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The Quartermaster's Stores => Weapons & Ammo => Topic started by: Matt_Fisher on July 23, 2010, 09:06:12

Title: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: Matt_Fisher on July 23, 2010, 09:06:12
http://www.military.com/news/article/new-ammo-slashes-machine-gun-weight.html

Army Engineers at the Picatinny Arsenal, N.J.-based Joint Service Small Arms Program office have been working for the last six years on a radical approach to ammunition and weapons that has the potential to cut the weight Soldiers carry by nearly 50 percent.

Researchers are using so-called "cased telescoped" ammunition that does away with the propellant-holding brass shell and replaces it with a lightweight plastic case. So far the program, dubbed Lightweight Small Arms Technologies, has built three M-249 Squad Automatic Weapon-like machine guns and fired more than 10,000 of the lighter rounds with the same rate of fire and accuracy of a standard SAW.

"This delivers the same lethality as the systems you already have, but it's a lot more effective because it's much lighter," said Korene Phillips, lead engineer for the LSAT program, in an exclusive interview with Military.com.

Engineers have also built a prototype M-4 that fires the lighter rounds. The experimental M-4 weighs about the same as a standard M-4 but has a 40-round magazine that's slimmer than the current one and straight instead of curved. And since half the weight of a legacy bullet is due to the brass case, a Soldier's load of more than 200 rounds in combat will drop substantially, Phillips said.

Born of the Army's "Advanced Combat Rifle" search in the 1980s, cased telescoped ammo and the much more technically complicated "caseless" ammunition were relegated to the laboratory after the Army shifted its gaze toward greater lethality rather than weight reduction, Phillips said. But with the U.S. military involved in two combat zones and a renewed emphasis on shaving pounds off a trooper's load, the Army decided to take another look at the decades-old technology.

"What we were trying to do back then was decrease load and increase lethality," Phillips said. "And we liked to joke that that was breaking the laws of physics."

With millions of dollars in Army research investment, the JSSAP office says it will be ready to put weapons in warfighters' hands by next year. Phillips said eight new SAWs will be built by AAI Corporation. She also said that the office plans to run an exercise with an infantry squad equipped with the new lightweight machine gun and 100,000 rounds of cased telescoped ammo.

It's unclear what unit will get the experimental weapons for the test, which is slated for the summer of 2011, but the Army, Marine Corps and Special Operations Command are playing a key role in LSAT development, Phillips said.

"We're just trying to get a comparison of the squad as it is today with the M-249" and the experimental weapon, Phillips said. "Our plan is just to replace the M-249 in the squad with the [new] weapon and see where that gets you with improvements in your time to complete the mission and your ability to complete the mission."

The standard SAW gunner's load comes in at around 40 pounds, Army officials say, which includes the weapon itself and 600 rounds of ammo. The experimental machine gun with cased telescoped ammo load comes in at 24 pounds.

The new cased telescope-firing SAW looks almost the same on the outside as its M-249 counterpart but uses a rotating action and a novel feed system that fires a standard 5.56mm ball projectile and ejects the plastic case and link from its own port.

"One of the other things we've completely avoided in this system is the failure to feed and failure to eject," Phillips added. "In your SAW system, that's where you primarily have failures and malfunctions."

The M-4 variant of the cased telescope rifle has a so-called "rising chamber" action that's fed ammo from the rear -- what JSSAP engineers jokingly call a "fauxpup" after the so-called "bullpup" operating systems popular with European small arms. It looks similar to a standard M-4, but the operating system actually gives the experimental rifle an extra four inches of barrel length, Phillips said.

While the cased telescoped ammo is almost ready for prime time, the more exotic caseless rounds still need some work, Phillips explained. Testers are having problems keeping the rounds -- which are essentially hard, molded propellant with an embedded 5.56 mm bullet -- from degrading in high heat. They're also expensive, hard to make, and tough on the shooter.

"We haven't had any volunteers to shoulder fire it," Phillips joked, adding her office hasn't gotten the approval to take it to the range. Excessive smoke, inexact timing and other uncertainties have kept the weapon attached to a bench.

"Nobody's knocking on my door asking to shoot it," she added.

Despite the immaturity -- and danger -- of the caseless technology, the Marine Corps is spearheading the research into the ammo because of its advantages in weight and size.

"It's a significantly smaller round of ammunition," Phillips said. "So from a Marine perspective, that's a big deal because of the way they travel."


With the US Army doing the bulk of the developmental work on 5.56 case telescoped ammo which will require an entirely new operating system for magazine and belt fed weapons, as well as an entirely new tooling set and manufacturing process for the ammunition itself, is this the time that we should be looking at alternative calibres to 5.56?  i.e. 6.5mm?

Alot of the arguments against a calibre conversion is the high cost of retooling industry and replacing weapons systems.  If there is a more effective intermediate calibre which could possibly replace both 5.56 and 7.62 wouldn't the LSAT program be the time and place to do so?
Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: George Wallace on July 23, 2010, 09:15:05
 ;D

http://www.military.com/news/article/new-ammo-slashes-machine-gun-weight.html

........... And since half the weight of a legacy bullet is due to the brass case, a Soldier's load of more than 200 rounds in combat will drop substantially, Phillips said.


As soon as I read that, I read: "Now the Basic Combat Load for the soldier can be increased to 400 rounds."     >:D

Interesting read.  Looks like they still have some serious hurdles to get over; smokeless, degredation of propellant, etc.
Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: Hamish Seggie on July 23, 2010, 09:20:25
;D

As soon as I read that, I read: "Now the Basic Combat Load for the soldier can be increased to 400 rounds."     >:D

Interesting read.  Looks like they still have some serious hurdles to get over; smokeless, degredation of propellant, etc.

And when this ammo is adpoted (if) that's exactly what will happen.
Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: Redeye on July 23, 2010, 11:43:38
Reminds me of the old joke about how technology has improved the lot of the infantry.  "In the old days, I had to carry around 100lbs of really heavy stuff.  Now I get to carry 100lbs of really light stuff!"

And when this ammo is adpoted (if) that's exactly what will happen.
Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: Carcharodon Carcharias on July 23, 2010, 16:29:09
IMHO, this will go the same way as caseless ammo.
Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: DexOlesa on July 23, 2010, 16:50:16
Actually the article states this stuff IS as old as caseless ammo and DID go the way of caseless ammo, but they are trying it again along with caseless ammo.
Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: Carcharodon Carcharias on July 23, 2010, 17:09:56
Actually the article states this stuff IS as old as caseless ammo and DID go the way of caseless ammo, but they are trying it again along with caseless ammo.

