The U.S. Air Force has begun fielding its newest Squad Designated Marksmanship Rifle, called an SDMR. According to the corps announcement last weekend, the rifle is tested on a range at Robins Air Force Base, Ga as part of the final phase of delivering the SDMR to units across the Air Force.
Defense Blog reports that the Air Force purchased approximately 1,464 SDMRs that will be distributed across the service. 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.
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 replace the M110 Semi-Automatic Sniper Systems rifle for pararescue men and Guardian Angels, saving them 5 pounds in gear while out on missions.