The Army isn't on the hunt for any old rifle for it's Next Generation Squad Weapon program — it's looking to spark a "revolution in small arms" on par with what the iPhone did to consumer electronics.

At least, that's how Army officials at the Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC) at the Picatinny Arsenal in New Jersey described their overall goal in a conversation with Task & Purpose following the release of a formal Prototype Project Opportunity Notice calling on industry partners for a rapid prototyping and testing run of the brand-new platform.

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The Army has issued a formal call for industry partners to send in their prototypes for the Next Generation Squad Weapon program, a major step towards finally testing out a replacement for the M4 carbine and M249 squad automatic weapon.

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DoD photo/ Spc. Austin Berne

Editor’s Note: This article by Matthew Cox originally appeared on Military.com, the premier source of information for the military and veteran community.

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The Army claims its new assault rifle will unleash a hailstorm of specially-designed shells with as much chamber pressure as a battle tank to tear through even the most advanced body armor — and if all goes according to plan, the soldiers will get them to play with sooner than they thought.

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Photo via DoD

The Army has officially canceled its search for an off-the-shelf 7.62mm Interim Combat Service Rifle (ICSR) meant to replace the standard-issue M4 carbine — a major setback in the branch’s search for a new infantry rifle to augment soldier lethality.

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