|The F-88 in service today is quite different to the one that I carried in the mid 90's. Due to its modular design it is comparitively easy to upgrade and up date, with even a calibre (with in reason) change not being out of the question.
Its bullpup layout lets it retain a full length (407 or 508mm) barrel, hence optimal performance from the 5.56mm round, while remaining as compact as an M-4 carbine.
Add to this the fact that western armies are filtering many types of support weapons down to platoon and even section or fire team level meaning some service rifles are being replaced with Designated Marksman Rifles, Automatic Rifles, multi-shot grenade launchers etc and the LMG / SAW is also being suplemented or even replaced with ARs and GPMGs.
Another factor is vehicle crews, weapon crews etc don't need assault rifles, a PDW, such as the HK MP7, FN P90, would do just fine, especially if backed up with a smattering of DMRs and ARs.
All of this together suggests that we will need fewer service rifles in the future and that those rifles will be concentrated in the RAR and reserve battalions.
As the F-88 can be effectivey and economically upgraded to the point that every component can be progressively replaced, what are the chances we will keep them indefinately?