Born of the Army's "Advanced Combat Rifle" search in the 1980s, cased telescoped ammo and the much more technically complicated "caseless" ammunition were relegated to the laboratory after the Army shifted its gaze toward greater lethality rather than weight reduction, Phillips said. But with the U.S. military involved in two combat zones and a renewed emphasis on shaving pounds off a trooper's load, the Army decided to take another look at the decades-old technology

Seriously mate, do you think I am stupid?  ::) I can read, I am SIMPLY stating this will go no where part II, one does not have to be a rocket scientist to figure that out.
Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: Colin P on July 23, 2010, 17:15:48
Seen some of the modern blackpowder stuff? It's basically caseless ammo with a plastic cup to hold the bullet, out of the rear of the cup is a plastic rod which you slide made to fit compressed powder "donuts" onto the rod, then ram the works into the muzzle and add cap.
Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: NinerSix on July 23, 2010, 17:28:58
My thoughts always were that we were fine with the M16 FOW in 5.56, until such time as some revolutionary type of ammo came out.

If this ammo is it and can work with near 100% reliability and needs a new weeapon system for it to work, what caliber do we want? (yeah, I know, that old debate again.)
Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: Illegio on July 24, 2010, 03:53:10
Brits are already re-arming the Warrior MICV family of vehicles (http://www.dtic.mil/ndia/2009gunmissile/7961leslie.pdf) with a new turret featuring a 40mm CTA cannon, so certainly someone believes the concept is sound. I don't see the caseless concept taking off anytime soon in small arms, but the CTA concept has a great deal to recommend it over the current generation of ammunition with relatively little risk, compared to caseless designs. We jumped from 7.62 to 5.56 for less.
Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: KevinB on July 26, 2010, 09:34:02
CTA is going to be big...

  It may take a trickle down effect from Vehicles, but there is a lot of efforts being placed on this in small arms currently.

The advantages is offers both from cleaner weapons, and weight reductions are extremly important when more and more Armies are dismounting.
Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: 40below on July 26, 2010, 10:37:56
Kit Up has been on this issue like a fat kid on a donut and got their hands on the LSAT test shoot vid. It's here:

http://kitup.military.com/2010/07/lsat-test-shoot-video.html (http://kitup.military.com/2010/07/lsat-test-shoot-video.html)
Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: NavyShooter on August 01, 2010, 21:50:26
This sounds like a Generational change as opposed to an Incremental change.  Looking forward to more info.

NS
Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: MCG on August 02, 2010, 07:07:25
Looking forward to more info.
It is out there:  http://www.google.ca/search?source=ig&hl=en&rlz=1G1GGLQ_ENCA361&=&q=cased+telescoped+ammunition (http://www.google.ca/search?source=ig&hl=en&rlz=1G1GGLQ_ENCA361&=&q=cased+telescoped+ammunition)
Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: Tango18A on August 02, 2010, 11:14:16
This will allow us to upgrade the 25mm Turret to a larger cannon without sacrificing space in the turret, when the equipment becomes available.
Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: George Wallace on August 02, 2010, 11:17:22
This will allow us to upgrade the 25mm Turret to a larger cannon without sacrificing space in the turret, when the equipment becomes available.

How much larger a breech and recoil system can this turret take?
Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: Tango18A on August 02, 2010, 11:19:36
It might be possible to go to 35mm with the CTA. But will the trunion be able to withstand the force??? I don't know.
Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: Sheep Dog AT on August 02, 2010, 11:21:51
I wonder how this would effect hard extractions where on a traditional casing would be bent or otherwise mis-shappen but the case itself not breached.  If this one is made of plastic would the propellent not be spilled everywhere?
Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: Tango18A on August 02, 2010, 11:25:09
A shotgun hull is mostly plastic, and i haven't seen too many of those ripped open. But there a less forces present on a shotgun in regards to the cycling of the action then there are on support weapons firing from a belt.
Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: Sheep Dog AT on August 02, 2010, 16:24:45
I am sure you have seen 7.62mm rounds that are crushed and bent from the internals of the gun and that was sort of what I was thinking of as I wrote that.
Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: Tango18A on August 02, 2010, 16:29:06
Yes, I have. I hope they have made a hard enough plastic that is lighter than the brass casing. I just don't know how well the extended troop trials have gone. The article doesn't state any failures between rounds.
Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: KevinB on August 02, 2010, 20:43:37
The way CTA rounds are presented basically makes that highly unlikely (but everything is possible I suppose).

The CTA rounds I have are a thick polymer 'rimless'- on many designs they use a revolving chamber (which helps cooling) and empties are pushed forward when the new round is inserted, then the chamber rotates 180 and is fired etc.

CTA crew served/vehicle systems I have seen would require a rather extensive redesign of the LAV - they have been more optimized for RWS, or A/C mounting.


 
Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: Tango18A on August 02, 2010, 21:30:28
I think the main focus of the CCV project was to go with a RWS system. The less heads poking through the roof the better was their mindset. I like to have my head out of a hatch though, don't have to worry so much about a dirty objective lens. Just my dirty mind. >:D
Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: KevinB on August 02, 2010, 21:43:53
I hear you.
 I prefer to be out smelling and seeing.

  However from a crew protection standpoint - properly done RWS's can really be a lifesaver.

 I think one of the biggest boons to a CTA LAV cannon would be increased ammo capability.

Imagine a 300rd primary bin, and 120 rd secondary, and a thousand round coax bin...

That said I am a foot guy, so my primary interest is to be able to field a 7.62mm NATO performance round (range and energy) in a 16" carbine that does not have a dramatic load weight increase over 5.56mm

The idea of the 7x46 Murray in a CTA round intruiges me.

 I think a CTA system could be almost "clean gun' tech, in that it would be extremly low maintenance.








Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: Tango18A on August 02, 2010, 21:52:33
What about breach tolerances? Would they not be too tight for a sandy enviorment?
Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: KevinB on August 02, 2010, 22:28:49
Outside my lane, however from the LSAT stuff I don't think so, and I would guess larger calibers would tend to be affected less due to the whole aspect ratio of crud to round.  :-\
Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: Tango18A on August 02, 2010, 22:58:50
How is Knight planning to take advantage of this technology? With out releasing too much insider info.
Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: Petamocto on August 03, 2010, 22:03:05
Alot of the arguments against a calibre conversion is the high cost of retooling industry and replacing weapons systems.  If there is a more effective intermediate calibre which could possibly replace both 5.56 and 7.62 wouldn't the LSAT program be the time and place to do so?

