US Army News and updates general discussion

Terran

Well-Known Member
it’s a good video though I think he missed on some of the counter arguments that have been made. I note that they are almost all about the XM5 often ignoring the Xm250.
The ones I often see have been First the weight issue.
XM5 is heavier than M4 no denying. Even when fully configured an M4A1 with acog, full magazine and suppressor Will weigh less than full XM5 similarly configured again no denial. The counter is that most of the weight on American infantry is armor and other kit not the weapon. Also if you compare not to M4 but M110A1 or K1 configured As a SDMR a role it’s favorable. The Designated marksman roles is normally not on the table of organization. With the XM5 and XM157 the throw of a leaver and push of a button any rifleman has the ability to make a DMR shot. Making said function redundant.

Some claim XM5 is bigger than M4 which is generally false. As the XM5 was designed to fit inside M4’s footprint it’s even shorter than it’s competition the RM277. Almost every image of XM5 is with the suppressor attached and stock deployed. Which is how it’s intended to be deployed. Yet the can comes off giving you a weapon the same length as M4 and the stock folds dropping the length by almost a third.

Next is normally it will screw up logistics. Clearly not for the infantry formation who will streamline from 9mm in M17/M18, 5.56 in M4 and M249, 7.62x51 in SDMR and M240 to 9mm in M17/M18 to 6.8x51mm in M5,M250 and M240.
Armored units might as I am not sure the Army is converting the coax guns.

Fighting the last war (Afghanistan) or it doctrine from pre-Vietnam. They will then in many cases point to Ukraine. Of course the Russians seem not to have wide spread body armor, one of the stated reasons for the NGSW. Just because in the past the Army hasn’t issues AP widely doesn’t mean they won’t in the future assuming they find a solution to the Tungsten sourcing.
Well yes in Afghanistan US forces faced engagements beyond their effective ranges famously, so to in Iraq, so to in Mogadishu. That’s not unique to the last war. Many assume urban is CQB but really CQB is indoors or Police work where you only have a handful of suspects in a single building and not multiple adversary who could be engaging from multiple locations in mutual support. Which lead to the DMR in US forces, they started with M16 builds but then moved to M14 builds now AR10 builds. This renders those obsolete.

The new “M14”. M14 was an evolution of M1 Garand it fixed the Magazine issue of the M1 but by the time it appeared a new concept of rifles had matured. The US ordinance board had dismissed the STG44 as a low quality POS. But by 1951 we’re looking into weapons like AR15. They set to modernize M1 instead. The problems of the M14 it’s controllability in full auto or lack there in are the results of the time and limitations of the pedigree. They were trying to build an improved World war 2 rifle in 1959.
XM5 isn’t that. It’s trying to push beyond 5.56x45mm limitations, considering advances in electronics and scopes well also trying to limit the sound and flash profiles of night vision.

80K PSI is impractical, uncontrollable it will self destruct… clearly not as we know the Army has been testing these things. This one mostly seems to come from fans of the RM277.
 
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ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
I noticed that he asked the question about what would happen to the M240 / MAG58 weapons. IIRC the new 6.8mm round is 6.8mm x 51 so in theory all that would be required is a barrel change. The propellant case remains the same dimensions. The receiver and everything else wouldn't be affected. The same would apply with coax 7.62mm guns and that could save a lot of money.
 

Terran

Well-Known Member
I know they are looking at it for the L version of the M240. The Titanium receiver American iteration. Perhaps the B version.
I am just not sure about the Coax version. I mean no reason they couldn’t, it’s that I am not going to try and make a jump here without a document that I could point to on this one.
Also I was hopeful big army would take a long look at the MG338 as a potential replacement for the M240 in the weapons squad. I mean .338 Norma chambered MG with a M240 weight that’s a beast.
Dillon Aero who makes the M134 Minigun has demonstrated a Minigun in 6.8x51mm and shown one in .338Norma at 2020 shot show.
 

FormerDirtDart

Well-Known Member
I noticed that he asked the question about what would happen to the M240 / MAG58 weapons. IIRC the new 6.8mm round is 6.8mm x 51 so in theory all that would be required is a barrel change. The propellant case remains the same dimensions. The receiver and everything else wouldn't be affected. The same would apply with coax 7.62mm guns and that could save a lot of money.
We'll have to wait and see. The higher pressure ammo will likely require at least tweaks to the operating system to ensure part wear at a similar rate.
Also I was hopeful big army would take a long look at the MG338 as a potential replacement for the M240 in the weapons squad. I mean .338 Norma chambered MG with a M240 weight that’s a beast.
Dillon Aero who makes the M134 Minigun has demonstrated a Minigun in 6.8x51mm and shown one in .338Norma at 2020 shot show.
I really don't see that happening. While the weapon's weight is a serious improvement of the M240/MAG the ammo, even with weight reducing polymer casing, will still be heavier, and far larger than 7.62 rounds. Typically a .338 Norma Mag bullet weighs ~75% as much as a entire 7.62 NATO round, and complete round being 22mm longer (+30%) and the case is nearly 3mm (+25%) wider. Even with weight reduction you can likely expect a 50% increase in weight per round and a 50% increase in space required.
My bet would be on a "heavy" M250 with a longer barrel to give a slight boost in range & accuracy in the GPMG role
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
We'll have to wait and see. The higher pressure ammo will likely require at least tweaks to the operating system to ensure part wear at a similar rate.

