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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.
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Former Army 1st Lt. Clint Lorance, whom President Donald Trump recently pardoned of his 2013 murder conviction, claims he was nothing more than a pawn whom generals sacrificed for political expediency.
The infantry officer had been sentenced to 19 years in prison for ordering his soldiers to open fire on three unarmed Afghan men in 2012. Two of the men were killed.
During a Monday interview on Fox & Friends, Lorance accused his superiors of betraying him.
"A service member who knows that their commanders love them will go to the gates of hell for their country and knock them down," Lorance said. "I think that's extremely important. Anybody who is not part of the senior Pentagon brass will tell you the same thing."
"I think folks that start putting stars on their collar — anybody that has got to be confirmed by the Senate for a promotion — they are no longer a soldier, they are a politician," he continued. "And so I think they lose some of their values — and they certainly lose a lot of their respect from their subordinates — when they do what they did to me, which was throw me under the bus."
Fifteen years after the U.S. military toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein, the Army's massive two-volume study of the Iraq War closed with a sobering assessment of the campaign's outcome: With nearly 3,500 U.S. service members killed in action and trillions of dollars spent, "an emboldened and expansionist Iran appears to be the only victor.
Thanks to roughly 700 pages of newly-publicized secret Iranian intelligence cables, we now have a good idea as to why.
BANGKOK (Reuters) - Defense Secretary Mark Esper expressed confidence on Sunday in the U.S. military justice system's ability to hold troops to account, two days after President Donald Trump pardoned two Army officers accused of war crimes in Afghanistan.
Trump also restored the rank of a Navy SEAL platoon commander who was demoted for actions in Iraq.
Asked how he would reassure countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq in the wake of the pardons, Esper said: "We have a very effective military justice system."
"I have great faith in the military justice system," Esper told reporters during a trip to Bangkok, in his first remarks about the issue since Trump issued the pardons.
For one veteran who fought through the crossfires of German heavy machine guns in the D-Day landings, receiving a Congressional Gold Medal on behalf of his service and that of his World War II comrades would be "quite meaningful."
Bills have been introduced in the House and Senate to award the Army Rangers of World War II the medal, the highest civilian award bestowed by the United States, along with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
An airman at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base was arrested and charged with murder on Sunday after a shooting at a Raleigh night club that killed a 21-year-old man, the Air Force and the Raleigh Police Department said.