The Army's Next-Generation Rifle Will Be "The iPhone of Lethality," Officials Say

Discussion in '[H]ard|OCP Front Page News' started by Megalith, Feb 10, 2019.

  1. Megalith

    Megalith 24-bit/48kHz Staff Member

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    Researchers with the US Army’s Next Generation Squad Weapon program, who have been brainstorming a replacement for the M4 carbine and M249 light machine gun, are reportedly looking to the iPhone for inspiration. Officials believe Apple found success when it focused on platform rather than bells and whistles, ultimately providing a better path for expandability. The Army’s next-generation weapons are expected to flaunt a plethora of capabilities (e.g., onboard processor hardened against cyberattacks), so they’re adopting the same philosophy.

    "Imagine that Steve Jobs and his engineers were trying to convert the iPod Touch to the first 3G iPhone," said Army Col. Elliott Caggins, project manager for soldier weapons. "There were a thousand technologies they could have put in the first iPhone but they were looking to mature the platform before they could actually go onto the system. We have hundreds of capabilities we can put into this weapons system, but we want to do it by holistically creating a system that that takes advantage of everything we've done in the past," he added. "This means its capabilities will only grow, just as the iPhone's did."
     
  2. c3k

    c3k [H]ard|Gawd

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    TL;DR: so, they're gonna make you use your thumbs to shoot the next generation of rifles???

    ;)
     
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  3. Legendary Gamer

    Legendary Gamer Limp Gawd

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    It they go with a version of the Nvidia RTX mobility platform they might end up with space invaders randomly... Sounds like a great idea.... Having your weapons systems going apeshit and not firing or firing at random due to software bugs.

    While this sounds somewhat incredible because a digital zoom might identify a target as friendly and not allow you to fire the weapon, I sincerely doubt they will have AI learning in the guns... If they do... Robots will probably kill us all. Or milspec iPhones in this example... Lol
     
  4. M76

    M76 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    So it will be only an incremental upgrade to the old rifle, but cost 40% more?
     
  5. PhoenixGenesys

    PhoenixGenesys Limp Gawd

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    Can you run two of these in SLI? How well will they scale? Will the bridge cost a Benjamin or a kidney? So many questions... Will it cost 30% to 70% more money every upgrade cycle?
     
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  6. RealBeast

    RealBeast Gawd

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    So no more standard firing tone, now you can select your sound output from a standard boom to "come get some, come get some!" ;)
     
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  7. PhoenixGenesys

    PhoenixGenesys Limp Gawd

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    It will work with bullets, or sugar cubes...
     
  8. SeymourGore

    SeymourGore 2[H]4U

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    First app maker that is able to lineup successful headshots with a 'Headshot!' sound clip will make millions.
     
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  9. clockdogg

    clockdogg Gawd

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    Misfires will be easily diagnosed: "You're shouldering it wrong!"
     
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  10. c3k

    c3k [H]ard|Gawd

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    The benefit: It comes pre-equipped with courage.

    (Earbuds sold separately.)
     
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  11. viper1152012

    viper1152012 Gawd

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    All else fails pull this handy pin and fling it while the battery combusts.
     
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  12. PhoenixGenesys

    PhoenixGenesys Limp Gawd

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    You can't load single bullets through the slide, only replace the entire magazine. Automatic mode will be an upgrade, and if you want to shoot more that three bullets per trigger pull, it will cost 80% more. Oh, and the barrel will not be user replaceable.
     
  13. umeng2002

    umeng2002 Gawd

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  14. TangledThornz

    TangledThornz Limp Gawd

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    Bullpup or GTFO! Seriously, I own a Kel-Tec RDB and its one of my favorite rifles.
     
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  15. Maxx

    Maxx [H]ard|Gawd

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    When will they have the courage to remove the magazine?
     
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  16. Oldmodder

    Oldmodder Limp Gawd

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    Imagine getting your gun hacked on the battlefield. :eek:
    I prefer something big with reach if i was to die with it in my hand, that's why the liner of my front pocket in all my pants are cut out
     
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  17. ole-m

    ole-m Limp Gawd

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    I feel like bullpup is the way but there are so many badly designed ones.
    but I do not quite understand what the military will do here ?
    remove all the buttons and you only have a fire button ? :p
    Channel the sound through airpods only ?
     
