The U.S. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s Small Arms Program Office is in the final phase of delivering the Squad Designated Marksmanship Rifle, or SDMR, to units across the Air Force. The SDMR is a semi-automatic, 7.62x51mm caliber rifle designed by Heckler & Koch for missions requiring combat over-watch with precision-fire capability to accurately engage targets up to 600 meters. The U.S. Air Force purchased approximately 1,464 SDMRs that will be distributed across the service based on approved allowances. The SDMR was fielded to Air Force units this year. It is a multi-role asset, set to meet multiple missions taking place around the world.
“We’re excited to field this incredible weapon system. 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,” said Matthew Hamer, Small Arms Program Office lead.
It will replace legacy M24 Sniper Weapon Systems for security forces defenders performing base defense operations in-garrison and in contingency support. 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 5 pounds in gear while out on missions. Finally, the SDMR’s precision-fire capability will be wielded by Air Force Explosive Ordnance Disposal technicians to eliminate small munitions in their standoff munition disruption activities.
The M110A1 Squad Designated Marksman Rifles (SDMR) is a variant of the 7.62 mm G28/HK417. Under terms of the agreement, the rifles, which are manufactured by HK in Oberndorf, Germany are first shipped to the HK-USA facility in Columbus, GA. The U.S. Army 101st Airborne Division recognized the need for a Squad Designated Marksman when they encountered fires beyond the 300-600m range. The SDMR is designed to provide engagement capability at the squad level to 600 meters, similar to the needs expressed by members of USSOCOM that led to the development of weapons such as the Mk 12 Special Purpose Rifle (SPR) and the SEAL Recon Rifle.