According to a post on military.com, FNH-USA has announced that the Special Operations Command has approved the SCAR line of weapons for “full rate production”. This includes both the SCAR-17, the SCAR-16, and the Mk-13 grenade launcher.
From ACQuipedia, the online Acquisition Encyclopedia, full-rate production is defined as:
The second effort of the Production and Deployment (P&D) phase defined and established by DoDI 5000.2. This effort follows a successful Full Rate Production Decision Review (FRPDR). The system is produced at rate production and deployed to the field or fleet. This phase overlaps the Operations and Support (O&S) phase since fielded systems are operated and supported (sustained) while Full Rate Production (FRP) is ongoing.
Since that definition is about as clear as mud, let me translate that into normal English. What this means is that the SCAR system has gone through development, testing, and then limited production for use in the field. Before it could be approved for “full-rate production”, the SCAR system had to go through a review process called the “Full Rate Production Decision Review”.
This was a go/no-go point at which a negative decision would mean that the SCAR rifle wasn’t going to be deployed to SOCOM. Authorization for full-rate production means that the SCAR rifle system is going into full production for deployment to the field. The next stage after this will be “sustainment” where extra’s and spare parts are produced to keep the system going.
A semi-readable explanation of the whole process can be found here. See page 7 in particular. All I can say is thank God for my degree in Project Management for allowing me to somewhat understand what they were trying to say!
UPDATE: Here is a link to FNH-USA’s press release courtesy of The Outdoor Wire.
UPDATE II: Apparently, the “full-rate production” of the SCAR rifle does NOT include the SCAR-L which is the 5.56 version. It only applies to the SCAR-H (in 7.62), sniper variants, and the grenade launcher. This is according to reports from the KitUp blog and statements made on another forum by a FNH-USA spokesman.