The core of the argument rests with the "green" army being made up of different but overlapping capabilities, which can do more than an average homogenized mass of people who all have the same kit.

There are very real pros to the 5.56 NATO caliber, and very real pros to the 7.62 caliber.  You've heard them all before (less weight vs stopping power, less recoil vs longer range, etc), but with a mixed caliber you begin to lose the benefits of both.

With an intermediate cal (6mm, 6.5, 6.7, 6.8, 7mm, whatever) you (usually*) lose for everything you gain.  For every riflemen you give some "oomph" to, you have now made him less accurate on rapid rate close up.  Likewise, you have taken away some "oomph" from the GPMGs.

*Note* There are some studies that show that even an intermediate round may surpass the joules produced by a 7.62 NATO round at some distances, but joules are not the only factor of lethality.

Now where that brings us on this thread is that it's not really worth it for the CF to replace our entire ball-based small arms arsenal when it's not really that broken, because even if we believed every word of the glossy manufacturers' catalogs the relatively small gain in some performance would not justify it.  And as per above, in a green environment you may even lose capability.  Yes, everyone would have the same round, but at our detriment.  And on that note, with incoming ammo/weapon types on the horizon, it's not the time anyway.

Think of this analogy:  If you're single, it may make the most sense to have a vehicle that is a bit of an all around vehicle, but as a family is it better to have two medium SUVs, or a small car and a large truck?  With the two SUVs you can't do anything as good as some of the other vehicles can.  You'll never have the good economy of the small car when you need it and you'll never have the utility of a huge pickup. 
Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: KevinB on August 03, 2010, 23:24:35
Dude - you need to get out more  ;)

 What If I have a 7.62mm gun, that can recoil not too much more than a 5.56mm gun, that in CQB the shooters can have as fast split times and good as if not better accuracy, plus kills out to 800m

 Then imagine this capability in a lighter ammo


FYI that idiot Brit (Tony Williams)who is tilting at windmills with the 6.5 Grendel needs to do a little more research himself and not spout off factory crap. Per Advisison pretty much diesected his argument on that.

 However all the Danish and Norwegian info seem to be pushing them back into 7.62mm for personal weapons and LMG's

 *I which I would encourage anyone to challenge my comments, and demand I come up to Gagetown with a rifle to demo...
Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: Sheep Dog AT on August 03, 2010, 23:29:29
Same reasons to pass on the 6.8mm as the 6.5mm?
Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: Petamocto on August 04, 2010, 05:05:39
...Then imagine this capability in a lighter ammo...

Well yes, of course, that's the whole thing right there (or half of it, anyway).  The other half being defining exactly what "not that much more recoil" actually is.

Yes, you and I as people involved with guns as the main effort of our work can confidently stand behind most weapon systems and own them as we fire them in terms of stance, but can some scrawny 18 year old who has grown up on video games still easily hit something on rapid rate with it?

I'm not saying it can't be done, of course, and in fact I would like nothing more than for it to be accomplished.
Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: Tango18A on August 04, 2010, 09:22:06
Yes, you and I as people involved with guns as the main effort of our work can confidently stand behind most weapon systems and own them as we fire them in terms of stance, but can some scrawny 18 year old who has grown up on video games still easily hit something on rapid rate with it?

I'm not saying it can't be done, of course, and in fact I would like nothing more than for it to be accomplished.

Hence why we train on weapons, not just give them to troops willy nilly.
Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: Petamocto on August 04, 2010, 09:49:00
Hence why we train on weapons, not just give them to troops willy nilly.

That's the sad part though, we don't really train with weapons all that often.

A civilian would probably be staggered if they found out how many days a year your average Infantry soldier fired live rounds.
Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: Tango18A on August 04, 2010, 10:11:07
Once the current deployment cycle ends that could change for the troops benefit.
Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: MCG on August 04, 2010, 13:20:59
Alot of the arguments against a calibre conversion is the high cost of retooling industry and replacing weapons systems.  If there is a more effective intermediate calibre which could possibly replace both 5.56 and 7.62 wouldn't the LSAT program be the time and place to do so?
The change from traditional ammunition to telescoped ammunition would be the most opportune time to introduce new calibers.  But, there would still be significant industrial inertia against such a move as many manufactures would seek to transfer their existing projectile line into the new CTA or CLA production runs.  At the same time …
The core of the argument rests with the "green" army being made up of different but overlapping capabilities, which can do more than an average homogenized mass of people who all have the same kit.

There are very real pros to the 5.56 NATO caliber, and very real pros to the 7.62 caliber.  You've heard them all before (less weight vs stopping power, less recoil vs longer range, etc), but with a mixed caliber you begin to lose the benefits of both.

With an intermediate cal (6mm, 6.5, 6.7, 6.8, 7mm, whatever) you (usually*) lose for everything you gain.  For every riflemen you give some "oomph" to, you have now made him less accurate on rapid rate close up.  Likewise, you have taken away some "oomph" from the GPMGs.
I agree that we should not be looking for a single common intermediate calibre for the infantry company.  However, each of our current small arm & machinegun bullets was arrived at in its own stovepiped development – there is more owed to legacy & historical weapons than to any conscious effort to optimise at the aggregate level.

If there ever is an appropriate time to do aggregate level capability review/redesign of this nature, that time would be prior to the implementation of a decision to switch to telescoped (or some other new) ammunition. 

As soon as one changes calibre, muzzle velocity or projectile mass; there will be performance trade-offs in range, terminal effects, ability to fire automatic from the shoulder, etc.  On some weapon systems (GPMG or HMG), we may decide it better to give-up some weight & space savings offered by CTA & CLA in order to increase terminal effects (larger calibre) or increase the rate of fire (requiring more rounds carried in the same space to achieve suppressive fire over an identical time frame).  Should we re-introduce an SMG?  Would we be better served with different ammunition for the LMG and Assault Rifle? What role do shotguns play?  Determining the impacts of various potential changes and measuring their effect at an aggregate Sect/Pl/Coy/BG level is more than any of us are going to do sitting at our keyboards.

Fortunately, SARP II should provide an opportunity to properly make such an assessment.

