Spams open competition for M16/M4 replacement

#1
http://www.armytimes.com/story.php?f=1-292925-708424.php

Army opens competition for replacement of M-16, M-4
Future of the XM-8 program now depends on the outcome

By Matthew Cox
Times staff writer


The Army will hold an open competition among arms makers to select a replacement for its M-16 rifles and M-4 carbines.
The March 4 pre-solicitation notice, posted on the Internet, means the Army’s XM-8 program will have to prove it can outperform the rest of the small-arms industry before soldiers carry it into battle.

Army weapons experts have been working on the Heckler & Koch-made XM-8 prototype as an unopposed replacement since late 2003. It was part of a longer-range effort to perfect an over-and-under style weapon, known as the Objective Individual Combat Weapon or XM-29, developed by Alliant Techsystems and Heckler & Koch.

The XM-29 fires special air-bursting projectiles and standard 5.56mm ammunition. But at 18 pounds, it’s still too heavy to meet requirements, so Army planners decided to perfect each of XM-29’s components separately, allowing soldiers to take advantage of new technology sooner.

The XM-8 is one of those components. It features a compact model for close quarters, a standard carbine and a designated marksman/squad automatic rifle model with a longer, heavier barrel and bipod legs for stability.

The March 4 “Pre-solicitation Notice for the Objective Individual Combat Weapon Increment I family of weapons,” invites small-arms makers to try and meet an Army requirement for a “non developmental family of weapons that are capable of firing U.S. standard M855 and M856” 5.56mm ammunition.

The family would consist of carbine, compact, designated marksman and light machinegun models.

A formal Request for Proposal is slated to be issued “on or about” March 23, the notice states.

The OICW Increment I is intended to replace current weapon systems, including the M-4, M-16, M-249 squad automatic weapon and selected M-9 pistols for the active Army, the notice states.

Interested companies will be required to submit four of each type of the four different variants by late spring.

Submissions will be put through a series of tests, including live-fire exercises, to see if they meet the requirement.

The winning company will be awarded a low-rate initial production contract to produce up to 4,900 weapons systems and could receive a full-rate production contract to make more than 134,000 weapons systems, the notice states.
Change the calibre, dammit! :evil:
 
#3
Unfortunately they cant change the caliber due to NATO complience. If the're interested, we've got a few hundred thousand SA80 A2's they can have :wink:

Boney
 
#4
What is the point in looking for a new weapons system that is to be hamstrung from the start by limiting it to 5.56 rounds?
The sensible thing to do, would be to get ALL the users of NATO STANAG equipment together & garner their views.
The US has foisted TWO less than satisfactory standard rounds onto NATO in the last 50-odd years; one too powerful & one too weak.
Surely anyone with half a brain.........


..........ah! I see what the problem is :roll:
 
#5
I think that as before the US will do what it considers suits the US best and let the Euro army go it's own way.
Have the US arms manufactures got tgether and decided they will design and equip the US military and have no Euro weapon at the heart of the US military ?
Remember the fuss when Berreta won the pistol contract.
john
 
#6
IIRC, it only takes one NATO nation to establish a STANAG! Also, there are significant differences between NATO standard ammunition manufactured by different NATO nations. The only criterion for standardisation is that the ammunition will function in any weapon, not that it has identical ballistics. At least that was the case with 7.62. See

http://www.cruffler.com/trivia-June01.html

for more details.

So, yes, I have no doubt that the US will do what it wants to do in the matter of ammunition design.
 
#7
6.8mm seems like a good bet. I believe remmington have developed the round fro US SF. I dont know the balistics off hand, but it seems like a good balance between 5.56 (too light) and 7.62 (too heavy).

Yes it would mean changes to STANAG, but hey we had SLR's for years after the M16 was standard issue to the spams. Britfor could adopt the new round in a new rifle (please something engineered not slapped togeather) in about 10 years time when the SA80 family and GPMG will need replacing.
 
#8
how bout we swap............sa80's and (bolloocks) lsw's for them.m4's m16's and maybe some m240's for us.fair swap i say!!
 
#9
teehee said:
how bout we swap............sa80's and (bolloocks) lsw's for them.m4's m16's and maybe some m240's for us.fair swap i say!!
I am guessing because SA80 A2 is significantly more reliable than the M16. We already have the under slung grenade launcher and Minimi. The GPMG is better than the M60 Hence the American Special Forces tend to use GPMG

Dave
 
#10
boney_m said:
Unfortunately they cant change the caliber due to NATO complience. If the're interested, we've got a few hundred thousand SA80 A2's they can have :wink:

Boney
It didn't stop them changing over to 5.56mm when 7.62mm was NATO compliment.
I would like to see the British Experimental .280 looked at again, and come to think about it do we actually need to be calibre complient these days even within NATO now that we are friends with Boris again?

When was the last time we lent or borrowed small arms ammunition from the Spams?
 
#14
When was the last time we borrowed small arms ammo off the spams
Telic 1 by all acounts.
 
#15
MrPVRd said:
Why not develop an electric ignition small arms firing system? This has been investigated by world-class firearms and military experts.

http://www.ww2incolor.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=261&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0



It is an interesting concept but it would have to have better reliability than firing pin precaution cap before it would be considered for military use. Another issue would be the energy source to create the spark.

Some of the most accurate civilian rifles already have electronic triggers. It is just like the modern cars with no mechanical linkage from brake to calliper!

I can only assume these cars have 100% reliability with these systems because failure could be catastrophic.

Dave
 
#16
The L118 Light Gun has always had an electrical firing system. It suffers from 2 problems. Damp, if it gets wet the spark producing mechanism can stop working or become less reliable, nothing more irritating than tugging the firing lever twice! Secondly it suffers from static problems, which requires, once the primer has had the cruciform removed and is un earthed, for the handler to be wearing non-static gloves or else it could go off. How irritating would that be as a round bursts off in its box or in your hand as you're loading it into the mag? Just a thought... if this is avoidable in a rifle excellent!
 
#17
woody said:
When was the last time we borrowed small arms ammo off the spams
Telic 1 by all acounts.
Point taken Woody!

But when we do use it there are problens either with their ammo in SA80's or (I am told) when they use our stuff (ejection problems, can anybody confirm this?)

So is it time to go our own way with a British calibre choice?
 
#18
Devilishdave said:
Some of the most accurate civilian rifles already have electronic triggers. It is just like the modern cars with no mechanical linkage from brake to calliper!
The electronic triggers in civilian rifles are electrically-released firing pins, working with mechanically triggered (i.e. percussion) ammunition, rather than electrically-triggered ammunition.

In the Olympic-style target rifle disciplines, I only know of one bloke on the UK scene with an electronic trigger; and he's stuck with it through sheer bloody-mindedness, and a couple of his own little re-designs.Unfortunately, he's not winning things at a domestic level, so it's hardly an advert for electronics v. mechanicals......

The electronic triggers are also rare on the International scene; certainly, I doubt you'd find that any of the Olympic medallists used one. It just doesn't provide that much of an advantage.
 

Mr Happy

LE
Moderator
#19
5.56 is different from country a to b (or should that be factory a to b). Weight, balance, charge amount, charge type, velocity, dynamics in temperature changes (etc) and length of the rounds are all different. But it should all still go bang, its just the follow up weapon cycle and POA that may be a problem
 
#20
Is caseless ammo still being looked at, and is it a realistic option? I seem to recall that FN released a small PDW for REMFy types that held 50 rnds in a disposable plastic mag. I'm no expert, but the idea struck me as a good one.
 

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