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11 thoughts on “A sneak peak of what might be the Army’s next rifle.”

  1. Is it just me, or is anyone else having a flashback to SPIW, ACR, OICW, or any of the other alphabet-soup attempts to reinvent the wheel?

    I see what they’re trying to do, here, but… I am disturbed by the lack of connection to the whole tactical/operational intent realm of things.

    Consider the purpose of an individual weapon. What is it? Can we define it? How does it relate to what other weapons are in the unit? What part of the engagement curve is it addressing? How do we intend to use it, with what tactics?

    I think we’ve mentioned the Rhodesian wars, and how they operated. How did the FN-FAL support that sort of combat? Was their choice of that rifle due to them saying beforehand “This is how we’ll fight…”, and procuring to match, or were their tactics driven by the fact that the FAL was what they had to fight with…?

    The Swiss StG-57 is another example, but one that is more clearly a case of “This is how we mean to fight; here are our tactics, gimme a rifle to support that…”. The Swiss planned a fighting withdrawal out of their lowlands and into their mountains, with an LMG-biased StG supporting that. Oh, and it was meant to fire a lot of big rifle grenades, too–All part of their planned tactics and operational intent.

    Now, pray tell, where is the articulated theoretical basis for all this crap that we’re going to be going to with the NGSW, aside from mo’ bettah dakka? What’s the point of it all? If we’re going to keep using tactics and conducting operations that give no real scope to an individual weapon past 300-450m, what the ever-lovin’ fuck is the point of spending all this money, when the M4 does it just as well?

    I smell the ever-so-faint scent of failure and wasted money wafting gently off of this entire poorly-conceived program.

    • Is it just me, or is anyone else having a flashback to SPIW, ACR, OICW, or any of the other alphabet-soup attempts to reinvent the wheel?

      I’m feeling my pocket being picked, just as I felt when I read about those programs. Now all I can say is “Aw, geez, not this dumb shit again…”

      It has all the hallmarks of a weapons prototype that will go nowhere:

      1. New ammunition technology, eg, caseless ammo. That always look sexy on paper. Check.
      2. In a new caliber. Gotta do a new caliber. Check.
      3. Using new magazines. Need the new magazines to milk the most out of any possibly production contract. Check.
      4. A bullpup configuration. Always a favorite of light arms that go nowhere. Check.
      5. With the lead company being a Beltway Bandit or someone who has never been heard of in light weapons production before. Check.

      I predict this will go exactly nowhere, but it will enrich a couple of companies to the tune of double-digit millions of bucks spent over a couple of years.

      • Never served.

        But I did start my engineering career at a defense contractor, so yes, I’ve RFP’ed.

        Then my ethics told me that this wasn’t the job for me, and I went to the private sector.

      • I tend to stall out after about the fifth consecutive buzzword. There’s only so much BS the brain can withstand before you find yourself on an airplane heading to find the people responsible for this idiocy with the intent to pour bleach into the gene pool as near as you can get to them.

        Seriously… I’ve looked the RFP over, and I feel like I’m stupider for having bothered to try and parse that thing out. Buzzwords, and circular reasoning, with no acknowledgement that the primary reason we’re outranged at 800m with small arms is that trying to respond to that crap with weapons fired off a human shoulder is just incredibly stupid. You can’t do it with any real effectiveness, so why are we ignoring the elephant in the room, and acknowledging that you can’t reach out and touch someone at 1800m unless you’re firing off a tripod?

        There’s nothing that these new weapons are going to be able to do that we can’t already do with the current suite, and they’re going to be just as ineffective as the old one, because we’re still firing them off of the MKI human shoulder and a bipod.

        It’s not a question of this nebulous “lethality”, it’s a question of “Can I deliver and control an effective beaten zone at 1800m…?”. Ya can’t do that off someone’s shoulder.

        Do note, too–There’s not a fucking word in any of that RFP about improved support systems for the gun team–No lightweight terrain-adaptable tripod, no improved binos for target acquisition and fire control, no rangefinder, no periscopic sight for the gun, so we can finally get our troops heads below the line of fire… And on and on and on.

        Nine-tenths of the problems they’re trying to address here stem from things besides the guns, and they’re not even addressing those. Which is, I will continue to insist, nuts.

        • you know you’re welcome to send up opinion pieces or rants on anything you feel like and we will publish it as a guest topic. literally everyone who reads or writes for the site already wishes you would.

  2. I read this post and watched the video and actually thought “Kirk would have a great rant about the requirements for this shit, like the entirely new calibre etc.

    Lo and Behold, my wish was granted. 🙂

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