The United States Army seems to be constantly looking for ways to improve its designated marksmen. Different from snipers, designated marksmen provide precision shooting to the infantry unit that can be available whenever they need it, but still be effective in other battlefield conditions. It’s a solid concept, and the Army is continually looking to make it better.
Now, it seems it’s looking at Sig Sauer to help. In particular, it’s gone with Sig for optics.
Earlier this year, the Army conducted a Limited User Evaluation of the Squad Designated Marksman Rifle. Based on the M110A1 Compact Semi Automatic Sniper System program, SDMR consists of a 7.62 NATO G28 rifle built by Heckler & Koch, equipped with an OSS Suppressor and Harris Bipod. The missing piece was the optic.
The Army’s Program Manager for Soldier Weapons invited industry, through the Tailored Logistics Support program, to submit 1-6x variable optics for the evaluation. They selected the SIG Optics TANGO6 1-6x Optic. It is a front focal optic and may recall that we previously covered this scope during Enforce Tac. Please note that this is not the mount which will be used on SDMR.
This optic was chosen specifically for the SDMR and as of now, the Directed Requirement is 6,069 systems. Funding is set for FY19.
The TANGO6 isn’t exactly an inexpensive optic, but that’s not surprising. Anything that can meet the military’s standards has a tendency to be a little on the expensive side, at least at first.
This is more good news for Sig, who is already enjoying healthy contracts for the M17/M18 Modular Handgun Systems. The company is also having some growing pains, apparently, but it’s likely that Sig will get those cleaned up soon enough.
In the meantime, this means big money for Sig.
As I’ve noted before, military contracts tend to be lucrative in and of themselves, but those contracts also serve as a signal to many others that this is the product it wants. Plenty of people want all the bells and whistles the guys in the field have, even if they’re not necessarily the best bells and whistles.
I’m not saying this optic is bad. I’m not saying it’s good. I have absolutely no experience with it, so I’m not commenting on the quality. What I am saying is that there are a lot of people who will buy what the military buys, which makes military contracts even more financially advantageous than the number on the contract might indicate. That’s all.
Sig is going to do well with its optics division based on this one contract alone.
Frankly, more power to them. It won the contract, so it deserves what follows afterward, and from conversations with those who have Sig optics, the Army could do far, far worse as far as glass for its designated marksmen. As far as I’m concerned, anything that helps bring our troops home safe and sound while not allowing the enemy the same is a win.
We’ll have to see how these shake out after they’re deployed, but I’m confident there shouldn’t be any major problems.