By Tom Knighton
The United States Army has announced it won’t follow the Marine Corps’ lead in adopting the H&K M27 IAR, or Infantry Automatic Rifle. It seems that the Army wants to develop a completely new system, rather than buy something that’s ready to go right now.
You may have heard the U.S. Army is looking to replace the M4 carbine and M249 squad automatic weapon. Many surmised that the service would follow the Marines and adopt the Heckler & Koch M27 IAR (Infantry Automatic Rifle). Not so fast. Testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee’s Airland subcommittee on the subject of Army modernization, officials said the plan now is to pursue an entirely new platform called the the Next Generation Squad Weapon.
According to Military.com, the subject got brought up when Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Arkansas, asked about the Army’s effort to defeat enemy body armor which the 5.56mm cartridge can’t penetrate.
“There has been a proliferation of body armor, specifically Russian and Chinese, designed to defeat traditional 5.56mm NATO ammunition which is of course what our soldiers fire from their M4s,” Cotton said. “What are we doing to address what is a very serious issue for the soldier on the front lines?”
Lt. Gen. John Murray, Army Deputy Chief of Staff G-8, replied that the service was looking to address the issue in two phases. The first is a “near-term” solution in the form of the Squad Designated Marksman Rifle (SDM-R).
“That is a 7.62 capability that gives us the ability to penetrate the most advanced body armor in the world, along with the Advanced Armor Piercing round that’s in development,” Murray said. “We are accelerating the SDM-R, or the Squad Designated Marksman Rifle, to ’18 … We had hoped to accelerate the ADVAP Click to see the original article