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  1. #21
    Senior Member Petamocto's Avatar
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    These are all small potatoes compared to what’s happening here.

    One small sub-org like a sniper det or a sub-set of a special forces org is not going to have the mass of the entire US Army changing to a certain calibre.

    You’re talking about procurement projects in the hundreds when I’m talking about hundreds of thousands.
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  2. #22
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    This will challenge the US to convert and will be a insurmountable issue for Canada as DND will spend thousands of hours and millions of dollars discussing what will benefit Quebec if they do convert.

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  4. #23
    Canadian ForcesMember Coke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Enfield View Post
    ...DND will spend thousands of hours and millions of dollars discussing what will benefit Quebec if they do convert.
    Not just DND, all of PWGSC and the government. I believe the first 2 lines of any government contract theyput out is: 1) can this be made in Quebec, and how can we make that happen, and 2) if not, then Bombardier will get a contract to build the parts for it.
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  6. #24
    Senior Member Steve MKII's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Petamocto View Post
    Steve,

    Itís a done deal, buddy. Itís not just about 6.8 vs 5.56, itís about the opportunity to have one standard caliber for all small arms, and thatís a big deal (not including pistols and 50 HMGs or sniper rifles).

    I think the company clinching the most is Lapua, because they have been getting some decent smaller contracts out of 338, but this may also lead to its demise as well, especially if the 6.8 bullet is slender enough to outperform 7.62 at longer ranges.
    No contracts have been awarded and they don't even have a working prototype of the weapon or ammunition yet. IIRC the Army wants to go to telescoped ammunition, which we have yet to see materialize. I believe they also have some pretty big requirements for the new round, which may prove to be not viable. While it is possible this will come to fruition and replace the M4a1, it is also quite possible that this new rifle and round will fail to meet the Army's requirements and get cancelled. A future administration or congress could also cancel it if things don't move quickly or smoothly enough. This is hardly a "done deal".

    I am not arguing against the logistics of having one small arms caliber. I am stating that I am skeptical anything will come from this, the US Army doesn't exactly have the best track record when it comes to M4 replacement programs, and this one has some pretty big requirements to meet. Time will tell.

    Like I said, I will believe it when I see the new rilfe and ammunition making its way into the hands of the troops.

  7. #25
    Senior Member Petamocto's Avatar
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    Fair enough, and I can understand the skepticism.

    I guess it’s just the “done deal” tone that I heard them speaking about it that made it sound so much different than a trial or just a requirement.

    This was early last fall at the Infantry Conference in Benning, and my boss just heard the same thing at the Stryker Leader Summit.
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  8. #26
    Canadian ForcesMember srdiver's Avatar
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    the "telescoped" ammo has been around for more than 10 years - biggest issue that they have with it right now is environmental weather compatibility. Because of temperature extreme requirements of the modern battlefield it was found to be not very reliable.

  9. #27
    Senior Member Steve MKII's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Petamocto View Post
    Fair enough, and I can understand the skepticism.

    I guess it¬ís just the ¬ďdone deal¬Ē tone that I heard them speaking about it that made it sound so much different than a trial or just a requirement.

    This was early last fall at the Infantry Conference in Benning, and my boss just heard the same thing at the Stryker Leader Summit.
    Don't get me wrong, I'm sure that if everything goes according to plan and the new rifle and ammunition meet the Army's list of requirements, from price to weight to performance, it will be adopted; but as we know things don't always go according to plan (especially when it comes to government) and in the past the Army has put out some unrealistic requirements that have resulted in failed programs when they realized it wasn't feasible for whatever reason. Delay's can happen too if the prototypes don't go as planned and can upset members of congress who have to vote on funding it. It just seems too early in the development to be a sure thing as of now.

    I'm not sure how much the Army is spending on this program or if R&D is being funded entirely by the private sector, but if they are investing heavily in this and it fails, it will be a lot of money wasted that could've been used to upgrade existing inventory of M4a1 carbines until the private sector can develop something that meets the Army's requirements.

