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This rifle could be a dark horse candidate for the Army's next-generation squad weapon — and you can snag one next year
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
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."
Two Air Force pararescue Airmen were awarded the Silver Star Medal on Friday for saving dozens of lives during separate Afghan battles in 2018 and 2019.
Tech Sgt. Gavin Fisher and Staff Sgt. Daniel Swensen both received the third highest military award for their bravery. Fisher also received the Purple Heart for wounds received in combat.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government covertly moved to expel two officials from the Chinese embassy earlier this year, after they drove onto a military base, the New York Times reported, citing anonymous sources familiar with the matter.
The newspaper reported on Sunday that one of the two Chinese officials is believed to be an intelligence officer operating under diplomatic cover.
The Chinese officials breached security at a base in Virginia this fall, and only stopped driving after fire trucks were used to block their path, the Times said.
Trump set to announce he's withdrawing 4,000 troops from Afghanistan amid troubled peace talks with Taliban
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider.
President Donald Trump is set to announce the withdrawal of roughly 4,000 US troops from Afghanistan as early as next week, NBC News reported on Saturday based on conversations with three current and former officials.
This would come as the US is engaged in ongoing, troubled peace talks with the Taliban. The talks resumed in early December after Trump abruptly scrapped negotiations with the Taliban in September, only to be paused again this week after an attack near Bagram Airfield on Wednesday.
Thomas Hoke can still recall the weather in December 1944, and the long days that followed.
The battle started on Dec. 16, but his company arrived Dec. 27 and would stay there until the battle's end, nearly a month later. By the time he arrived, snow had blanketed Germany in what was one of the biggest storms the country had seen in years.
"It was 20 below and a heavy fog encompassed the whole area," Hoke, 96, recalled from his Emmitsburg home.
The fog was to Germany's advantage because Allied aircraft were grounded, including recognizance flights, allowing the Nazis to slip in.
West Point is investigating a hand gesture made by several cadets and midshipmen during an ESPN pre-game broadcast at the Army-Navy game Saturday after clips of the signals went viral because of their association with white power.
"West Point is looking into the matter," a spokesperson said in an emailed statement. "At this time we do not know the intent of the cadets."