Author Topic: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun  (Read 53808 times)

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Offline MCG

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Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
« Reply #75 on: November 12, 2011, 19:03:16 »
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.

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Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
« Reply #76 on: November 13, 2011, 20:26:51 »
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.

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Offline Thucydides

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Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
« Reply #77 on: April 14, 2017, 12:25:45 »
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.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
« Reply #78 on: March 31, 2018, 01:47:20 »
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
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
« Reply #79 on: July 19, 2018, 20:19:14 »
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.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Rifleman62

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Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
« Reply #80 on: July 20, 2018, 08:27:23 »
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
Never Congratulate Yourself In Victory, Nor Blame Your Horses In Defeat - Old Cossack Expression

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
« Reply #81 on: February 20, 2019, 22:09:06 »
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/
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Brihard

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Re: Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Machine Gun
« Reply #82 on: February 20, 2019, 22:15:08 »
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?
Pacificsm is doctrine fostered by a delusional minority and by the media, which holds forth the proposition it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.