Maybe we are already at the “90% solution” or maybe (after determining the requirements and working to a solution from there) we could find that our current system of 9x19mm, 5.56x45mm, 7.62x51mm, and 12.7x99mm would be better replaced by telescoped ammunition equivalent to “conventional cased” 6x30mm, 10x22mm, 6x47mm, 8x60mm, and 15x120mm. (You’ll note that I have not discussed projectile weight, propellant or such things – this example really is only to be illustrative).
Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: Petamocto on August 05, 2010, 20:28:08
Fortunately, SARP II should provide an opportunity to properly make such an assessment.

Not sure if you have heard, but SARP2 is no more.  Well, not in one piece, anyway.  It was growing into such a large all-inclusive beast that the decision was made to break it up into three stages to make sure we could get the ball rolling on a few critical projects.

Still SARP2 in concept, just not by name.

On that note, any argument on calibre or ammo type is dwarfed by the elephant in the room anyway, which is "What is the USA/NATO going to do?".  It wouldn't matter if Colt Canada and IVI came up with the most advanced new weapon/ammo combo the world has even seen; I can't see us doing anything that the US doesn't do first.
Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: Sheep Dog AT on August 05, 2010, 20:42:39
Actually to be correct GENERAL DYNAMICS Ordnance and Tactical Systems – Canada bought out IVI years ago and make our SAA.  Yes IVI is still used because we are used to it.
Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: Petamocto on August 05, 2010, 20:47:47
Yes IVI is still used because we are used to it.

Touchee, 2 points for you  ;)

I have not yet seen a lot on the user side that wasn't still IVI, though.
Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: Sheep Dog AT on August 05, 2010, 20:49:57
I have not yet seen a lot on the user side that wasn't still IVI, though.

and you probably never will  :salute:
Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: Tango18A on August 05, 2010, 21:10:19
Why change the base stamp when you own the company?
Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: MCG on August 30, 2010, 12:31:34
On that note, any argument on calibre or ammo type is dwarfed by the elephant in the room anyway, which is "What is the USA/NATO going to do?".
That elephant is really a ghost.  While it is a great a concept, use of a NATO standard ammunition does not matter when our own pedantic ammunition safety bureaucracy will not allow us to use another nation’s SS109 ammunition now.  I saw this even in Afghanistan where Ottawa directed that Canadians could not fire US 5.56 mm or 7.62 mm – and if any generous Americans provided us such ammunition (which happened) we were to return it or send it to KAF for destruction.  I’ve also seen the same ammunition safety bureaucracy at home arguing that if we must have oversight into the QA of production and must have certainty that a lot manufactured at the extreme edge of one nations production standards is in-line with Canada’s expected parameters of SS109.  So, if we are not going to subscribe fully to the principle of common ammunition, we should not allow ourselves to be held back by the idea.  We would not be the first NATO nation to deviate from the standard for small arms ammunition (nor likely the last).

The ability to manufacture the ammunition is not a barrier either.  As was already covered in this thread, our small arms ammunition all comes from GD-OTS (Canada).  Despite the new ownership, the government ensured a condition of sale was that the company had to stay open and owed its first obligation to producing this nation’s ammunition requirements  (in fact, if you talk to the GD-OTS guys, they are very excited about the unique ability of their Quebec facilities to produce small demand ammunition at costs much lower than other facilities).

If we want to exploit the benefits of CTA or CLA, then we really have no good reasons not to be trail-blazers.  As a worst case, we find a new series of SA & MG calibre that provide improved operational capability into the foreseeable future.  At best, we become a recognized world leader with NATO subscribing to our solutions and a massive new international customer base for Canadian made ammunition.

Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: Petamocto on August 30, 2010, 12:42:50
So in a nutshell, you have had some experiences when the NATO standard ammunition did not work.

I on the other hand, have had experiences where it did work in a multinational environment and it proved to be very beneficial for everyone; just like the theory.

So what is better, to be able to share ammo sometimes or never?
Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: Matt_Fisher on August 31, 2010, 09:06:22
So in a nutshell, you have had some experiences when the NATO standard ammunition did not work.

I think what he's saying is that he had some experience where the NATO standard ammunition was prohibited from working due to bureaucratic regulations rather than practical ones.
Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: KevinB on August 31, 2010, 13:17:56
Like lots of Mk262...

 Heaven forbid the CF use a more effective round...  ::)
Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: ArmyRick on August 31, 2010, 13:37:27
Everything I have read about cased ammo seems interesting. I am betting if the brits go ahead and succeed with 40mm CTWS than maybe more nations in NATo will follow.
Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: MCG on August 31, 2010, 13:55:05
I think what he's saying is that he had some experience where the NATO standard ammunition was prohibited from working due to bureaucratic regulations rather than practical ones.
That is exactly what I am saying.  Unfortunately, having seen the empire built on administering & managing our ammunition, I am confident that this is a policy that will not go away.

So what is better, to be able to share ammo sometimes or never?
Based on the "no non-Canadian" policy that constrains us with NATO ammunition, I would be happy to choose a new range of SA & MG ammunitions that give us greater capability over the current range of SA & MG ammunition which we can lend out but are never allowed to borrow.
Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: Matt_Fisher on August 31, 2010, 16:47:41
Everything I have read about cased ammo seems interesting. I am betting if the brits go ahead and succeed with 40mm CTWS than maybe more nations in NATo will follow.

The French have been in co-development of the 40mm CTWS, so I'd bet that they'd be second to the UK to adopt it if it works out.
Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: Petamocto on September 01, 2010, 08:33:28
Kevin,

Yes it is true that we don't use the Rolls Royce of ammunition, but as you know anything with an IVI stamp on it is pretty damned good for general Infantry use.  Certainly the Cadillac of bulk ammunition, anyway.

IMO (and we've discussed this before), that money is far better spent on more days on the range and more marksmanship training than giving a soldier more expensive ammo and having him fire one PWT per year, but I agree that there are some people who could certainly benefit from a closer-to-match and truer flight round.
Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: Technoviking on September 01, 2010, 11:34:18
IMO (and we've discussed this before), that money is far better spent on more days on the range and more marksmanship training than giving a soldier more expensive ammo and having him fire one PWT per year, but I agree that there are some people who could certainly benefit from a closer-to-match and truer flight round.
Very good point.  Even though we may have a cadillac, we need the training to get the most out of it. 
Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: daftandbarmy on September 01, 2010, 14:54:43
Very good point.  Even though we may have a cadillac, we need the training to get the most out of it.

helllooooo... I'm right here  ;D
Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: KevinB on September 01, 2010, 18:45:44
Kevin,

Yes it is true that we don't use the Rolls Royce of ammunition, but as you know anything with an IVI stamp on it is pretty damned good for general Infantry use.  Certainly the Cadillac of bulk ammunition, anyway.

