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U.s. Army Next Generation Squad Automatic Rifle

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#21 Wobbly Head

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Posted 06 June 2017 - 1357 PM

They will test the Ultimax Mk XXXII, among other types, and then end up adopting another M16 variant again.

Don't forget spending couple hundreds millions on R&D.

That should be enought too keep Colt and Remington management running till the threat of a Democrat victory to spur the next panic buying spree.

#22 lastdingo

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Posted 06 June 2017 - 1407 PM

Russians and Syrians have no problems with engaging at distance.

 
Sigh, Mr. One-liner wrote another worthless line.
 
The Russian equivalent to the weapon described in the requirement above is a RPK-74, which VERY MUCH has issues at long ranges. It's hardly effective at 300 m.
SVD and PKM as well as the few Pechenegs can shoot farther with worthwhile promise, but so can M60, M240 and the DMRs and sniper rifles of the U.S.Army.
There's no Russian range advantage at all.
Same with Syrians.

 
Would you be so kind as to state the extent of your theoretical knowledge, and practical experience in the field of design, and manufacturing of small arms? Until then, leaving aside the question of politeness, perhaps you are not the most qualified person to call names.


You quoted a text that wasn't about design, but about the known performance of existing designs. Your feeble ad hominem attempt was a barrel burst.
Feel free to argue that RPK-74 has a better effective range than normal M249s if you have masochistic tendencies. I wouldn't recommend to do so otherwise.

You have no point against my quote if you don't argue exactly that. Well, of course you don't have a point - you only wanted to display hostility and attack me. - a.k.a. trolling.

-------------------

About others who brought into play mortars et cetera; TRADOC's and the U.S.Army's official policy is to fix issues first with doctrine or training before seeking a hardware solution. To fix the ROE/deconfliction mess of indirect fire support with longer-ranged small arms hardware is counter to this policy.
(BTW, I wrote some of the most scathing critiques on air space deconfliction published on the internet, so I am aware of that particular mess. The armed bureaucracies better repair such a mess directly than to workaround by adding several kilograms to already overburdened infantrymen!))


-------------------

The Russian equivalent to the weapon described in the requirement above is a RPK-74, which VERY MUCH has issues at long ranges. It's hardly effective at 300 m.
SVD and PKM as well as the few Pechenegs can shoot farther with worthwhile promise, but so can M60, M240 and the DMRs and sniper rifles of the U.S.Army.
There's no Russian range advantage at all.
Same with Syrians.

Difference is that US does not have 7.62x51/54 belt fed in a squad, while Russians do. OTOH, Russians don't have FS squad.


That's a doctrine issue, not a hardware issue.

Then again, I don't think there's a need for long infantry firefight ranges. Quick, decisive firefights happen at short ranges if at all.
I would understand a requirement to defeat soft targets behind walls such as typical in Eastern European pre-fabricated building blocks, but 600 m range?
For what is 600 m range good other than to needlessly signal your presence and waste your munitions with harassing fires?
You cannot really suppress at this distance without a better mount than can be expected for a M249 successor!

Edited by lastdingo, 06 June 2017 - 1513 PM.


#23 sunday

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Posted 06 June 2017 - 1508 PM

Thought so, little dilettante.


Edited by sunday, 06 June 2017 - 1508 PM.


#24 lastdingo

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Posted 06 June 2017 - 1628 PM

Thought so, little dilettante.


I graciously accept your admission that you can't challenge my point directly in any way, as proven by you being obviously hostile, but not offering any counter to my point (which actually had a whole line or supportive reasoning with it from the start).

Little "sunday", much loudmouth, no substance, so sad!



#25 sunday

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Posted 06 June 2017 - 1704 PM

No need. You have showed plenty of ignorance in matters you tried to pontificate about, like orbital heights of satellites, antenna dimensions needed for a certain wavelength, and doctrine used in amphibious operations, to name a few.

 

And then, you try project your shortcomings on others.

 

No wonder a German general left us this piece of wisdom. Surely he found enough material of the four types to recognize every pattern.


Edited by sunday, 06 June 2017 - 1705 PM.


#26 bojan

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Posted 06 June 2017 - 1707 PM

...

