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The Army Is One Step Closer To A 6.8mm Next-Generation Rifle
It's official: After months of testing, the Army is moving forward with an intermediate round between the traditional 5.56mm and 7.62mm calibers for its M4 carbine and M249 Squad Automatic Weapon replacements.
- A new Prototype Opportunity Notice posted on Oct. 4 includes a 6.8mm common round for potential submissions from defense contractors for the Next Generation Squad Weapon program, which includes the NGSW-Rifle (NGSW-R) carbine replacement and NGSW-Automatic Rifle (NGSAR) replacement for the SAW.
- While the Army confirmed that it was testing a 6.8mm round for the M249 SAW and M4 carbine replacements back in May, the PON further solidifies the arrival of a new prototype bullet that offers "extended range, controllable recoil, and deadly effect because of the velocity and the weight of the bullet," as Army Maj. Gen. Robert Scales (ret.), chairman of an advisory board to the Pentagon’s close combat lethality task force, told Task & Purpose at the time.
- PEO Soldier Chief Brig. Gen. Anthony Pott told Army Times that the NGSAR program has already selected five companies to produce several prototypes by June: FN America, Sig Sauer, PCP Tactical, General Dynamics, and Textron Systems — the latter of which plans recently received contracts of NGSW program fire control systems.
- The Army has been hunting for an improved round since May 2017, when Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley told lawmakers that the 5.56mm rounds chambered in the standard-issue M4 carbines failed to penetrate enemy body armor downrange. In February, officials told Task & Purpose that the Army planned to replace its 80,000 SAWs with the NGSAR chambered in an intermediate caliber as soon as fiscal 2022
- “We’re looking to reach out around 600 meters and have lethal effects even if the target is protected by body armor," Col. Geoffrey A. Norman, force development division chief at Army HQ, told Task & Purpose at the time. "We need to have lethal effects against protected targets and we need to have requirements for long-range lethality in places like Afghanistan, where you’re fighting from mountaintop to mountaintop over extended ranges.”
The Textron 5.56mm LSAT light machine gun. In the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing of Feb. 7th, 2018, the Next Generation Squad Automatic Rifle (NGSAR) demonstrator weapon was revealed to be a Textron prototype based on LSAT technologyTextron/The Firearm Blog
- While the PON doesn't provide a clear timeline for additional testing, the 27-month window for development noted by Army Times suggests that the winning contractor could start churning out the new NGSAR by 2021 — potentially ahead of schedule.
- In the end, the right ammo solution "is somewhere between the two, where you have enough mass to penetrate but you’re still moving fast enough," as Col. Norman told Task & Purpose back in February. Based on the PON, it looks like the Army has found it.
The command chief of the 20th Fighter Wing at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, was removed from his position last month after his chain of command received evidence he disrespected his subordinates.
Editor's Note: The following is an op-ed. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Task & Purpose.
The "suck it up and drive on" mentality permeated our years in the U.S. military and often led us to delay getting both physical and mental health care. As veterans, we now understand that engaging in effective care enables us not just to survive but to thrive. Crucially, the path to mental wellness, like any serious journey, isn't accomplished in a day — and just because you need additional or recurring mental health care doesn't mean your initial treatment failed.
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Radio Free Europe/Radio Free Liberty.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has called on the security alliance's allies to maintain and strengthen their "unity," saying the organization is "the only guarantor of European and transatlantic security."
Stoltenberg told reporters on November 19 that NATO "has only grown stronger over the last 70 years" despite "differences" among the allies on issues such as trade, climate, the Iran nuclear deal, and the situation in northeastern Syria.
He was speaking at the alliance's headquarters in Brussels on the eve of a NATO foreign ministers meeting aimed at finalizing preparations for next month's summit in London.
WASHINGTON — More than $35 million of the roughly $400 million in aid to Ukraine that President Donald Trump delayed, sparking the impeachment inquiry, has not been released to the country, according to a Pentagon spending document obtained by the Los Angeles Times.
Instead, the defense funding for Ukraine remains in U.S. accounts, according to the document. It's not clear why the money hasn't been released, and members of Congress are demanding answers.
The admiral in charge of Navy special operators will decide whether to revoke the tridents for Eddie Gallagher and other SEALs involved in the Navy's failed attempt to prosecute Gallagher for murder, a defense official said Tuesday.
The New York Times' David Philipps first reported on Tuesday that the Navy could revoke the SEAL tridents for Gallagher as well as his former platoon commander Lt. Jacob Portier and two other SEALs: Lt. Cmdr. Robert Breisch and Lt. Thomas MacNeil.
The four SEALs will soon receive a letter that they have to appear before a board that will consider whether their tridents should be revoked, a defense official told Task & Purpose on condition of anonymity.