The US Army's Soldier Lethality Cross-Function Team (CFT) is showcasing several items of equipment designed to assist the close-combat force at this year's annual Association of the US Army's conference in Washington
Soldier Lethality CFT director Brigadier General David Hodne discussed his top three priorities during a 7 October interview with Jane's - the Next Generation Squad Weapon (NGSW), Enhanced Night Vision Goggle - Binocular (ENVG-B), and the Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS).
"We're going to field the Soldier Lethality CFT's capabilities for that army of 2028 and then as the army continues to move to the army of 2035 …we'll continue to build on, and improve on, those capabilities and certainly by then the CFT will be exploring potential and some other options," the one-star general said.
Over the past year, the army has moved ahead with plans to replace the M4/M4A1 Carbine weapon with NGSW-Rifles (NGSW-Rs), and the Close Combat Force's M249 Squad Automatic Weapon in the Automatic Rifleman role with NGSW-Automatic Rifles (NGSW-ARs). Both new weapons will use a common cartridge with 6.8 mm ammunition.
Textron Systems, General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems, and SIG Sauer recently received NGSW prototype contracts from the service that calls on them to begin delivering weapons and ammunition within 27 months. Under its contract, Textron Systems said it will deliver 43 6.8 mm cased telescoped NGSW-ARs and 53 NGSW-Rs, as well as 845,000 rounds of cased telescoped ammunition.
"Industry is taking a hard look at the problem of how do we achieve energy at range, in the constraints we've provided, in a weapon that's going to be something that soldiers want to employ, and build that around both a rifle and an automatic rifle because we wanted to avoid getting an automatic rifle that was exceptionally capable but you weren't able to match up a rifle," Brig Gen Hodne explained.
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