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Textron Systems To Develop Prototype For US Army’s Next-Generation Squad Automatic Weapon

Textron Systems has over 14 of experience developing Case-Telescoped weapons and ammunition.

In fact, it’s their Lightweight Small Arms Technology demonstrator (6.5mm box fed version seen below) which served as the inspiration for the US Army’s Next-Generation Squad Automatic Rifle program.

Earlier this year, the Army released a Production Opportunity Notice for NGSAR, which is intended to replace the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon in Brigade Combat Teams. Based on program requirements, the prototype must weigh less than 12 pounds, with ammunition weighing 20 percent less than an equivalent brass case.

Textron Systems is one of six companies selected by the Army to develop a weapon under the PON. Textron Systems’ prototype will be an intermediate caliber, high-velocity, magazine-fed system.

This builds upon two related awards that Textron Systems recently received from the Army for advanced weapons and fire control technologies; one for Next Generation Squad Weapon Technologies (NGSW-T), and another for fire control capability development.

On a final note, I’d like to point out that this is an answer and not the answer to the Army’s requirement. There are several other solutions which will be looked at which include ammunition. What’s more, there will be a couple more times at bat before the Army picks its solution.

NGSAR is the most ambitious small arms program ever. A lot will be learned and much can happen in the ensuing years; new materials developed and scientific breakthroughs. On the other hand, new priorities may take hold in the years it will take to develop this requirement and solution.

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12 Responses to “Textron Systems To Develop Prototype For US Army’s Next-Generation Squad Automatic Weapon”

  1. Strike-Hold says:

    Call me cynical, but how is this going to be different from all the other dead-end science projects of the past?

    • SSD says:

      In their defense, I never thought we’d field a new pistol. But this is just a bridge too far.

  2. Kris says:

    20 round mag? I dont think thats going to fly.

    • Grammick says:

      I would hope they’re looking at the LSAT belt-fed machinegun instead. The 5.56 version, even with 100 rounds and belt, would meet the 12 lb requirement.

      • SSD says:

        The Marine Corps is attempting to drive the requirement toward a box fed weapon. This tactic supports their short term procurement of the M27 by signaling to Congress that boxfed is the right answer for their needs.

        However, I understand the existing LSAT will be evaluated as a baseline.

    • Linz says:

      Surefire to the rescue?

  3. Ward says:

    The NVA had 30 round mags, we had 20 round mags…Are we moving forward or backing up ??

  4. patrick sweeney says:

    The Army has a long history of “groundbreaking” technology that will “obsolete” existing weapons systems, and allow soldiers to perform at “the next level” once it is adopted.

    In short, the Army has been going through the motions of replacing the M16 since before they adopted it, and nothing will change until the program results rewards are changed.

    As it is, everyone goes through the motions, comes up empty-handed, gets their required ticket-punch, and moves on. Put a group in charge. Make sure the desired results are clear. Give them the tools and authority they need. Then make failure a dismissal, loss of pension. If no-one volunteers for that, then you know the system is truly broken, and we are all doomed.

    • Linz says:

      Regular as clockwork…but they always seem to take something home from each program failure

  5. Michael Paquette says:

    Congratulations on making a dumbed down version of the the SAW. Oh wait, we already have the M16, WTF!!!!!!

  6. mark says:

    Box fed seems an odd choice to say the least.

    One of the biggest advantages of LSAT is that it’s able to use polymer MG links, which results in + 4-6% additional weight savings.