The Pentagon have given their seal of approval to a new lightweight gun for use by the US Army. Textron’s Lightweight Small Arms Technology (or LSAT) firearm will come in both rifle and Light Machine Gun form, and are set to replace some older models of gun currently in use.
Textron were granted a contract worth $5.7 million, or roughly £3.7 million last year, and have now been able to show off their prototype LMG at the recent 2015 SOFIC (Special Operations Forces Industry Conference) conference.
The new guns are aiming to replace the M16, M4 carbine, M249 LMG, and even quite possibly the M240 General Purpose Machine Gun. The LMG prototype weighed in at half the weight of the current M249, which will offer a great advantage on the battlefield. It is just a question of whether the LMG can maintain the same cost as the M249!
New gun designs is just part of the direction that the Pentagon is taking, with them also taking a look at ammo. Textron have created a conceptual ammo, which is 7.62mm in calibre. The ammo has had its weight lowered due to the fact it uses plastic shell cases instead of the standard metal ones.
This cuts the weight by almost two fifths per round, and Textron also reportedly have a 5.56 mm variant in the pipeline, as this is the standard ammo for small arms in the US army. However, there have been many expensive weapon programmes that have had large amounts on investment sunk into them, only to be cancelled at the last minute.
Even if it does make it into service, there are no promises that it will have a long lifespan. The FN SCAR was introduced in 2009 as a potential M4 and M16 replacement, but was soon ditched by the Pentagon due to budget cuts.
The LSAT machine gun does have great potential, as it will come in carbine and LMG form, meaning it will replace several older weapon models that are still heavily relied upon by the military. The great decrease in weight will offer less of a struggle to carry, and more mobility for soldiers, which is invaluable in a combat situation.
Here at Surplus Store, we have a range of deactivated guns which currently includes an M16, the currently favoured firearm of the US military, so why not take a look today?