IMO (and we've discussed this before), that money is far better spent on more days on the range and more marksmanship training than giving a soldier more expensive ammo and having him fire one PWT per year, but I agree that there are some people who could certainly benefit from a closer-to-match and truer flight round.

It seems my comment was deleted (the truth being the first victim in war as it seems to be...)

I agree IVI is accurate ball ammo.

 My point was that is more effetive ammo was given by an ally in a warzone, it is stupid not to allow its use, especially when that ammo us used elsewhere in the CF...

I fully agree that only hits count, and I would rather see soldiers shooting 10x the number of C77 rounds as opposed to Mk262 or 70gr BrownTip - however my point above was if that ammo was given its foolish to ignore.


I still think a 7mm CTA round would be the bees knees for a Individual Combat Carbine and LMG.
'
Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: Petamocto on September 01, 2010, 19:15:17
I still think a 7mm CTA round would be the bees knees for a Individual Combat Carbine and LMG.

And that's the crux of the matter right there, because we don't work at individual level.

If we were 2,800 individuals running around, I would absolutely agree with you that something resembling that rifle would be the best thing to equip everyone with.

However, as simulations and real-time combat have proven, you can do a lot more killing of the enemy with a mix of overlapping capabilities than you can with a standard rifle one-size-fits-all.

Don't get me wrong though, if I were all by myself roaming around in any combat zone in the world I would certainly choose to carry something very similar to a KAC battle rifle  :skull:
Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: Michael O'Leary on September 01, 2010, 21:05:26
It seems my comment was deleted (the truth being the first victim in war as it seems to be...)'

There is no evidence of a deleted post in your recent posting history (and, as staff, I can see deleted posts if they exist).
Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: KevinB on September 01, 2010, 22:19:57
There is no evidence of a deleted post in your recent posting history (and, as staff, I can see deleted posts if they exist).

I am a dumbass, I was posting on my laptop and work computer - and the message did not post on the laptop.  I was sure I had written a large diatribe - but while I wrote it, I forgot to hit post.

(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fimg.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fv193%2FEvilKev%2FAfghan%2520Take%2520II%2FKevin115.jpg&hash=66d6d5f9125f22ffb2235a6a2821c75f)
US Army ammo that the CF took then forbid use of.
 So I found a use for it working with the US Government
Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: Petamocto on September 01, 2010, 22:24:19
Warning!

Avert your eyes regular Army soldiers!

You are not allowed to look at the photo that has just been posted!
Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: Illegio on September 01, 2010, 22:39:25
Too late; mine eyes are forever stained with the image of verboten ammo which I must now, above all other things, possess.

...

Because forbidden things are cool.  8)
Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: MCG on September 01, 2010, 22:42:45
Warning!

Avert your eyes regular Army soldiers!

You are not allowed to look at the photo that has just been posted!

It's okay.  It is perfectly okay to look & envy, but don't touch it on your screen.   ;D

I still think a 7mm CTA round would be the bees knees for a Individual Combat Carbine and LMG.
I have wondered about exactly such a round myself.  I know that post WW II, the UK identified a 7 mm ammunition as suitable for controled automatic fire from the shoulder  ... but I don't know anything about the ballistics of that round & there may have been unaceptable (by today's standard) comprimises in projectile mass or muzzle velocity.

Is there merit to different calibers for rifle & carbine to LMG?  There is a certain comfort in knowing that ammunition the supply sysem pushes for one weapon can be converted into use for the other, but if this is never actually done ...

6 mm CTA for assault rifle/carbine and 7 mm for LMG?
Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: Petamocto on September 01, 2010, 22:54:50
There is an entire spectrum of different ammos and calibres between the NATO 5.56 and 7.62.

They all have their pros and cons.  The biggest con being that we are NATO and 6, 6.5, 6.8, 7mm are not.

For the relatively small benefit of having everyone in the platoon using the same ammo, IMO it is not worth it because you are limiting the accuracy of your soldiers on rapid rate and limiting the power of your GPMGs.

You will hear some brochure talk about X ammo actually being able to outperform 5.56 or 7.62 at certain ranges, but we chose the ammo we did for a reason: it was the best over the most conditions.
Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: KevinB on September 01, 2010, 23:19:06
Your mistaking the weight savings of the CTA ammo, and the abilties of modern muzzle brakes and suppressors...

Of course I want to smash my face in sometimes listening to DARPA programs - but CTA is a worthwhile improvement IMHO.
Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: Petamocto on September 01, 2010, 23:25:18
We're a giant green monster, give us time to adapt!  We're just finally getting frang training ammo in the Reg Force.

You're preaching to the converted that some newer cool stuff exists, but I don't think any of that is worth SFA without NATO/USA making a choice in that direction first.

Until Uncle Sam abandons 5.56 and 7.62 NATO, I can not for the life of me see us doing it.
Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: KevinB on September 02, 2010, 08:42:20
My point was that IF we (I mean ABCA) adopt a new weapon, we are going to spend a metric buttload of money testing it.
 Rather than us (USA) run M4PIP and ICC, and Canada run SARP XIV to the tenthpower, the Brits run 'damn get me out of this SA80" and the Aussies run "damn get me out of this Aug" (note both their SOF entities use the C8/M4 series guns - and Canada has some crazy idea of a bullpud that everyone else is trying to get out of...)

 Why not play lets look together - determine what you need for a platform, design the round to perform to the requirements, and then design weapons.

For those who have seen Trey Knight and I on some of the TV shows and interviews, Trey makes a great analogy about NASA and programs, you don't first build the rocket and then figure out where you want to go.
 You figure out where you want to go, develope the fuel to get there and the rocket to take you.

I am of the opinion that the 70gr OTM "BrownTip" load or the 62gr SOST round would add a lot to the capabilities of the soldier with 5.56mm ammuntion.
  However that ammo is expensive currently -- BrownTip and SOST are around $1 USD / round.

