When President Donald Trump ran to become the next commander-in-chief, he promised the military it would be outfitted with the best. According to Army Times, his promise is becoming a reality, because Army researchers are now testing a new prototype assault rifle that fires a larger round in order to introduce a possible M16/M4 replacement by 2020. Gaining superiority on the field of combat is a clear goal.
Many army veterans going back as far as the early days of the Vietnam War remember carrying some version of the M16/M4 platform weapon. Even with the various modifications and weapon upgrades current troops need an entirely new weapon that will insure greater range and accuracy.
Army officials are emphasizing that the goal is to create a new light machine gun and inform the next-generation individual assault rifle/round combo. Some of the intermediate calibers being tested include the .260 Remington, 6.5 Creedmoor, .264 USA as well as other noncommercial intermediate calibers, including cased telescoped ammo, reported Fox News.
The best part of a new approved weapon is how it will give troops rifle that can be carried with little notable change in weight. In essence it will be like having an enemy elimination weapon that has more bang for the buck. The American public and the pentagon number crunchers will love that.
The upgrade in on the ground battle engagement weapons is much needed based upon a Small Arms Ammunition Configuration lethality study began in 2014. According to Maj. Jason Bohannon, lethality branch chief at the Army’s Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, Georgia some of the study findings conclude that there is an alleged “overmatch” that U.S. troops face on the battlefield with their current calibers, reported Army Times.
In a 2009 “Increasing Small Arms Lethality in Afghanistan: Taking back the Infantry Half-Kilometer,” study, then Army Maj. Thomas Ehrhart, emphasized, “Half of the firefights infantry units in Afghanistan encountered were past 300 meters, and the 5.56 mm round had lessened lethality at longer distances,” according to Army Times. Ehrhart recommended that troops needed a more effective 5.56 mm round, or adopt a caliber in the 6.5 mm to 7 mm range.
The replacement of the M16 could not come at a better time since, Army Officials indicate that the Russian, Islamic State and al-Qaida have increased advantages with longer-reaching and more lethal weapons, including reports of Russian work on their own 6.5 mm assault rifle.