Gen. Mark Milley, the U.S. Army’s chief of staff, is considering a more lethal upgrade for the next generation of U.S. soldiers. “Our next individual and squad combat weapon will come in with a 10X improvement over any existing current system in the world, and that will be critical,” Gen. Milley said at AUSA 2017 on October 10.
Meanwhile on the AUSA exhibition floor, Textron Systems displayed their new Intermediate Case-Telescoped Carbine, chambered for 6.5mm. Their latest carbine intends to out-perform similar light and medium rifles chambered in 5.56mm and 7.62mm NATO. Since the middle 2000s, the U.S. Army has invested millions of dollars in Textron’s Case-Telescoped Weapons and Ammunition.
Textron’s unique ammunition uses plastic cases instead of brass, like a standard shotgun shell. This lowers the ammunition weight by more than 35%.
Wayne Prender, vice president of Textron’s Control & Surface Systems Unmanned Systems met with Military.com for an interview about their latest weapons technology. “I think the most important thing is what we have been able to do with the intermediate caliber, the 6.5mm in this case,” Prender said. “We are able to not only provide a weight reduction … and all the things that come with it – we are also able to provide increased lethality because of the ability to use a more appropriate round.”
“We actually used three different bullet shapes and we scaled it,” said program manager Paul Shipley. “We scaled 5.56mm up, we scaled 7.62mm down and took a low-drag shape and ran that between the two.”
The result is a 125 grain 6.5mm bullet that’s just a bit longer than the 130 grain M80A1 Enhanced Performance Round. Textron claims this new round is 30% more lethal than 7.62mm NATO. “The increased lethality we are referring to has to do with the energy down range,” Shipley said. “You can take whatever kind of bullet you want, compare them and it’s going to have increased energy down range.”
Textron says the new 6.5mm rounds maintain higher energy than the M80A1 at 1,200 meters, 300 ft-lbs as opposed to 230.
Learn more about Textron’s Lightweight Small Arms Technology (LSAT) and telescoped ammunition with an early 5.56mm demo video below.