Textron has delivered five samples of their “next generation” Squad Automatic Weapon to the US Army for testing and evaluation. It fires a lightweight cased-telescoping round that substantially reduces the load for SAW gunners. Which, of course, just means if the Army adopts this system that SAW gunners will
have to be able to carry more ammo.
The Maryland-based aerospace and defense development and manufacturing firm brags that this new gun, firing a new 6.8mm round the Army selected last fall, will defeat (“overmatch“) the world’s most advanced body armor at 600 meters. Basically the new round offers all the benefits of the 7.62 NATO in a package that’s smaller and lighter.
ZeroHedge reports that the new gun, if accepted, could find its way into units as soon as next year.
The Army is expected to test AAI’s NGSW-T weapon at firing ranges this summer. If the weapon meet’s the Army’s requirements for NGSW-T, then AAI could get a large contract to send the gun into series production to produce more than 250,000 units and 150 million rounds. The expected field date could be as early as 2020.
From the Textron press release:
“Our Cased-Telescoped weapons and ammunition offer the growth path to a true next-generation small arms weapon for U.S. warfighters, including increased lethality at longer ranges, while also delivering significant weight reductions to the warfighter.”
They have a nice, minute-long video about their new system though.
Here’s more of the Textron press release on the new gun.
HUNT VALLEY, Md. — Textron Systems, a business of Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT), announced today that it delivered the initial Next Generation Squad Weapon-Technology (NGSW-T) prototype demonstrator to the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (CCDC) Armaments Center and Joint Services Small Arms Program (JSSAP). The automatic rifle prototype, based on the company’s proven Cased-Telescoped (CT) Weapons and Ammunition technology, is the first of five weapon demonstrators that Textron Systems will deliver for the program.
“Moving from contract award to delivery of a revolutionary, next-generation weapon in just 15 months not only demonstrates the maturity of our CT technology, but also the project execution excellence our team possesses to rapidly fill critical warfighter needs on schedule,” said Textron Systems Senior Vice President of Applied Technologies & Advanced Programs Wayne Prender. “Our CT weapons and ammunition offer the growth path to a true next-generation small arms weapon for U.S. warfighters, including increased lethality at longer ranges, while also delivering significant weight reductions to the warfighter.”
Technologies demonstrated by Textron Systems under the NGSW-T effort will inform the Army’s formal NGSW program and include weapon and ammunition weight reduction, weapon sound suppression, as well as fire control integration technology.
In 2018, Textron Systems also received a separate contract from the U.S. Army to develop a prototype weapon for the Next Generation Squad Automatic Rifle- Prototype Opportunity Notice (NGSAR-PON) program and remains on track to demonstrate the weapon in June 2019.
In development since 2004, Textron Systems’ CT weapons and ammunition offer an innovative weapon design that increases lethality and reduces total system weight by up to 40 percent. Textron Systems has developed rifles, including automatic rifles, in a variety of configurations and calibers, including 5.56mm, 6.5mm, and 7.62mm, and is supporting the Army’s current efforts to revolutionize its small arms capability.
How long will it take Textron to offer the new SAW to the civilian market in America? No doubt if accepted by the Army, a semi-auto version would instantly become a hot seller domestically. Depending on price, of course.