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  18. PhaseNoise

    PhaseNoise [H]ard|Gawd

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    To complete the apple memes, I think the magazines will bend if you put them in your vest.
     
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  19. Flogger23m

    Flogger23m [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Pretty much anyone who has a choice seems to be dumping them. France and New Zealand are good examples.

    But yeah I don't even understand what they're going for in the article. The case telescoped LMG seemed to be very interesting but that had some issues which kept it from moving forward for the time being. I think it is good that the Army is looking for something revolutionary rather than go to a side grade (like an FN SCAR) but none of these new technologies will be ready anytime in this decade. They need to upgrade the M4. The newest versions they're issuing to SF have longer barrel life so the upgrade cost will likely make up for itself in the long run while we wait for new technologies.

    Its hilarious that the USAF is issuing a much more modern rifle to air men than the Army does to soldiers:

    Symposium_IMR_2-684131.jpg
     
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  20. The Mad Atheist

    The Mad Atheist Gawd

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    "The iPhone of Lethality".........
    Well shit, I hate to see it's "features" crApple is known for!
     
  21. DejaWiz

    DejaWiz Oracle of Unfortunate Truths

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    Bad analogy. If it were just like Apple, then the magazine would be non-removable, requiring the entire unit to be sent off to a certified repair shop for disassembly, cleaning, reloading, and reassembly after the pre-loaded ammo was spent.


    The military needs firearms that are cheap, accurate, and reliable.
    Unfortunately, only two of those three can be chosen, in almost all cases.
     
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  22. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ardOCP Motherboard Editor

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    No. Bullpups have inherent disadvantages that are difficult to overcome. They tend to have an awkward balance, they are slower to reload, difficult to impossible to reload while maintaining a sight picture, lack adjustable stocks and have shitty triggers. A lack of forward rail space is a problem in military applications where IR lasers, lights and other devices need to be mounted.

    Even being more compact overall is a hard sell given how short some AR variants are. Rounds can be designed to achieve ballistic effectiveness without having barrels longer than 8 or 9 inches as we've seen with .300 Blackout.

    Drum magazines are also right out. This can limit ammunition capacity. Box magazines in a SAW type variant would be off the table as well. The Tavor in particular, exemplifies everything I'm talking about that's wrong with bullpups in general. It's even worse as it's an absolutely shitty suppressor host.

    Don't get me wrong, some bullpups look cool, but they have more inherent disadvantages than advantages. I have yet to see a design which would change my mind on this.
     
  23. Nolan7689

    Nolan7689 [H]ard|Gawd

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    At least “you’re holding it wrong” will be a valid statement.
     
  24. DNMock

    DNMock Limp Gawd

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    Not an expert here, but it feels like having a CPU in a gun that can effect the functionality of a gun is a terrible idea for military application weapons. Just one more thing that can go wrong or get damaged making the weapon useless. Aren't the M4 and AK still primarily used in combat because they just work?

    For civilian use, yeah, slap that into every gun out there and have them be wifi enabled so a "kill" command can be issued over a small area by local law enforcement. I'm absolutely ok with that, but for military use that just doesn't seem ideal.
     
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  25. Nafensoriel

    Nafensoriel Limp Gawd

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    When its been deployed for 10 hours does its battery life suddenly drop by 10% and give you an overheat warning?
     
  26. RPGWiZaRD

    RPGWiZaRD Gawd

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    So will it have App Store access? If so I expect UT announcer is among the first app to be released

    Double Kill.... Multi Kill.....Mega Kill.....Ultra Kill.....M-M-M-Monster KILL

    New ways for Epic Games to make money too, instead of exclusive Epic Store launches, they can just make money of their signature IP sounds! Win-Win!
     
  27. clockdogg

    clockdogg Gawd

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    Sure hope they test the Face Id unlocking without live amo.
     
  28. 1_rick

    1_rick Limp Gawd

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    No, but you have to use iTunes to load ammo.
     
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  29. Spidey329

    Spidey329 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Ahh, is it that time again when they try to replace the M4 and end up selecting a slightly improved (but more costly) version of the .. M4?
     
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  30. seanreisk

    seanreisk Gawd

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    Sorry to jump on the anti-bullpup bandwagon, Tangled. :LOL: The bullpup seems like it should be a great idea, but its strengths (barrel length, weapon cycling vertical rotation closer to the butt) don't seem to develop into performance gains. There's a reason the special operations community only uses bullpups in the sniper rifle configuration.

