/M4. So by the time, our soldiers are issued with them, they will by all means, obsolete. You love progress dont you?
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