Feel free to argue that RPK-74 has a better effective range than normal M249s if you have masochistic tendencies. I wouldn't recommend to do so otherwise...

 

Ugh, what RPK-74? main firepower is PKM, that at 7.5kg empty hits nice balance between portability and controllability. Minimi is what, 6.5kg? Sure ammo is heavier, but practical range is also, so you might actually use less for a suppression/elimination.

 

 

Then again, I don't think there's a need for long infantry firefight ranges. Quick, decisive firefights happen at short ranges if at all.

Everyone who went into at least semi-serious war with intermediate cal SAW wanted to have real full power LMG in a squad. Brits did in Afghan, even US carried 240s (about 1.5x heavier than PKM) in squad sized patrols.Soviets did not have PKM in squads before Afghan, after that they did. Yugoslavia did not have PKM in inf squad in '80s, come 1991. and it is put in the squad ASAP.

I would say that those people who decided on that have a tad more experience in matters than you do.

 

PS, FS squad is nice and good until you get to patrol in squad strength. Then a MG in FS squad that is 3km away (or even closer but at wrong position to bring it in action) is pretty much useless.



#27 lastdingo

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Posted 06 June 2017 - 1814 PM

Oh, boy.

I'm a German. I was trained on MG3. I fully understand the concept of a universal machinegun. My folks kinda invented it. The Bundeswehr hardly knew any other concept of machineguns while I was in uniform.

 

I mentioned the RPK-74 because it's the light machinegun of the Russians. I mentioned the M240, M60 right away as well. The point is that Russian small arms in themselves don't provide a range advantage over Westerners, something that was kind of asserted here.

 

"PS, FS squad is nice and good until you get to patrol in squad strength. Then a MG in FS squad that is 3km away (or even closer but at wrong position to bring it in action) is pretty much useless."

 

Blame that platoon leader or his company CO if that FS squad is needed, or accept that "useless" is just fine if it's not needed. A TO&E does not dictate to keep the fire support squad spaced like that.

 

Besides, you did not address what I wrote about why long range fires aren't necessary or desirable because of the weight penalty.

 

 

"Everyone who went into at least semi-serious war with intermediate cal SAW wanted to have real full power LMG in a squad. Brits did in Afghan, even US carried 240s (about 1.5x heavier than PKM) in squad sized patrols.Soviets did not have PKM in squads before Afghan, after that they did. Yugoslavia did not have PKM in inf squad in '80s, come 1991."

 

I notice that NONE of them faced an opposition capable of delivering much or any accurate indirect fires.

 

Sure, soldiers who get annoyed by harassing fires at 300-800 m may desire to be able to shoot back. The extra weight is a pain especially in the hilly and mountainous terrains where such long range small arms harassing fires are most typical, but the primitive desire to return fires is perfectly common and understandable in such situations.

 

Soldiers who know that they'll be mortared or shelled within 2-4 minutes of being detected and identified have very different priorities. Such as running quick enough to break contact before death arrives. Or avoiding detection, so opposing forces won't shoot at them from more than 100, maybe 30 m distance.

 

The problem is the serious war, not the semi-serious war. Semi-serious wars are great power gaming bullshit. To deter or if need be defend in a serious war is the only noble purpose of armed services.


Edited by lastdingo, 06 June 2017 - 1820 PM.


#28 shep854

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Posted 06 June 2017 - 2138 PM

NEWS FLASH:

SOCOM Wants…U.S. Made PKM and NSV?

 

http://www.thefirear...s-made-pkm-nsv/

"Special Operations Command recently posted a solicitation on the government ran Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) resource in regards to a need for a domestic U.S. manufacturer to produce exact copies of the Soviet 7.62x54r mm PKM medium machine gun, and the 12.7x108mm KSV heavy machine gun"


Edited by shep854, 06 June 2017 - 2140 PM.


#29 Simon Tan

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Posted 06 June 2017 - 2303 PM

.



#30 bojan

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 0604 AM

...

Germans might have invented GPMG concept (arguable, there were Italian, Czech and Soviet attempts before that), but you have forgotten your own squad MG doctrine obviously.