    I shot the FAMAS and the Steyr on a German running range, and on top of the problems others have mentioned, I remember that they were LOUD, hot on the cheek, and they eject brass close to your face. Ah, the smell of gunpowder...

    We tested a few dozen 'composite' (plastic) drum magazines for the old M16. The test program was supposed to last 6 weeks but every unit that went to the field with them broke them in the first week. It's exasperating to throw yourself prone and bump the ground, snap the drum off from the magazine interface, and then watch the drum roll around spitting your unfired bullets into the air.

    During the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq the wear and tear on the M4's meant that the Army replaced their entire inventory 3 times. Why we didn't start replacing with an M4ish off-the-shelf gas-piston solution (Heckler & Koch HK416, etc.) baffles me. An Americanized Daewoo K2 would have been better.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
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  31. aaronspink

    aaronspink [H]ard|Gawd

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    Meh, I'll give good odds that this ends like the last 22 army rifle replacement programs.

    M4 is fine, outside of going to a CTA bullpup, there isn't an upgrade that is worth it out there.

    But seriously, this is DOA. They'll go through the motions, they might even do a down select rounds, then they'll kill it because the 6.8mm ammo isn't compatible with anything.
     
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  32. Krenum

    Krenum [H]ardForum Junkie

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    But can it make a PB&J sandwich? A Swiss Army knife can.
     
  33. aaronspink

    aaronspink [H]ard|Gawd

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    Um, reload is not an issue with any modern bullpup (any issues are just training/learning and that has been proven in studies). And traditional rifles have the disadvantage that they are useless with short barrels that can't hit the broad side of a barn. An 18" barrel bullpup has a shorter OAL than a 8" carbine. Literally the whole point of these programs is the 8" barrels M4s, which are required to get reasonable CQB OAL rifle lengths, have horrible range. Just going to a bullpup with 5.56 basically doubles range while using the same ammo, same mags, same accessories, etc.
     
  34. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ardOCP Motherboard Editor

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    Citation needed. I'd wager that reload speeds are still slower.

    With 5.56 this is absolutely true. With .300 Blackout, this wouldn't be true. If designing a new round or adopting something other than 5.56x45mm NATO, the barrel length issues can potentially be worked around or mitigated.

    Not necessarily. An AR-15 with an 8" barrel would have an OAL of 27". The IWI TAR-21 with an 18" barrel has an OAL of 28.3".

    No disagreement here. However, there are two different approaches to solving the issues with the M4's design. An entirely new weapon chambered in a new round or an existing weapon that replaces the M4 which still uses the same ammunition or magazines. If its the latter, (which doesn't sound like how the Army is leaning), then the Tavor would be a good fit to solve those issues. However, the military does care about suppressor hosts and the Tavor blows goats at that. Getting gassed in the face by one of those things sucks.
     
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  35. Paul_Johnson

    Paul_Johnson [H] PSU Editor & Admin Staff Member

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    That most certainly is not true. You guys should actually hang out in the NFA world for a while. It would be, eye opening.
     
  36. Paul_Johnson

    Paul_Johnson [H] PSU Editor & Admin Staff Member

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    I can't believe people missed the most important (dumb) part of this. They want one firearm to replace the M4 and the M249. The Marine Corps already went this route with the IAR.....and then retained the M249 because, as it turns out, assault rifles are not LMGs. Who knew? :rolleyes:
     
  37. Nanogrip

    Nanogrip Limp Gawd

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    The rifle will come with wireless ear plugs.
     
  38. KazeoHin

    KazeoHin [H]ardness Supreme

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    Essentially, after 6 months the rate of fire will automatically reduce significantly, without any choice on the part of the operator: this reduces wear on the aging barrel.
     
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  39. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ardOCP Motherboard Editor

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    I already have several 5.56, 9mm and .300 Blackout SBR's. Exactly what are you getting at here?

    I hadn't heard about them retaining the M249, but it doesn't surprise me.
     
  40. Paul_Johnson

    Paul_Johnson [H] PSU Editor & Admin Staff Member

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    Well, what I said. You should hang out in the NFA world for a while, you would learn a lot about the accuracy of SBR's. Your and aaronspinks comments about accuracy of SBRs is incorrect.