But Soldier Load especially in the dismounted fight is a player.
 What if you can shed a lot of the size of the round?  A lot of the weight?
With new propellants, you can get effective muzzle velocities from some longer heavier rounds that have great downrange performance (both exterior and terminal ballistics)

 A muzzle brake allows the soldier to fire faster mutliple shots accurately, and a suppressor to cover the flash at night (improved soldier survivability in ground combat)


Of course keep in mind we are involved in both M4PIP and ICC, so while I know we can make the C8/M4 better (5,000 rds suppressed 11.5" DI gun currently - no additional lube from start of environmental endurance test), I feel its an incremental improvement, not a exponential improvement.

My 0.02 USD



Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: Petamocto on September 02, 2010, 09:43:21
I am fairly certain that the new version of SARP2 (broken into three parts to be managed easier) is going the direction that you're talking about.

We in ABCA certainly talk among our peers, I can personally vouch for that.

Every once in a while I'll get an e-mail that started off from a very senior officer in another town who works in a multinational environment, and after he gets to talking with his foreign peers an e-mail will filter its way down down the chain to little old me asking what Canada's view of X is.

Then I ask the people who really know what they're talking about, and I staff up a beautifully eloquent briefing note that climbs its way back up the chain.

Interestingly enough the last one I did was for an intermediate calibre.
Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: Thucydides on September 03, 2010, 02:05:53
A recent presentation:

http://www.dtic.mil/ndia/2010armament/ThursdayLandmarkBKoriPhillips.pdf

Enjoy
Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: Petamocto on September 03, 2010, 10:12:40
Thuc,

Great link, thank you.

As someone joked about earlier though, sadly the end result of that 16 pounds in weight savings will probably not mean 16 less pounds on the soldiers' spines, but 16 pounds of room to carry other things.

I always imagine those VC you see in movies, covering 50km at night with nothing more than a rifle, spare mag, rice pouch, flip flops, and that funny hat.  We have gone so far past the point of comfort that it's absurd now.  It's nice to see technology actually saving weight because all it has done is add weight in the past (more radios, NVGs, plates, etc).

I am a firm believer that we have made ourselves less effective, less combat ready, and easier to kill because of the weight burden.

Now that the ammo is getting sorted out though, what we need to work on is inventing a lighter water.

Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: ArmyRick on September 04, 2010, 15:07:58
Leave it to medical science. Maybe they will invent a new drug that makes the human body require only a fraction of the water it does now?

On weight reduction, I think commanders need to really start thinking about not adding more. New technology in the next ten years might make it so that our essential kit we have gotten used to gets lighter and lighter but it becomes important for commanders to realize thats not a licensce to add more kit/ammo/water.
Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: Petamocto on September 04, 2010, 16:14:03
AR,

You'd be impressed if you saw some of the staff work coming out of the people in charge of the soldier systems project.  There might be a perception that Ottawa officers are far removed from the realities of hardships facing modern fighters but they are fully up to speed and all of their future plans are headed toward lessening the weight burden.

Lighter ammo is just one of the steps, they are also working on lighter armour, integrated battery systems that will power everything the soldier carries, integrated comms/nav/SA products, etc.

Eventually every soldier will have a 1-pound unit that does everything an encrypted radio and GPS does in their pouch, with a screen on their wrist or rifle.
Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: ArmyRick on September 04, 2010, 20:12:07
Cool. Hope its before I have 35 years in (I have 20 now!)
Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: Thucydides on September 05, 2010, 00:00:15
Eventually every soldier will have a 1-pound unit that does everything an encrypted radio and GPS does in their pouch, with a screen on their wrist or rifle.

If every soldier goes to this (https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?pID=6404) site, they can have that right now.

(OK, no encryption, but we know how to use veiled speech)
Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: PuckChaser on September 05, 2010, 00:32:12
If every soldier goes to this (https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?pID=6404) site, they can have that right now.

(OK, no encryption, but we know how to use veiled speech)

Without encryption, that's a EW Operator's wet dream. Clear voice and position reported data. Its a great demonstration as to where our technology is at. Image the capabilities you could plug into a Rhino with the backing of a major defense research group like DARPA.
Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: Technoviking on September 05, 2010, 07:59:26
(OK, no encryption, but we know how to use veiled speech)
The dogs are barking.  John has a long moustache.  The Crips are raiding the liquour store.
Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: Infanteer on September 05, 2010, 14:28:48
Thuc,I am a firm believer that we have made ourselves less effective, less combat ready, and easier to kill because of the weight burden.

I did a bit of an informal experiment with kit overseas.  The fact of the matter is that an overwealming percentage of the weight factor is in body armour and PPE.  This is compounded by the fact that our issue body armour is far more uncomfortable to wear compared to existing commercial types, increasing fatigue that much faster.  Working on small arms ammo and batteries will, of course, help, but we are still going to be plodding Robocops until something is done technologically/politically about the PPE soldiers wear.  Unfortunately, the trend is only going the other way, with additional pieces being added each year.
Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: Matt_Fisher on September 07, 2010, 15:33:34
Speaking from professional experience, the mil-spec CADPAT Cordura nylon is an area we could shed a few ounces by going with a lighter weight urethane coating, rather than the super heavy duty one that is on there right now.  Might not seem like a significant thing, but every ounce adds up.
Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: Nemo888 on November 09, 2011, 08:01:51
I have no idea how reliable the newer version shown is compared to the current one. But I put something like this as more of a priority than jet fighters.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/11/08/plastic_ammo_machine_gun/

he US Army has announced successful tests of a new, lightweight portable machine-gun which fires special plastic ammunition. The gun and ammo are so much lighter than current weapons and their brass-cased cartridges that some soldiers are suggesting that every infantryman could in future pack the sort of firepower reserved today for heavy-weapons specialists.
The new Lightweight Small Arms Technologies light machine gun (LSAT LMG) with cased telescoped ammo. Credit: US Army

The machine-gun that only weighs as much as a rifle.

"I could see a whole squad carrying it," said Specialist Brandon Smith of the US Army, having participated in the trials over the past two weeks. "You would own the battlefield."

Normally only two soldiers in each eight-man squad* carry a light machine gun (LMG, aka Squad Automatic Weapon or SAW). This shoots the same ammunition as the other troops' rifles, but it is normally fed from a long belt rather than a magazine with only 30 rounds, and the LMG is designed to be fired on full auto for sustained periods (though in short bursts only, or even its heavy barrel would soon fail due to overheating). The gunner carries a lot more ammo than his teammates, and they sometimes carry some extra for him too - the idea being that his heavy firepower will pin the enemy down in a fight, letting the others manoeuvre and win the battle.

