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US special ops on the hunt for cutting edge sniper rifle to compete with Russia, China

The U.S. military's most elite troops could soon be armed with a sniper rifle that would enable them to break records, according to a posting in search of the new platform.

The United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) is in search of a new sniper rifle that would provide accuracy at record-shattering distances in a bid to keep up with the U.S. military's largest competitors.

In a notice posted to, a U.S. government website connecting private contractors to the federal government, the command posted its desire for a new "extreme long range-sniper rifle," which it hopes will be able to replace "older anti-materiel and anti-personnel rifles such as the M107 and MK15 with a newer system."

USSOCOM said in the notice that it is seeking a rifle with a "precision fire capability" of 2,500 meters, or 2,730 yards, a distance that could break existing confirmed kill records. According to a report from, the current longest confirmed sniper kill was set in 2002 by a Canadian Army sniper, Cpl. Rob Furlong, who used his country's military version of the TAC-50 to record a kill from 2,430 meters, or 2,657 yards.


When reached for comment by Fox News Digital, a USSCOM spokesperson confirmed the search for the new rifle while downplaying any issues with existing platforms.

"The M107 and MK15 rifles are still incredibly capable platforms that fulfill multiple requirements for Special Operations Forces," the spokesperson said.

Instead, the search for a new rifle is aimed at giving U.S. special operations forces a leg up on "near peer" rivals such as China and Russia.


"The [Extreme Long Range – Sniper Rifle] requirement is based off capabilities and advancements developed by industry partners as well as the long-range shooting sports community," the spokesperson said. "The ELR-SR will leverage these advances and will provide improvements in long range precision applications that will increase effective range and probability of hit in support of the great power competition for Special Operations Forces in near peer conflicts."

In the posting, USSOCOM said it is looking for a rifle that will be "a modular, magazine-fed, multi-caliber capable system which will include barrel configurations with required bolts and barrels of each caliber, required magazines of each caliber, stock, receiver, sound suppressor, ballistic computer, operator manual, cleaning kit, tool kit, bipod." Additionally, the caliber the for the rifle "shall be sub-sonic and supersonic capable" and have a length no greater that 56 inches and a weight of no more than 22 pounds.

"The Extreme Long Range – Sniper Rifle will increase the effectiveness of Special Operations Forces by utilizing the most recent advances and capabilities in small arms design, performance, and commercial manufacturing technologies to increase reliability, survivability and availability by replacing decade old weapon systems," the spokesperson said.

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