    The Army has been wanting to go to a 6.8 for a while and I suspect that even if this fails they will continue to move towards it, so in that sense it could be a "done deal". Your comment on the logistics of one caliber is the first I heard of that being the reason. My understanding was that they wanted to be able to penetrate level IV armor out to 600M, and the misconception that the 5.56 was not very effective (stemming from issues with M855's lack of fragmentation), which was resolved with the M855a1, as well as a desire for cased telescoped ammo. But that's just what I've read from news and forums.

    Quote Originally Posted by srdiver View Post
    the "telescoped" ammo has been around for more than 10 years - biggest issue that they have with it right now is environmental weather compatibility. Because of temperature extreme requirements of the modern battlefield it was found to be not very reliable.
    Yeah my understanding was that this is one of their requirements for the new round. If that is still the case then this will be a big hurdle they have to overcome before a new rifle and round can be adopted. As of now it isn't a viable technology.

  10. #28
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    "...Itís a done deal..." Nope. The Internet has been alive with reports since at least October. However, the U.S. Army doesn't get to pick what kit they use. They didn't choose either the M-14 or M-16. Both were adopted for political reasons. And The Donald wants military money for his wall. Not to mention NATO is decidedly silent on the whole issue. Just like they were when the U.S. government jammed both the 5.56 and 7.62 down their throats.

  11. #29
    Senior Member Steve MKII's Avatar
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    https://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/...ns-prototypes/

    BREAKING: Army Issues Call for New Next Generation Squad Weapons Prototypes

    Posted 9 hours ago in Breaking News, MIL/LE, Rifles by Matthew Moss with 184 Comments
    Tags: Next Generation Squad Weapon, NGSW-AR, NGSW-R, US Army
    NGSW


    2015 CAD concept of what NGSW might look like - 2019 FDE edit.

    The US Army has launched their official Prototype Project Opportunity Notice (PPON) inviting design submission for both the Next Generation Squad Weapon-Rifle (NGSW-R) and the Next Generation Squad Weapon-Automatic Rifle (NGSW-AR), both chambered in the Army’s new specification general purpose 6.8mm round. Let’s Recap

    There have been a fair few developments in the US Army’s NGSW programme since it began several years ago. Most recently five companies, including Textron, FN America, General Dynamics, PCP Tactical and SIG Sauer, were awarded contracts to develop Next Generation Squad Automatic Rifle prototypes. In October last year it appeared that the Army was rebooting their programme with a new prototype opportunity, the Army, however, have denied this and confirmed that the five prototype contracts remain valid. Army Contracting Command confirms that the contracts are for the manufacture and development of a NGSW-AR system demonstrator to inform the requirements of the new PPON issued on the 30th January. However, it is worth noting that none of the companies contracted in October have yet delivered a weapon to inform the requirements that have been set out.
    The New NGSW Prototype Project Opportunity Notice

    The Prototype Project Opportunity Notice (PPON) was posted on 30th January, and follows an earlier Draft PON, which we covered back in October 2018. The PON confirms that three OTA contracts for NGSW prototype will be awarded. The contracts are estimated to last up to eight years with the first 27 months of that period spent prototyping the NGSW-R, NGSW-AR, and their ammunition. The rest of the eight year period will be for additional iterative prototyping efforts, this means the Army would be looking to select, adopt and introduce the rifle and automatic rifle sometime between 2025 and 2027 at the earliest. Production contracts will be awarded as Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity. Close combat forces will be the first to receive new weapons if adopted and contracts for as many as 250,000 weapons and 850 million rounds of ammunition may be awarded. At high production rates the contract may be worth up to $150M per year.

    Contracts may be awarded to one or more manufacturers and successful industry applicants who are contracted will then have to provide 53 NGSW-R prototypes, 43 NGSW-AR prototypes, 845,000 rounds of ammunition, as well as spare parts, test barrels, tools/gauges/accessories, engineering support, and iterative prototyping efforts going forward.

    The contracts are set to be awarded in the 4th quarter of 2019, with delivery of weapons scheduled at the end of 2nd quarter 2020. The first round of testing will take place during the second half of 2020 with the second round, testing “production representative hardware” taking place in mid 2021.

