U.S. Army leaders are one step closer to deciding on a supplier for its Next Generation Squad Weapon (NGSW ) system which will replace trusty 5.56mm M4A1 carbine and the M249 squad automatic weapon used in combat units until now. A Texas-based Textron ammunition company recently unveiled its new 6.8mm cartridge to be used on the NGSW from 2022 and DRDO and Textron officials had a closed-door meeting on possible collaboration on the development of next-gen 6.8mm Cartridge under defense collaboration between U.S.-India, Defense Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI).

US Army is switching from 5.56mm to 6.8mm rounds and DRDO already has developed a new assault rifle prototype chambered for 6.8×43 mm rounds and it will be ready for trial in the Infantry School located at Mhow soon.

New DRDO assault rifle prototype will use the long-stroke gas piston mechanisms of the INSAS Rifle and a new barrel and ammunition developed by India’s Armament Research & Development Establishment (ARDE) located in Pune. In 2013-2014 the army had summarily rejected three prototypes of the gas-operated MCIWS, designed to fire 5.56 mm, 7.62 mm and 6.8 x 43 mm special purpose cartridge, by merely changing the barrel and magazine.

6.8mm rounds on MCIWS were rejected because, in 2013, 6.8mm rounds were not used by many armies around the world with now US Army switching to 6.8mm rounds, DRDO developed assault rifle is back to reckon with the Indian Army.

Ak-206 which India will mass-produce locally is a 7.62 x 39 mm assault rifle to be used by regular infantry. 72,400 Sig Sauer’s SIG716 7.62×51 mm assault rifle ordered by the Indian Army will replace the aging Indian-made 5.56x45mm Insas rifles to be used by the frontline soldiers. UAE firm will supply its Caracal’s CAR 816 close-quarter carbine which uses 5.56×45 round for Indoor Operations during Close Quarter Battles.

The advantage of 6.8 mm rounds is that they are lighter than the 7.62 mm rounds and soldiers can carry more ammo. 6.8 mm rounds have longer range and greater body-armor-penetrating power than the 5.56mm rounds which are mostly used for Close Quarter Battles.


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