You can buy quality M4 knock-offs, with better gas systems, from American companies; all day long for less than $1100.00 per copy. Much less, I’d imagine, if you ordered in governmental quantities.
Time for Colt to bite the big one.
I question the $1500 per rifle. I’ve spoken with folks who reported the base M16A1 cost under $200 a copy at government rates. Could be way off of course.