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One the these three prototypes might be the Army's replacement for the M4/M16 among close combat forces. (Jacqueline Belker)
The army in 2021 will pick from amongst the three service providers vying to develop the Army’s replacement for both the M4 carbine and also Squad automatically Weapon.

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The following Generation Squad automatic Weapon project has been in the works for the past three years and, if completed and implemented, would mark the first substantial readjust in conventional tiny arms that the U.S. Military has seen since the mid-20th century when it adopted the M16 organization rifle in 5.56mm.


Long the resource of dispute within the little arms community, the Army and its other services embarked upon the most recent effort to change away native the small caliber round following battlefield reports from recent wars and an comprehensive study of adversary arsenals in current years.


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The army is in search of a new an equipment gun, and the Marines could get a brand-new caliber, tooThe study is expected to take it until loss 2023 however could an outcome in a whole new weapon, caliber combo.
That caused the evaluation of an “intermediate caliber” round because that the following step in squad-level tiny arms. The goal was a round that could attain distances beyond the reach of 5.56 mm and remain lethal while maintaining manageable recoil and ammunition weight comes to that maker gun carrier of the 7.62mm face.

Ultimately, the project decided on 6.8 mm, similar in dimension to the classic .270 caliber offered by deer hunters and not much off indigenous a well-known intermediate caliber favored by the at an early stage 20th century Japanese military and nearly embraced by the British in between World war I and also World war II.


But the military-designed 6.8 mm has other characteristics and also ballistics bona fides not found at the regional Walmart ammunition shelves.

And the companies competing for this history-making contract were told to build their rifles roughly the new round.

Three companies were chosen to development in the competition virtually two years back — Sig Sauer, which won over evaluators to change the 1980s-era Beretta M9 sidearm with the M17 and also M18 9 mm pistol variants; general Dynamics and also Textron Systems.

Each brings a different take on the new weapon. Sig Sauer has actually a an extremely familiar AR feel that would certainly retain lot of the control, balance and operations that are acquainted to shooters who have actually spent a career moving the M4 or its larger brother, the M16, around dusty battlefields.


The GD variant has actually looked to the bullpup architecture to keep a solid barrel length that’s suppressor capable, an additional requirement that the weapon beyond its caliber.

And Textron has reinvented the cartridge itself, utilizing its ongoing “cased telescoped” ammunition the tucks the bullet inside the case and uses a novel feed technique to firing the projectile.

Alongside weapons development, two companies have won the best to compete for the fire control, or optics, to mountain on this brand-new rifle ― L3 Technologies and Vortex Optics.

The first weapons prototype check wrapped up in September. The following is reserved for February. Through or prior to October, officials expect to pick one the the three service providers to build their version of the NGSW. They’ll have about a year to begin pumping out as much as snuff rifles, since the military wants to start fielding before October 2022 come Infantry, Stryker and also Armor Brigade Combat Teams.


Todd South has actually written around crime, courts, government and also the army for multiple publications because 2004 and also was named a 2014 Pulitzer finalist because that a co-written project on witness intimidation. Todd is a maritime veteran the the Iraq War.


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