The downside of this is that the machine-gun and its belt (nowadays generally packaged in a box fitted to the gun, to prevent it flapping about and being a pain) are heavy, so much so that the gunner is at a decided disadvantage in a close-up gunfight where he needs to aim and shoot quickly while standing up. And the total load of weapon plus lots of ammo is very heavy.

Thus most soldiers are armed with assault rifles not intended to deliver sustained automatic fire and holding less ammo. These lighter weapons are handier for close-in fighting and permit other kit to be carried.

But US military boffins at the famous Picatinny Arsenal have been working on this situation for some time. Since ammo weight and bulk is much of the problem, they have come up with a new kind of ammunition: Cased Telescoped cartridges.

In a cased telescoped round, the bullet is no longer attached to the tip of a brass case full of propellant powder. The new case is shorter, fatter and made of plastic, so weighing substantially less, and the bullet is sunk into the middle of the propellant which makes the whole round shorter - it has been "telescoped". A shorter round weighs less itself, and also means that the gun's action, feed equipment etc is smaller and thus lighter as well. It's a trick originally developed for tanks, to make the turret smaller and easier to protect.

According to the Picatinny scientists, their new LMG and a thousand rounds of its plastic-cased-telescoped ammo weigh no less than 20.4 pounds less than the current M249 (a version of which is also used by British troops) and a thousand ordinary 5.56mm brass cartridges. The new LMG shaves no less than 8.3 pounds off the 15.7-lb M249, coming in at just 7.4lb - actually lighter than a standard British SA80 assault rifle! This, perhaps, explains Specialist Smith's opinion that it would be reasonable for all soldiers to carry such weapons, rather than just heavy-weapons specialists.
Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: MCG on November 10, 2011, 00:28:04
"I could see a whole squad carrying it," said Specialist Brandon Smith of the US Army, having participated in the trials over the past two weeks. "You would own the battlefield."
An even better idea up-gunning everybody to an LSAT LMG because it weighs the same as a current rifle - get LSAT assault rifles for current riflemen so that people are carrying less weight.
Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: KevinB on November 11, 2011, 11:31:39
Perhaps a more effective setup would be a 7mm CTA based on on the cartridge performance parameters of the 7x46ARC

  Less weight than 5.56mm and higher performance.


Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: MCG on November 12, 2011, 20:03:16
Perhaps a more effective setup would be a 7mm CTA based on on the cartridge performance parameters of the 7x46ARC

  Less weight than 5.56mm and higher performance.
Sure.  I was thinking a CTA round analagous to the 7x43mm that came out of the UK in 1945.
Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: KevinB on November 13, 2011, 21:26:51
Good point, honestly that round if it had been adopted vice the 7.62NATO round, would have been THE NATO rifle/carbine/SAW round from then to the present.

Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: Thucydides on April 14, 2017, 13:25:45
Interesting update. The program still seems to be moving quietly in the background:

https://strategypage.com/htmw/htweap/20170414.aspx

Quote
Weapons: The Case For Caseless

April 14, 2017: The U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Army agree they may have finally found a caseless ammunition design that will work reliably in combat and be much (37 percent) lighter than conventional 5.56mm ammo. Caseless ammo is not a new concept but you need the right materials and right design to make it work. It’s all a matter of getting the right tech and the right design. Back in the 1980s the German firm Dynamit Nobel developed a 4.73mm round that weighed much less than the existing 5.56mm rounds but was similar in effectiveness. The new (at the time) G11 assault rifle was designed to fire the caseless 4.73mm round. A G11, along with 510 rounds, weighed the same (7.36 kg/16.2 pounds) as an M-16 with 240 rounds (eight, 30 round magazines.) The West German army tested the G11 extensively in the late 1980s and was considering adopting it and its caseless ammo to replace its 7.62mm assault rifles. But then the Cold War ended, Germany was united, and the decision was made to go with the cheaper G36 5.56mm weapon. The caseless ammo was also more expensive than the conventional 5.56mm stuff, and there were still concerns about reliability, even after years of testing. Not much work was done on this caseless ammo in the 1990s but after 2001 American firms began working on upgrading and improving the Dynamit Nobel tech and field testing has shown that the new polymer case design is safe and reliable. But the new caseless design has to survive combat testing and the military has yet to decide on when and where to carry that out.

Meanwhile the U.S. Army completed development of a new LSAT (Lightweight Small Arms Technology) 5.56mm machine-gun in 2012. But this new machine-gun was tested using two types of lightweight ammo and it wasn’t until now that one of those lightweight ammo designs reached the point where it was ready for combat testing. The LSAT machine-gun weighs 4.27 kg (9.4 pounds) compared to 8 kg for the current M249. Moreover, the ammo for the new machine-gun is 37 percent lighter as well. Thus the new machine-gun, with 1,000 rounds of ammo, weighs 13.9 kg (30.6 pounds), which is 40 percent less than an M249 with a thousand rounds. Moreover, the new ammo takes up twelve percent less space. Developers are working on caseless 5.56mm ammo that will take up 40 percent less space.

The U.S. Army came up with a radical new machine-gun design in 2006, mainly to save weight. The U.S. Army is really making an effort to reduce the load the infantry have to carry into combat. In both Iraq and Afghanistan infantry did most of the fighting, and the troops are using the Internet to hammer the brass and politicians about the excessive loads they have to carry.

In the beginning the army called together some of its small arms manufacturers, gave them some money, and told them to come up with a much lighter 5.56mm light machine-gun. In effect, replace the M249 with the LSAT. “Start from scratch” the weapons wonks were told. The only constant were the caliber of the weapon (5.56mm) and the troop handling of the LSAT should be roughly the same as the M249. The goal was to greatly reduce the 17.41 kg (38.3 pounds) the M249, and 600 rounds of ammo, weighs. This is what a machine-gun armed soldier usually has to carry into combat.

Starting in 2008 the LSAT was developed, built, and tested. LSAT passed its first field tests in 2012 which involved having eight prototypes firing 25,000 rounds over three weeks. At that point everyone agreed that it works. More testing was required to ensure ruggedness and reliability. That took five years, about twice as long as expected.