    Here’s what the Army are looking for in terms of broad weapon characteristics:

    The NGSW-R and the NGSW-AR prototypes shall:
    a. allow for ambidextrous operation and controls;
    b. include a flash hider, removable suppressor (with or without flash hider installed), and a tool for suppressor removal after firing or for maintenance;
    c. include a tactical carrying sling with quick release attachments;
    d. include selection positions for Safe, Semi-Automatic Firing, and Automatic Firing modes;
    e. be resistant to corrosion, abrasion, impact and Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) defense contaminants, decontaminants, battlefield chemicals, electromagnetic pulse and cyber-attacks;
    f. reduce visual detection via a neutral non-reflective, non-black color not lighter than Light Coyote 481 and not darker than Coyote 499;
    g. function in all environments and weather conditions, including ambient, cold, hot, marine, high humidity, rain, and desert conditions;
    h. be compatible with combat clothing (including body armor and Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment), CBRN defense, wet weather, and cold weather gear;
    i. provide interchangeable magazines between both weapons if NGSW-AR utilizes a magazine; and
    j. include, at a minimum, a 12 o-clock position rail(s) that is compliant to Attachment 2- Picatinny Smart Rail Interface Control Documents. Weapon configurations include a non-battery and a battery configuration:
    • A non-battery configuration: battery removed. This is the primary configuration for all weapon deliveries and is included in the overall weapon weight.
    • Replaceable battery configurations: rechargeable battery assembly and nonrechargeable battery assembly that are fully contained within the envelope of the NGSW-R and NGSW-AR and common to both. The battery assembly shall operate at 6-32 volts. The rechargeable battery assembly shall interface with the Universal Battery Charger (NSN: 6130-01-659-7090). The weight of the battery assembly will not be included in the overall weapon weight. Both the rechargeable battery assembly and the non-rechargeable battery assembly shall meet the requirements for safety and transportation per the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Dangerous Goods Regulation.


    More Recent NGSW Developments

    In the last month or so their have been a number of other developments in the Army’s search for its next generation of small arms. I have previously covered the Army’s special notice seeking a ‘Squad Fire Control’ optic for use with the new weapon systems. The new optic must weigh less than 2lbs and combine a direct view optic, ballistic calculator, atmospheric sensor suite, and a laser range finder.

    General Dynamic-OTS and polymer ammunition manufacturer True Velocity also recently announced their partnership to collaborate on not just GD-OTS’ earlier NGSW prototype contract but also this new PON. True Velocity’s ammunition is conventional in layout but does offer weight savings (reportedly in the region of 30%) and the ability to scale case capacities and projectiles dimensions.

    From Army Contracting Command responses to NGSW questions we also know that the NGSW will be predominantly running suppressors in the field. With ACC confirming that “the weapons are intended to be used primarily with the suppressor on.” From the same response notice we also know that “the NGSW is not planned to be compatible with the M320 40MM grenade launcher” or the M26 underbarrel shotgun. The Army also confirmed that their is no preference for either a bullpup or a conventional weapon system.

    Other, less clear, developments might give us an idea about what the Army’s new 6.8mm general purpose ammunition specification might look like. Both SIG Sauer and Textron appear to have disclosed information on what characteristics the army wants its new round to have. Back in October Jane’s reported that the new projectile has a weight of 135 grains while at their SHOT Show range day Sig Sauer told Military.com that “both the AR and carbine prototypes for the NGSW effort will have to be able to produce a muzzle velocity of 3,000 feet per second.” While this gives us some insight into the kind of round the army are looking for it has not been confirmed.

    We also know from ACC responses to NGSW industry questions that the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant have not developed a cartridge designed for the 6.8mm projectile and the the will Government only be providing 6.8mm projectiles not completed rounds. The responses also justified the choice of a 6.8mm projectile saying: “The 6.8mm caliber projectile cannot change. A 6.8mm caliber is large enough to achieve Government’s required outcomes whereas a 6.5mm caliber cannot.”

    U.S. Army Contracting Command have said that written proposals for the PPON have a deadline of 24th April 2019, and bid samples are due on 30th May 2019.

    Source

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