Home Air US Air Force starts fielding new H&K Squad Designated Marksmanship Rifle

US Air Force starts fielding new H&K Squad Designated Marksmanship Rifle

H%K SDMR for US Air Force
SDMR being tested on a range. Photo: US Air Force

The US Air Force announced it is in the final phase of delivering the Squad Designated Marksmanship Rifle (SDMR) to units across the service.

Made by Heckler & Koch, the semi-automatic, 7.62x51mm caliber rifle is designed for missions requiring combat over-watch, and provides units with precision-fire capability to accurately engage targets up to 600 meters.

The rifle is a multi-role asset, and is set to meet multiple missions taking place around the world.

The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s Small Arms Program Office first fielded the rifle to units this year.

It will replace legacy M24 Sniper Weapon Systems for security forces defenders performing base defense operations in-garrison and in contingency support.

Photo: US Air Force

The SDMR is lighter weight in comparison to other 7.62 platforms and will also replace the M110 Semi-Automatic Sniper Systems rifle for pararescuemen and guardian angels, saving them 5lbs in gear while out on mission.

Finally, the SDMR’s precision-fire capability will be wielded by Air Force explosive ordinance disposal technicians to eliminate small munitions in their standoff munition disruption activities.

In total, 1,464 SDMRs have been purchased and will be distributed across the Air Force based on approved allowances.

“We’re excited to field this incredible weapon system,” said Matthew Hamer, Small Arms Program Office lead. “Being able to field one solution that can effectively achieve multiple missions epitomizes air force acquisition strategies and shows airmen ability to adapt to any situation.”