A Texas-based ammunition company recently unveiled its new 6.8mm cartridge, which the Army will consider for the Next Generation Squad Weapon (NGSW) effort designed to replace the 5.56mm M4A1 carbine and M249 squad automatic weapon in close-combat units.
True Velocity's 6.8mm composite-cased cartridge will be part of the NGSW auto-rifle, rifle and ammo prototype package being submitted by General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems Inc., which includes Beretta Defense Technologies, according to a recent True Velocity news release.
The Army recently chose General Dynamics OTS, along with AAI Corporation Textron Systems and Sig Sauer Inc., in a down-select that moves competitors to the next phase of testing for the future weapons effort.
The service plans to select a final design for both weapons and ammunition modeled around a government 6.8mm projectile from a single company in the first quarter of 2022 and begin replacing both M4s and M249s in an infantry brigade combat team in the first quarter of 2023, Army modernization officials have said.
The new prototyping agreements call for each vendor to deliver 43 NGSW automatic rifles and 53 NGSW rifles, as well as 845,000 rounds of 6.8mm ammunition, according to the original solicitation.
The Army will evaluate each vendor's weapons and ammunition package as a single submission, according to modernization officials.
So far, the service has been tightlipped about the specifics of the 6.8mm ammunition except to say it will provide increased lethality at longer ranges compared to the current M855A1 5.56mm ammunition.
True Velocity's proprietary 6.8mm case design will provide soldiers with "significant logistical and operational advantages over traditional brass-cased ammunition, including substantially increased effective range and muzzle energy, drastic reduction in cartridge weight and enhanced accuracy," according to the release from True Velocity.
"True Velocity's 6.8mm composite case design produces a level of performance, consistency and efficiency never before seen in small-arms ammunition," Chris Tedford, president and CEO of True Velocity, said in the release. "Combining True Velocity's innovation and technology with the expertise of General Dynamics OTS and Beretta results in a weapon system solution that exceeds NGSW requirements and provides the U.S. Army with a definitive edge on the field of battle."
-- Matthew Cox can be reached at email@example.com.