Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
The Army finally has its hands on a next-generation rifle prototype
Army officials may have some lofty aspirations for the service's much-hyped Next Generation Squad Weapon, but at least they finally have an honest-to-God prototype to play with.
Textron Systems' AAI Corporation on Monday announced the delivery of its initial Next Generation Squad Weapon-Technology (NGSW-T) prototype demonstrator to Army combat capabilities officials to "inform the Army's formal NGSW program and include weapon and ammunition weight reduction, weapon sound suppression, as well as fire control integration technology," the company said in a statement.
The NGSW-T delivery is separate from the contract that AAI received alongside four other defense contractors last year to whip up prototype Next Generation Squad Automatic Rifles (NGSAR) for the service. That demonstrator should end up in Army hands by June of this year, according to the company.
"Moving from contract award to delivery of a revolutionary, next-generation weapon in just 15 months not only demonstrates the maturity of our [cased telescoped ammunition] technology, but also the project execution excellence our team possesses to rapidly fill critical warfighter needs on schedule," said Textron senior VP Wayne Prender in a statement.
a soldier fires an AAI Corporation case-telescoped squad automatic weapon(U.S. Army via The War Zone)
The Army is looking for some unique features in its new rifle. NGSW team leader Arthur Fiorellini previously detailed the Army's requirements in an interview with Task & Purpose in February, including chambering in 6.8mm, a suppressor base designed to compensate for the intermediate round, a miniaturized ballistics computer, and a specially-designed fire control system, among other goodies.
Based on those requirements, AAI's submission has a good shot at forming the basis of the Army's next standard-issue service rifle. As The War Zone notes, not only do Textron and its subsidiaries have years of experience supplying automatic weapon prototype demonstrators to the Army, but the company recently unveiled a rifle with its cased-telescoped ammo that's an "obvious starting place" for the Army's next 6.8mm weapon:
The existing weapon has a general shape very similar to the service's existing M4 carbine and features many of the same controls as other AR-15/M16-series firearms and derivatives, including the fire control selector and t-shaped charging handle.
This general commonality with the Army's existing standard issue weapon could make it particularly attractive. Any time a major U.S. military service adopts a new rifle, it's not only a major logistical undertaking, but one that puts significant strains on training, as well.
Whether all of this will add up to the 'iPhone of lethality' that Army officials described to Task & Purpose back in February remains to be seen. But at least Army officials will finally have a physical rifle to sink their teeth into.
WATCH NEXT: The Next Generation Squad Weapon Finally Has A Bullet
Police arrest suspected terrorist for 1985 hijacking in which Navy diver Robert D. Stethem was murdered
ATHENS (Reuters) - Greek police have arrested a 65-year-old Lebanese man suspected of involvement in the 1985 hijacking of a Trans World Airlines (TWA) plane in which a U.S. navy diver was killed.
A Greek police official said on Saturday the suspect had disembarked from a cruise ship on the island of Mykonos on Thursday and that his name came up as being wanted by German authorities.
The last time the world saw Marine veteran Austin Tice, he had been taken prisoner by armed men. It was unclear whether his captors were jihadists or allies of Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad who were disguised as Islamic radicals.
Blindfolded and nearly out of breath, Tice spoke in Arabic before breaking into English:"Oh Jesus. Oh Jesus."
That was from a video posted on YouTube on Sept. 26, 2012, several weeks after Tice went missing near Damascus, Syria, while working as a freelance journalist for McClatchy and the Washington Post.
Now that Tice has been held in captivity for more than seven years, reporters who have regular access to President Donald Trump need to start asking him how he is going to bring Tice home.
SAN DIEGO — John Timothy Earnest didn't hide his smirks as he sat in a San Diego courtroom on Thursday, watching surveillance video of Lori Gilbert-Kaye being shot down inside the lobby of a Poway synagogue.
Earnest also smiled as a synagogue congregant testified about running toward the shooter, screaming "I'm going to kill you!" and seeing the gunman "with a look of astonishment or fear" turn and run.
Earnest, 20, is facing one count of murder and three counts of attempted murder in the shootings at Chabad of Poway on April 27. He also faces an arson charge related to an Escondido mosque fire in March, when several people who were sleeping inside escaped unharmed.
Sometimes a joke just doesn't work.
For example, the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service tweeted and subsequently deleted a Gilbert Gottfried-esque misfire about the "Storm Area 51" movement.
On Friday DVIDSHUB tweeted a picture of a B-2 bomber on the flight line with a formation of airmen in front of it along with the caption: "The last thing #Millenials will see if they attempt the #area51raid today."
ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkey is ready to act on its southern border with Syria, President Tayyip Erdogan said, after warning that it could take unilateral steps if the U.S. does not establish a "safe zone" in northeast Syria this month.
"Our preparations along our borders are complete," Erdogan told reporters in Istanbul on Saturday before departing to attend a U.N. General Assembly meeting.