U.S. Special Operations Command Picks The Sig Sauer MCX Rattler As The New PDW
23 May 2022
The wins just keep coming in for SIG Sauer. After five years of search the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) finally settles on the SIG Sauer MCX Rattler as the PDW for use by operators in the field. The Notice of Intent to award the contract was announced last Thursday, the 19th of May 2022.
The search for a new PDW started in 2017 with the USSOCOM initially issuing a requirement of a kit to convert M4 receivers to be able to fire the in .300 Blackout round, with a folding stock which basically is one of more common features of PDW apart from being lightweight. They initially ordered the SIG MCX PDW conversion kits for testing since a requirement is also to get a Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) product rather than have to build it from scratch.
Even with the initial order of the kits, USSOCOM still looked around for potential candidates to evaluate that may just meet their requirements. But they finally settled with the SIG MCX Rattler since it is the only PDW in the market that meets their requirements.
The SIG Sauer MCX Rattler is the most compact in the MCX line and it has two versions, the PCB which has a folding pivoting contour brace and the SBR which has a folding stock. Both have a 5.5” barrel wit PDW upper. The Rattler fires the 300 BLK or the 5.56 NATO that is a fed by a 30-round polymer magazine. The barrel is Cold Hammer Forged Carbon Steel and the receiver has a Hard Coat Anodized finish. As for the rail system, it uses M-Lok which basically is the preferred system for firearms these days.
There is no information on the size of the contract in terms of budget and units to ordered as well as when it will be put to use by the Special Operations people.
Below are snippets of the text taken from the Notice of Intent:
Personal Defense Weapon (PDW)
Announcement No.: PDW1N
The Government hereby submits a notice of intent to award the Commercial Personal Defense Weapon (PDW) contract to Sig Sauer. This IDIQ will provide complete PDW weapons (Sig Rattlers - 5.56mm and .300 Blackout caliber) that includes suppressors (SL series), cleaning kits, magazines, quick barrel change kits and force on force training kits. Furthermore, parts, sustainment, and New Equipment Training will also be part of this IDIQ. The PDW system will allow Operators to have maximum firepower in a concealable weapon.
This IDIQ will be a five-year Firm Fixed Price (FFP) contract. After years of continuous market research, USSOCOM HQ has concluded that Sig Sauer is the only vendor that can fulfill USSOCOM’s need for the Commercial PDW requirement. USSOCOM HQ has been researching and reviewing different systems since 2017. We have meticulously reviewed each system for technical acceptance and whether it fits the commercial definition. Except for Sig Sauer, the vendors did not meet the technical requirements and/or the weapons do not meet the commercial definition. Due to the nature of this particular effort, USSOCOM cannot procure PDWs that are prototypes, under development, not in production, are in limited production or will be in general production in 1-2 years from now (assuming the PDW is not in production or is in limited production).
In addition, due to the programmatic requirements of this effort, we can only award to the Original Equipment Manufacture (OEM); in this case its Sig Sauer. The OEM (Sig Sauer) must provide New Equipment Training (for both Operators and Engineers/Technicians), Parts Replacement Schedule, sustainment etc… Sig Sauer is the only vendor who can fulfill the programmatic requirements because they are the sole owner the Intellectual Property (IP) and the technical data package of the Sig Sauer Rattler system.