This rifle could be a dark horse candidate for the Army's next-generation squad weapon — and you can snag one next year

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VIDEO: 5.56mm vs 6.8mm ammunition for the Army's Next Generation Squad Weapon program

The Army says it's settled on three defense contractors to battle it out to become the service's M4 carbine and M249 Squad Automatic Weapon replacements, but at least one other company is hoping that a bit of consumer approval could help upset the competition.


On Thursday, MARS Inc. and Cobalt Kinetics unveiled their dark horse submissions for the Army's Next Generation Squad Weapon program, a carbine and light machine gun, on the heels of the Association of the U.S. Army's annual expo in Washington, D.C., where General Dynamics-OTS, AAI Corporation Textron Systems and Sig Sauer, touted their official candidates.

But while General Dynamics, Textron, and Sig Sauer are all working closely with Army officials to incorporate all manner of, ahem, next-generation features into the system, Mars and Cobalt Kinetic are going a different route: they plan on making their NGSW submissions available for consumer purchase as early as next year.

"I can't think of a better collaboration in this industry," Mars president CEO Michael Merino told American Rifleman in a statement. "Our MARS rifle design, coupled with the innovative approach to rifle manufacturing of the Cobalt Kinetics team, has been incredible

Mars Inc. / Cobalt Kinetics NGSW-R Carbine

(Mars Inc. / Cobalt Kinetics)

In Mars and Cobalt Kinetic submission, which has been in the works since early 2019, purportedly meets all of the Army's existing NGSW requirements. According to American Rifleman, that means the standard fire control and handling characteristics of the service's current small arms, a magazine well capable of handling the Army's new intermediate 6.8mm cartridge, and a fresh long-recoil system ripped from the Browning Auto-5 shotgun.

While it's unlikely that the Army officials methodically searching for their iPhone of lethality will take their acquisition cues from a bit of positive consumer feedback, it's not totally out of the question. Shortly after selecting its three NGSW prototype candidates, the service issued a sources sought notice for an NGSW Innovative Designs & Engineering Assessment (IDEA) Program to identify "new, innovative, enabling technologies" for the weapon fire-control system and specialized 6.8mm ammo.

More importantly, it means that, should the Mars and Cobalt Kinetics submission actually meet the requirements of the NGSW program, the the average civilian will soon have a chance to handle a NGSW-inspired firearm sooner than most soldiers.

"We believe that we have a rifle design that meets the requirements of the Army's ambitious NGSW program," Merino said in his statement. "We are excited to be part of the evolution of military effectiveness."

It didn't take long for a central theme to emerge at the funeral of U.S. Marine Pfc. Joseph Livermore, an event attended by hundreds of area residents Friday at Union Cemetery in Bakersfield.

It's a theme that stems from a widespread local belief that the men and women who have served in the nation's armed forces are held in particularly high esteem here in the southern valley.

"In Bakersfield and Kern County, we celebrate our veterans like no place else on Earth," Bakersfield Chief of Police Lyle Martin told the gathering of mourners.

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That's the first description of McMahon in the book by journalist Mark Bowden called "Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War." It is a detailed account of the horrific Battle of the Black Sea fought in the streets of Mogadishu, Somalia, in October 1993. It claimed the lives of 18 elite American soldiers.

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Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher will retire as a chief petty officer now that President Donald Trump has restored his rank.

"Before the prosecution of Special Warfare Operator First Class Edward Gallagher, he had been selected for promotion to Senior Chief, awarded a Bronze Star with a "V" for valor, and assigned to an important position in the Navy as an instructor," a White House statement said.

"Though ultimately acquitted on all of the most serious charges, he was stripped of these honors as he awaited his trial and its outcome. Given his service to our Nation, a promotion back to the rank and pay grade of Chief Petty Officer is justified."

The announcement that Gallagher is once again an E-7 effectively nullifies the Navy's entire effort to prosecute Gallagher for allegedly committing war crimes. It is also the culmination of Trump's support for the SEAL throughout the legal process.

On July 2, military jurors found Gallagher not guilty of premeditated murder and attempted murder for allegedly stabbing a wounded ISIS fighter to death and opening fire at an old man and a young girl on separate occasions during his 2017 deployment to Iraq.

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