I really don't see that happening. While the weapon's weight is a serious improvement of the M240/MAG the ammo, even with weight reducing polymer casing, will still be heavier, and far larger than 7.62 rounds. Typically a .338 Norma Mag bullet weighs ~75% as much as a entire 7.62 NATO round, and complete round being 22mm longer (+30%) and the case is nearly 3mm (+25%) wider. Even with weight reduction you can likely expect a 50% increase in weight per round and a 50% increase in space required.
My bet would be on a "heavy" M250 with a longer barrel to give a slight boost in range & accuracy in the GPMG role
My understanding is that the round itself has provided the extra range and velocity. It was specifically designed by the army. IIRC the charge in cartridge is the same as that in the 7.62mm x 51.
 

FormerDirtDart

Well-Known Member
My understanding is that the round itself has provided the extra range and velocity. It was specifically designed by the army. IIRC the charge in cartridge is the same as that in the 7.62mm x 51.
The round is not designed by the Army, only the bullet is. The round is Sig's design to meet the Army performance requirements
Sig's 6.8 round generates around 80,000 PSI chamber pressure. 7.62 NATO, ~60,000 PSI
The higher pressure is need to meet range/energy requirements because the XM5 barrel is even shorter than a M4s in order to meet the Army's weight requirement
 

FormerDirtDart

Well-Known Member
I really don't see that happening. While the weapon's weight is a serious improvement of the M240/MAG the ammo, even with weight reducing polymer casing, will still be heavier, and far larger than 7.62 rounds. Typically a .338 Norma Mag bullet weighs ~75% as much as a entire 7.62 NATO round, and complete round being 22mm longer (+30%) and the case is nearly 3mm (+25%) wider. Even with weight reduction you can likely expect a 50% increase in weight per round and a 50% increase in space required.
My bet would be on a "heavy" M250 with a longer barrel to give a slight boost in range & accuracy in the GPMG role
My apologize, it's late and when I estimated a 50% increase in space required I was only thinking in two dimensions. But ammo isn't flat. :)
.338 Norma Mag will actually take up over twice the cube space as 7.62 NATO, a 100% increase. 1.272 cu in compared to 0.625 cu in per round.
 

Ranger25

Active Member
Staff member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #449
the US Army has been evaluating the SPIKE NLOS system for some time. LM has integrated the system for immediate fielding onto the JLTV platform but states its palletized rails can be easily moved to a variety of vehicles quickly. The SPIKE give operators a highly mobile strike and ISR platform capable of ranges out to a current t 32KM. LM is working to extend beyo9nd with a goal of 5OKM. SPIKE can change mission mid flight or abort if needed. Given lessons learned from the current conflict small, mobile, extended range strike will b will be paramount to dismounted units

 

Big_Zucchini

Well-Known Member
The US Army has also evaluated the Spike Firefly.

Despite its name, the Spike Firefly isn't a missile or resembles any of the other Spikes visually or energetically. It's a mini UAS for close range and urban combat.
The Switchblade and the evaluated Uvision Hero are not particularly suitable for urban environment due to their high speed, and the Firefly fills that gap.
 

FormerDirtDart

Well-Known Member
The US Army has also evaluated the Spike Firefly.

Despite its name, the Spike Firefly isn't a missile or resembles any of the other Spikes visually or energetically. It's a mini UAS for close range and urban combat.
The Switchblade and the evaluated Uvision Hero are not particularly suitable for urban environment due to their high speed, and the Firefly fills that gap.
This video will likely reinforce your assessment
 

Terran

Well-Known Member
the US Army has been evaluating the SPIKE NLOS system for some time. LM has integrated the system for immediate fielding onto the JLTV platform but states its palletized rails can be easily moved to a variety of vehicles quickly. The SPIKE give operators a highly mobile strike and ISR platform capable of ranges out to a current t 32KM. LM is working to extend beyo9nd with a goal of 5OKM. SPIKE can change mission mid flight or abort if needed. Given lessons learned from the current conflict small, mobile, extended range strike will b will be paramount to dismounted units

I remember in February Elbit showed a L-ATV (JLTV) with a Spear 120mm mortar on the back. A few days back Oshkosh was reported to be mounting turrets with 25mm guns earlier the US was looking at a M230LF in a similar setup. JLTV isn’t just defensive now it’s got teeth. New 25mm Chain Gun Turret Boosts JLTV's Anti-Armor Punch
This video will likely reinforce your assessment
It kinda reminds me of the Class I UAS concept from the long dead FCS. Only this one goes Boom.
 

