Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
The Army is eyeing facial recognition tech for its next-generation rifle
U.S. Army weapons officials recently invited defense firms to design and build prototypes of an advanced fire control system that could equip the service's Next-Generation Squad Weapon with wind-sensing as well as facial-recognition technology.
The Prototype Opportunity Notice for the NGSW-Fire Control is intended to develop a system that "increases the soldier's ability to rapidly engage man sized targets out to 600 [meters] or greater while maintaining the ability to conduct Close Quarters Battle," according to the solicitation posted May 30 on FedBizOpps.gov.
The Army plans to award up to two five-year prototyping agreements, which will include 115 NGSW-FC systems, spare parts and other necessary items for initial prototype testing that's scheduled to take 14 months, according to the solicitation.
Up to two follow-on production awards worth up $250 million are planned for fiscal 2021, the solicitation states. Initial production quantities of 200 or more total fire control systems per month are expected to be delivered within six months of award, with plans to ramp up to up to 3,350 or more total systems per month within three years.
The Army's Next-Generation Squad Weapon program involves two weapons systems under development, chambered for a special 6.8mm round, that will replace the M249 squad automatic weapon and the M4/M4A1 carbine.
Both the rifle and automatic rifle versions of the weapon would be equipped with a sophisticated fire control designed with the following characteristics:
- An adjusted aiming point that considers range to target, atmospheric conditions, and ballistics of weapon and ammunition.
- A ballistic calculator that runs on Government Ballistic Software -- Small Arms.
- Wireless communication, capable of transmitting fire control data such as range to target, ballistic solution and temperature.
- A wired port that will send and receive data and allow for software updates.
- A start time within "1.0 seconds" from off to fully active, using common batteries such as AA, CR123 or CR2032.
Interested firms have until Nov. 4 to respond to the solicitation.
The Army may request iterative prototyping efforts to achieve higher-level performance capabilities such as:
- Advanced camera-based capabilities such as automatic target recognition, target tracking and facial recognition.
- Weapon stabilization and wind sensing such as local wind data, down-range wind sensing and wind compensated shooting solutions.
- Advanced ruggedization such as abrasion resistant lenses and hydrophobic lenses that repel sweat and require less cleaning to remove smudges.
Each prototype will undergo a 14-month evaluation period that includes technical testing and user evaluations known as soldier touch points, the solicitation states.
The NGSW's fire control will be designed to work with the Integrated Visual Augmentation System, or IVAS, a program Microsoft is developing for the Army under a $480 million contract the service awarded in late November.
IVAS is intended to replace the service's Heads-Up Display 3.0 effort, featuring an advanced digital system that allows soldiers to view their weapon sight reticle and other key tactical information through an advanced goggle or eyepiece.
The Army began working with gunmakers last year to develop prototypes for the NGSW program. Last July, the service awarded contracts to AAI Corporation/Textron Systems, General Dynamics-OTS Inc., PCP Tactical LLC and Sig Sauer Inc. and FN America LLC to develop prototypes of the automatic rifle version.
In January, the Army also released a separate prototyping opportunity notice inviting gun makers to develop prototypes of both the rifle and auto rifle versions of the NGSW to ensure both work the common, government-produced 6.8mm projectile.
"This article originally appeared on Military.com
More articles from Military.com:
- Army Chinook Helicopter Destroyed by 'Hard Landing' in Afghanistan
- F-35 Dogfight Accidentally Resulted in a Sky Penis, Officials Say
- Rare Color Footage Brings D-Day Memories Alive, 75 Years On
WATCH NEXT: The Army Says its Next-Generation Rifle Will Punch Like A Tank's Main Gun
Editor's Note: The following story highlights a veteran at Iron Mountain. Committed to including talented members of the military community in its workplace, Iron Mountain is a client of Hirepurpose, a Task & Purpose sister company. Learn more here.
Jackie Melendrez couldn't be prouder of her husband, her sons, and the fact that she works for the trucking company Iron Mountain. This regional router has been a Mountaineer since 2017, and says the support she receives as a military spouse and mother is unparalleled.
Master Sgt. Larry Hawks, a retired engineer sergeant who served with 3rd Special Forces Group, is being awarded the Distinguished Service Cross on Friday for "valorous actions" in Afghanistan in 2005.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A 40-foot-tall (12 meters) cross-shaped war memorial standing on public land in Maryland does not constitute government endorsement of religion, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday in a decision that leaves unanswered questions about the boundaries of the U.S. Constitution's separation of church and state.
The justices were divided on many of the legal issues but the vote was 7-2 to overturn a lower court ruling that had declared the so-called Peace Cross in Bladensburg unconstitutional in a legal challenge mounted by the American Humanist Association, a group that advocates for secular governance. The concrete cross was erected in 1925 as a memorial to troops killed in World War One.
The ruling made it clear that a long-standing monument in the shape of a Christian cross on public land was permissible but the justices were divided over whether other types of religious displays and symbols on government property would be allowed. Those issues are likely to come before the court in future cases.
A relative of the man who opened fire outside downtown Dallas' federal building this week warned the FBI in 2016 that he shouldn't be allowed to buy a gun because he was depressed and suicidal, his mother said Thursday.
Brian Clyde's half-brother called the FBI about his concerns, their mother Nubia Brede Solis said. Clyde was in the Army at the time.
On Monday, Clyde opened fire with an AR-15-style rifle at the Earle Cabell Federal Building. He was fatally shot by federal law enforcement. No one else was seriously injured. His family believes Clyde wanted to be killed.