New US Military Cartridge-What is it?


I ran across the following in Defense News review of the AUSA (Association of the US Army) meeting. What is the cartridge they are talking about? Any other information, photos, etc???


Textron Systems met with media members, including Army Times, at the Association of the U.S. Army Annual Meeting & Exposition to showcase their new cartridge and weapon system.

The company began development on a polymer, cased telescope cartridge in 5.56 mm in 2004. Through design work and research, they built the cartridge, which is shorter, lighter and more versatile than current brass cartridge casings.

Research in polymer casings has been going on in the commercial sector for decades. A chief problem has been heat. Past casings melted or had cook-off concerns under the extreme heat of rapid firings. To resolve that problem, Textron Systems researchers built the bullet and weapon in concert, creating a system that moves the chamber to the barrel, reducing heat exposure.

That design also helped jamming problems in previous attempts at polymer casings by using the next round to push out the spent cartridge rather than use an extractor method that is common to most current firearms systems.

The company expects to demonstrate its 7.62 mm machine gun and round at the Army Expeditionary Warrior Experiment in November.

Another development is near demonstration phase to meet a few of the outcomes of the recently completed Small Arms Ammunition Configuration Study. That study aims to reinvent small arms with new bullet technology and advanced capabilities to first create the Next Generation Squad Weapon.

Textron’s effort is a 6.5 mm carbine, an “intermediate caliber” that has the range and lethality of the 7.62 mm but in a smaller, lighter configuration than many current 5.56 mm rifles.

The entire approach that started work on the cartridge was focused on reducing weight.

By comparison, a current M249 Squad Automatic Weapon with 1,000 rounds of brass-case 5.56 mm ammunition weighs 48.9 pounds. Textron’s 5.56 mm machine gun with the same number of rounds weighs 28.5 pounds.

The M240L machine gun with 1,000 rounds of brass-case, 7.62 mm weighs 72.4 pounds. The Textron 7.62 mm configuration weighs in at 45.3 pounds.

Textron Unmanned Systems Program Manager Paul Shipley said that in recent tests the 5.56 mm machine gun had no round cook offs when put under the same strain that resulted in M249 cook offs.

Testing is still underway on the intermediate caliber carbine, but that weapon has yet to experience round cook offs either, Shipley said.



Cased Telescoped Ammunition (CTA), Textron Systems (LSAT) 2015 (7.62 mm & 5.56 mm).pdf (664.7 KB)

7.62 mm Cased Telescoped (CT) Ammunition, 2014, 5.56 mm CT, AAI Corp, Textron Systems.pdf (1.1 MB)

5.56 mm, 6.5 mm, 7.62 mm Cased Telescope Ammunition (CTA) 2015.pdf (1.4 MB)


My best guess. At least in the “family”. I think I’ve posted before. But who knows with photobucket

The full up round just for reference. I have to check files for more detail. Sorry Fede. I’ll work on it. I’ve had these at least 1 1/2 years so not hot off the presses


Not all that new as it was displayed at the Eurosatory in 2006 already:


The 6.5mm version of LSAT (now known as CTSAS = Cased Telescoped Small Arms System) uses a polymer case with the same overall dimensions as the 7.62mm version, in order to make it easy to switch calibres in both the carbine and LMG developed to fire this ammo. The cylindrical shape utilises an unconventional mechanism with a separate chamber and push-through loading.

It is currently up against comparable conventional ammo with hybrid polymer/metal cases in US military testing; the weight saving per round for these is not so great (c.22% rather than c.33%) but they can use existing conventional gun mechanisms. Incidentally, the quoted weight saving of 40% for CTSAS ammo is for the belt-fed MG as that uses lightweight polymer belt links.

SOCOM has been trying out modified conventional carbines and LMGs in calibres like the .260 Rem, 6.5mm Creedmoor and 264 USA. The Big Army is also reportedly interested in the 6.5mm calibre for the next generation of weapons. Whether any of these get adopted is of course another matter entirely…