Terran

Well-Known Member
And Lonestar Future Weapons has launched a protest with the GAO.



Last month SIG Sauer of New Hampshire won the contract for the 6.8x51mm hybrid metallic cartridge, XM5 Spear rifle based off the MCX line of carbine , XM250 MG68 LMG.
True Velocity/Lonestar Future weapons/Beretta has its competitor offering a Polymer cased cartridge and two configurations of a Bullpup rifle the RM277.

Sig has been on a bit of a winning streak in US Army and Socom bids with the MHS in the form of the M17, M18 pistols, Suppressed Upper receiver group, Socom’s PDW in the form of the Rattler MCX, US Army SDMR optic. They have also lost a few the M110A1 CSASS and the SubCompact weapons bids.
True Velocity/Lonestar Future Weapon (as far as I can tell Lonestar is owned by TV) and Sig are both set to bid for the Upcoming Socom Lightweight Machine gun-Medium. Sig with the Mg338 and TV/LS with the formerly GDLS LWMMG.
Now Sig’s win in the MHS was protested to the GAO by Glock.
Though some still fight that battle, on the vast endless plains that make up the no man’s land of these inter-webs. where upon the holy keyboard warriors fueled by gallons of Bang Delish Strawberry kiss do war eternal hurling insults, memes and fact sheets striving for Glory and Honor in the halls of Stovokor… All in the name Of Gaston Glock’s Perfection… The GAO concluded that the Army was doing its due diligence and frankly destructive testing is over rated.
Past results may not be indicative of future outcomes, yet I expect Sig to still have a contract. This will however slow things down.
 

Redlands18

Well-Known Member
I remember in February Elbit showed a L-ATV (JLTV) with a Spear 120mm mortar on the back. A few days back Oshkosh was reported to be mounting turrets with 25mm guns earlier the US was looking at a M230LF in a similar setup. JLTV isn’t just defensive now it’s got teeth. New 25mm Chain Gun Turret Boosts JLTV's Anti-Armor Punch

It kinda reminds me of the Class I UAS concept from the long dead FCS. Only this one goes Boom.
Its difficult not to think about top weight on the L-ATV with a 25mm Turret with fully loaded magazines fitted, especially if the Vehicle is empty. Certainly it would not be as simple as it looks.
 

Terran

Well-Known Member
Its difficult not to think about top weight on the L-ATV with a 25mm Turret with fully loaded magazines fitted, especially if the Vehicle is empty. Certainly it would not be as simple as it looks.
Since we are on the subject, the Marines just showed off their take on the same. As you can see it’s being done. Probably want to take corners carefully but at least L-ATV comes from the factory with electronic Stability control vs Humvee which requires a retrofit.
 

Bob53

Active Member
I read this article about the renewal program and the airforces campaign to retire the A10s as they are not survivable in contested air space.

If the a10s are not survivable in the CAS role what does it mean for the AH64s and other front line choppers, spectres etc?
 

STURM

Well-Known Member
It would depend on the threat environment; are these assets operating in permissive airspace against opponents like the Taliban or in airspace similar to the Ukraine where one side has large numbers of medium range SAMs and has received a large quantity of MANPADS/V-SHORADS.

I suspect that quite a few countries who wanted to get CAS assets might now get armed UASs as a cheaper to procure; less resource intensive and at times more practical alternative to manned fixed wing and rotary platforms. Like manned platforms however UASs need permissive airspace to effectively operate in but they can be harder to detect and target.
 

Big_Zucchini

Well-Known Member
I read this article about the renewal program and the airforces campaign to retire the A10s as they are not survivable in contested air space.

If the a10s are not survivable in the CAS role what does it mean for the AH64s and other front line choppers, spectres etc?
It means the AH-64 will remain in service until its own replacement arrives, at which point CAS will shift from 1 fixed wing and 1 rotary platform, to a MUM-T conops.
 

Bob53

Active Member
It means the AH-64 will remain in service until its own replacement arrives, at which point CAS will shift from 1 fixed wing and 1 rotary platform, to a MUM-T conops.
Thanks for the response but doesn’t really make it clear…why would UASF want to retire A10 as not survivable in contested air space but the US Army and others including Australia continue to invest in AH64? Would this mean that AH64 would not operate in a contested environment? or just different approach’s and risk acceptance from USAF and US Army? I would of thought an A10 would be more survivable than an Apache?
 
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