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The US military is currently seeking to equip its special operations forces with an “Extreme Long Range-Sniper Rifle” (ELR-SR), aiming for unprecedented range capabilities. This initiative, highlighted in a notice published on December 19, 2023, involves market research for a sniper system capable of precise fire at up to 2,500 meters, surpassing the range of current models like the Barrett M107 and Mk 15 sniper rifles.

The move to enhance sniper capabilities is part of a broader strategy to stay ahead in potential “great power” conflicts, as defined by the Defense Department. Navy Lt. Cassandra Thompson, a spokesperson for the US Special Operations Command, stated that the goal is to “increase effective range and probability of hit in support of the great power competition for Special Operations Forces in near peer conflicts.”


This initiative comes as the US shifts its military focus from counterterrorism in the Middle East to addressing emerging threats from countries like Russia and China. The US Army, Marine Corps, and Special Operations Command (SOCOM) are adopting the modular, multi-caliber Barrett Multi-Role Adaptive Design (MRAD) sniper rifle, capable of reaching targets up to 1,500 meters, to replace most existing sniper systems.

While the planned range of the ELR-SR at 2,500 meters does not guarantee record-breaking shots, it significantly extends the reach of US snipers beyond current capabilities. The new rifle’s design aims for a more compact and lighter weapon, enhancing mobility for operators.


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