Simon and Sunday are right, you are really clueless.

 

 

I mentioned the RPK-74 because it's the light machinegun of the Russians. I mentioned the M240, M60 right away as well. The point is that Russian small arms in themselves don't provide a range advantage over Westerners, something that was kind of asserted here.

"Spherical elephant in vacuum". You don't need to compare RPK-74 with Minimi since it is not only SAW/LMG in Soviet/Russian squad, you need to compare squad with RPK-74, PKM, 2 x AK-74+UBGL + SVD + 3 x AK + RPG-7 (+ single shots) vs other squad.

 

Whole 5.56mm option for all squad weapons emerged as a kneejerk reaction to combination of "Soviets did it", bad idea of fighting mounted in IFVs on nuclear battlefield and cargo-culting on US army experience. Which is fine and well, but US has very unique squad structure (French type), while EU armies mostly just replaced previous 7.62x51 MGs (coming from a German type infantry squad) with Minimi, or worse with mag fed SAW. And even US is complaining about being outranged, while at the same time doing everything to enlarge that problem...

 

While Europe was embracing SAW concept, at the same moment Soviets were moving away from 5.45mm SAWs in favor of PKM (one RPK was replaced in infantry squad with PKM) due the war experience.

 

For mech infantry all 5.56mm is perfectly OK, since you always have IFV for long range.

For leg infantry, it is not. Best would be "arms room" concept, but it does not work due armies being all the same and penny pinching.


Edited by bojan, 07 June 2017 - 0604 AM.


#31 lastdingo

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 0628 AM

bojan, you're intermingling doctrine with equipment.

I don't need to compare SAW-equipped squads with squads that have mixed LMG armament because that difference is about doctrine and TO&E.

A requirement for a new gun is about hardware. The army can change its doctrine and TO&E if that's the problem - they choose to pursue a longer ranged LMG (hardware solution) instead. Hence I compared it to the Russian hardware kinda-equivalent (while mentioning the whole range of support small arms of both countries).

The army could integrate M240Ls into its squads if it thought that the Russian squad with a PKM is superior.

 

I did not forget the German squad LMG doctrine. I disagree with it and disagreed with it for a long time. The MG3 was always too heavy (and a single machinegun for a squad wasn't enough for single squad leapfrogging or continuous suppression), and both MG4 and MG5 are still not optimized for agility AND are less useful for Feuerüberfall (surprise fire) than was the MG3. The currently pursued solutions are conservative ones befitting the fashion of the 1980's.

 

-------------

For clarification; I don't care about so-called small wars, I only care about deterrence and defence against so-called "peer" OPFOR.

Furthermore, when it's about outdoor infantry combat I am convinced that infantry has to break contact or at least change positions by 100+ m within 2 (at worst 4) minutes of being detected. This leads to an expectation for ~99.9% hiding or moving and ~0.1% very, very short firefights when outdoors.

Small arms fires over long distances make no sense in my opinion.

 

This is even true for almost all sniping. You should WANT to observe OPFOR at long ranges instead of punishing them into hiding from your observation. The more careless they are the better is your situation in regard to your manoeuvres, security etc. So don't teach them to be invisible to you for a little bit of non-decisive attrition and emotional relief.

 

The wish for the ability to kill at long distances with small arms is primitive and devoid of tactics thought in my opinion.

To burden the infantry with additional mass for this counterproductive ability is irresponsible.



#32 Gregory

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 0939 AM

NEWS FLASH:
SOCOM Wants…U.S. Made PKM and NSV?
 
http://www.thefirear...s-made-pkm-nsv/
"Special Operations Command recently posted a solicitation on the government ran Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) resource in regards to a need for a domestic U.S. manufacturer to produce exact copies of the Soviet 7.62x54r mm PKM medium machine gun, and the 12.7x108mm KSV heavy machine gun"


A very strange requirement. Surely we can easily procure them from Poland, Bulgaria or even Serbia. It makes zero sense to reverse engineer them.

#33 Simon Tan

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 1211 PM

Cover story.  Domestic US production means nobody can see any paper trail on sanitized weapons supplied covertly. I keeps people out of the loop. Parts kits are tracked, just not as closely. 



