Textron Systems Unmanned Systems announced today a $5.7 million contract from the Defense Ordnance Technology Consortium and the U.S. Army's Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center for continued development of lightweight, Cased-Telescoped (CT) weapons and ammunition.
Under this two-year award, the team will develop a CT carbine, as well as 7.62 millimeter (mm) CT ammunition and a machine gun operating mechanism. The CT ammunition utilizes a plastic casing to reduce weight significantly versus conventional ammunition while maintaining performance.
The Textron Systems Light Armaments team developed the flagship 5.56 mm CT Light Machine Gun under the Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) program. The LSAT Light Machine Gun recently took part in the Army's Dismounted Non-Networked Experiment at Fort Benning, Ga., receiving positive user feedback. Providing up to a 40 percent, or 20-pound, weight reduction over current technology, the LSAT Light Machine Gun and 5.56 mm CT ammunition have been demonstrated at Technology Readiness Level 7, while improving both lethality and reliability.
Leveraging the success of this design, the team has created a family of lightweight, 5.56 mm CT weapons. This includes a compact Light Machine Gun with a quick-change, 12-inch barrel and folding buttstock, developed for close-quarters applications and tested in 2012 by the U.S. Army Special Operations Command, as well as the operating mechanism for a carbine variant. The team also has developed an innovative caseless ammunition design, demonstrated to provide even greater weight reduction versus current technology.