The LSAT actually comes in two versions. One uses ammo using a non-metal, telescoped case, and the other uses caseless ammo. The telescoped ammo is ready for use now while the caseless stuff was still in development. Both LSAT weapons feature a revolutionary ammo feed that employs a pivot, rather than a bolt, to load the ammo into the chamber. This design propels the case out the front of the weapon. Naturally the caseless ammo has no case to eject. The use of the pivot reduces overheating problems, which are more of a hassle with the plastic case of non-metal telescoped cartridge prototype (which is a straight case, like a pistol, not a bottleneck case more common with high powered rifles). The caseless round is the ideal solution but this design is more difficult to manufacture. Caseless rounds have been developed before but were found to be more expensive and more vulnerable to rough handling. The original LSAT expectation was that if the caseless round were used, the LSAT and 600 rounds would be 9 kg (19.9 pounds) lighter than the current M249 and its ammo. The new plastic case and the LSAT is 6.8 kg (15 pounds) less than the M249.

In early 2012 eight LSAT machine-guns and 100,000 rounds of the telescoped ammo were delivered for army troops to actually use and passed field tests. At this point it became possible to use the same technology for a new assault rifle. While LSAT passed muster with the troops and the realities of use in a combat zone by 2012 most of the fighting was over. The new machine-gun will be much appreciated by infantry operating in Afghanistan, where the machine-gunner is often lugging his weapon and all that ammo up steep hills. But back home there was less enthusiasm, and money, for a new generation of assault rifle and light machine-gun.
Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: Thucydides on March 31, 2018, 02:47:20
Interesting find, a technical description of a caseless machine-gun concept from TRW. There is even a link to a technical paper describing their conceptual caseless machine-gun, although there is no indication that it was ever built. Many of the concepts described would likely work if resurrected in a modern LSAT machine-gun. The TRW mechanism is different from the one demonstrated in the current LSAT prototype:

http://www.forgottenweapons.com/trws-proposed-caseless-machine-gun/

http://www.forgottenweapons.com/wp-content/uploads/TRWMG/TRWCaselessMG.pdf
Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: Thucydides on July 19, 2018, 21:19:14
The US Army is still looking at the LSAT program, but the direction seems to be making a smaller weapon rather than a 7mm weapon. It also seems this will not be a one to one replacement for current service weapons either:

https://www.military.com/kitup/2018/07/18/army-3-star-potent-new-auto-rifle-just-close-combat-troops.html

Quote
Army 3-Star: Potent New Auto Rifle Just for Close-Combat Troops
Military.com 18 Jul 2018 By Matthew Cox

The Army wants to start fielding its Next Generation Squad Automatic Rifle as early as 2022, but the Cold War-era M249 Squad Automatic Weapon could remain in the arsenal for decades to come.

Army weapons officials recently awarded contracts to five firms to develop prototypes of the NGSAR. It will have to be five pounds lighter than the full-size M249 and fire ammo that's lighter and more potent than the service's current 5.56mm round.

But "this is not for every soldier," Lt. Gen. Paul Ostrowski, principal military deputy to the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology, told Military.com on Wednesday. "We are looking at it for 100,000 close-combat soldiers."

Right now, the NGSAR program -- a top priority for the Soldier Lethality cross-functional team -- is on target to be ready for initial fielding beginning in late 2022 or early 2023 at the latest, Ostrowski said.

One of the challenges facing manufacturers is the requirement for ammo that's more potent than the M855A1 5.56mm Enhanced Performance round and 20 percent lighter than traditional brass-cased ammunition.

Last year, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley told Congress that the M855A1 will not defeat enemy body armor plates similar to the U.S. military-issued Enhanced Small Arms Protective Insert, or ESAPI.

"We know that the 5.56mm is not going to be the round of the future because we have issues associated with adversaries' body armor," Ostrowski said.

The solution will likely be a cartridge that uses lighter material than brass for the casing.

Textron has been working for more than a decade on next-generation light machine guns that fire polymer case-telescoped ammunition in its Lightweight Small Arms Technology program.

Other companies have found that standard cartridge designs made completely from polymer are not strong enough and are prone to damage during the extraction process. One solution has been to use brass at the base and polymer for the majority of the case.

"Some will probably come with a polymer case that looks just like a current 5.56mm round except there won't be as much brass; some will come with a polymer case that is of the non-traditional form ... We don't know. We are allowing [companies] to make that decision," Ostrowski said.

"We have given them our priorities and said 'innovate,' and these companies are doing it," he added.

The NGSAR prototypes are scheduled to be delivered by early next summer. From there, Army officials plan to evaluate the designs and refine the service's requirement for the new weapon. Companies will then compete to make the NGSAR for the Army.

Soldiers in non-combat arms units will likely continue to use standard 5.56mm weapons such as the M4 and the M249, Ostrowski said.

"Our 5.56mm is going to be in our inventory for a long time," he said.

-- Matthew Cox can be reached at matthew.cox@military.com.
Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: Rifleman62 on July 20, 2018, 09:27:23
To add to the post above re the NG- SAW

Army's new firearm puts power of a tank in soldiers’ hands - 19 Jul 18 (Video at link)
Defense Specialist Allison Barrie has a first look at the Army's new machine gun, which is made to be lighter, shoot farther, and pack the power of an M1 Abrams tank in the palm of soldiers' hands.[/i]

The article here: http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2018/07/19/armys-new-machine-gun-will-blast-like-battle-tanks.html
Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: Thucydides on February 20, 2019, 23:09:06
Popular Mechanics has a small article on new weapons for the US Army. some things are a bit unclear (the article seems to refer to 6.8mm round but a "lightweight ammunition system with reduced noise and flash". LSAT type telescoped ammunition?) The key element is using computerized sights to radically enhance the accuracy of the shooter. The new weapon system includes both a rifle and light machine gun.

I would imagine the same sort of ballistic sight system would also become rapidly introduced for GPMGs, HMGs (if they are still around) and the Carl Gustave. Getting more accurate fire will provide a huge increase in the lethality of solders, so long as they are also taught basic marksmanship for those times the computerized sight stops working.

https://www.popularmechanics.com/military/weapons/a26344516/army-infantry-guns-computerized-fire-control/
Title: Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
Post by: Brihard on February 20, 2019, 23:15:08
As long as they keep it simple, that could be pretty cool- but simplicity and reliability would have to be absolutely key, and whatever optic it's projected on (I'm imagining a ballistically compensated holographic reticule that automatically adjusts for range) would have to have a standard battle sight as well in case something craps out.

Not knowing much about laser rangefinding - the lasers that are emitted to do that, are they something that can be easily detected? Is there a risk that the right enemy optic could basically see every emitted laser as plainly as we might see a muzzle flash at night?