In a press release sent out today from FNH-USA, it was announced that US Special Operations Command had approved the FNH SCAR Mk 20 MOD 0 Sniper Support Rifle (SSR) for full-rate production. The Mk 20 is expected to start being fielded in mid-May 2011.
According to FNH, the Mk 20 was originally meant to be the sniper variant of the SCAR-H which is now designated the Mk 17. However, after the Mk 17 reached the “status of Operationally Effective/Operationally Suitable and Sustainable”, the Special Operations sniper community worked to refine the sniper variant to better suit the needs of long range, precision shooting. After these refinements and revisions, it was designated the Mk 20.
FNH-USA describes the Mk 20 as follows:
The MK 20 features an extended receiver which provides the additional rail space required for mounting in-line night vision and thermal devices with standard/sniper day optics, a non-folding precision stock with an adjustable cheek piece and length of pull that provides adjustability and a more rigid firing position for making long range target engagements, a beefed up barrel extension and barrel profile to reduce whip and improve accuracy, and an enhanced modular trigger that can be configured for single-stage or two-stage operation, requires no adjustments, and is ruggedized for field use. As a part of the SCAR Family of Weapons, the MK 20 shares a high percentage of parts commonality (over 60%) with the MK 17, maintains the enhanced ergonomics and improves accuracy.
The barrel of the Mk 20 SSR is free-floated, chrome-lined, and cold hammer-forged. It has an estimated service life of more than 15,000 rounds.
Back during the summer there was some confusion and controversy on whether the full SCAR line had been approved for Full-Rate Production. Initially, the impression was given by FNH-USA that the SCAR-16 (or SCAR-L) had been approved but this was in error. Only the SCAR Mk 17 (formerly SCAR-H) and the Mk 13 grenade launcher were approved at that time. With the addition of the Mk 20 SSR, this makes three members of the SCAR family approved for full-rate production and fielding to the Special Operations community.