#34 chino

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 1253 PM

Keep wondering why the Soviets/Russians can keep producing great MG from RPD to PKM at a lighter weight yet robust and reliable. The FN MAG is great but if you are foot infantry it is really heavy piece of kit of lug around.



#35 lastdingo

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 1316 PM

AFAIK RPD wasn't really great.

PKM is quite a feat, though, especially considering the obsolete rimmed design of the cartridge case.

 

I never understood the U.S. Army's preference for the M240 anyway, at least not post-1990 or so.

The SS-77 became much better than a M240 once the teething problems were solved.

M240 redesigns approached its weight much later only.



#36 lastdingo

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 2049 PM

Some related graphics

 

mar03.jpg

taken from here

http://www.sadefense....com/wp/?p=2941

(author Jim Schatz, a known "proponent" of something bigger than 5.56 mm. He's hardware-oriented)

 

I suppose 800 m is a rather optimistic figure for an ordinary SVD.

500 m with M4 is optimistic.

800 m is not really the effective range for 5.8 mm cartridges, though the QBU88 DMR or tripod machineguns may occasionally shoot with that calibre at such a range (DMR mostly in calm winds, I suppose). The bullet retains useful energy and penetration at this distance, but susceptibility to wind, huge bullet drop and the almost 3 MOA dispersion of PRC carbines keep the effective range of this light cartridge well below 800 m.

 

Note that the supposedly gap-exploiting enemies didn't really achieve much of anything in firefights in Iraq or Afghanistan.

The following graphic also belies the "ASSUMED" line.

 

 

infantry+combat+ranges+graph.jpg

 

These curves suggest 90% coverage for a mere 300 m range in European terrains. There's hardly anything to be gained by doubling effective range to 600 m except on mounted combat-dominated desert terrain. Mountains (not shown here) are tricky, because every gram of additional weapon & munition weight hurts there much more than in flat terrain. It's very difficult to hit anything by shooting uphill and firefights from crest to crest can be avoided by simply using cover unless you're in a crossfire.

 

 

8 years ago I blogged quite the same as I wrote in this thread.


Edited by lastdingo, 07 June 2017 - 2052 PM.


#37 shep854

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Posted 08 June 2017 - 0822 AM

The graphic is comparing US infantry rifles to Threat support weapons.  Apples to orangesmar03.jpg


Edited by shep854, 08 June 2017 - 0824 AM.


#38 lastdingo

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Posted 08 June 2017 - 0830 AM

I wrote "proponent" in parenthesis because the better word would be propagandist, but I didn't want a fight about it...

 

Though technically, the 5.8 and 6 mm calibres are or would also be for assault rifles.

5.8 mm assault rifles don't use the heavy bullet cartridge, of course.

 

It's that kind of years-long propaganda that IMO influenced the requirements.


Edited by lastdingo, 08 June 2017 - 0831 AM.


#39 Panzermann

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Posted 08 June 2017 - 0858 AM

The graphic is comparing US infantry rifles to Threat support weapons.  Apples to orangesmar03.jpg

 

Bollocks to throw the popular-republican chinese 5,8*42 mm DBP87 and related cartridge family together with the czar's full power three line cartridge. The 6mm unified russian cartridge is dead as can be. And I agree. to compare support weapons to geberal issue rifles is apples to oranges.



#40 TTK Ciar

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Posted 08 June 2017 - 1120 AM

Does it seem to anyone else like each change in US military cartridge overcompensates for the lessons learned from its predecessor?

30-06 was a good machine gun cartridge, but a bit too long and powerful for an infantry rifle cartridge. This led to the development of 7.62x51, which is a bit underpowered and too short for bullets to have both good weight and a long, narrow ogive shape.

5.56x45 was an early stab at the US developing an assault rifle cartridge, and it has proven a little too light for the role. This led to the development of .264 USA, which is a little too heavy (302 grain with brass case and 108 grain bullet) for infantry to carry a full load, and too wide for bullets of a desirable weight to have a good ballistic coefficient.

In both of these cases, the old cartridge was only a little off, and its successor significantly overcompensated.




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