Army's new machine gun will blast like battle tanks

File photo - a U.S. soldier with an M249 SAW (U.S. Army)

FOX NEWS - The Army’s new weapon will look like a light machine gun, but will put M1 Abrams Main Battle Tank-style blasting power literally at the fingertips of U.S. soldiers.

The new light machine gun will weigh less — and yet shoot farther. It should make U.S. soldiers even more lethal and enhance their speed and mobility while improving their safety in future combat.

The Next Generation Squad Automatic Rifle (NGSAR) may replace about 80,000 SAWs (the M249 squad automatic weapon). The well-known and loved M249 SAWs were already beasts — now the Army’s light machine gun is going to get even more powerful.

Armed with the NGSARs, soldiers will have the confidence of knowing the new weapon can be relied on for stopping power against sophisticated adversaries who arrive to fight in advanced body armor.

The goal is for the weapon’s chamber pressure to achieve similar levels to battle tanks. Recent conflicts have shown that currently issued weapons have not been sufficient when tackling the challenge of forces with defense innovation and access to modern equipment.

Even if a threat is about 2,000 feet away and seemingly well protected, the new weapon will blast through enhanced body armor.

Distance, accuracy, ergonomics and lethality are all expected to be improved in this new generation of weapon. Infantry will also be able to take advantage of new specially designed, harder hitting, plus lighter weight bullets.

Blasting like a battle tank

The aim is for the NGSARs to fire bullets at pressure levels similar to those achieved by tanks when they fire. Rounds will smash through advanced adversary body armor even at a distance, allowing soldiers to accurately shoot while maintaining a safe distance from the threat whenever possible.

The Army would like the new weapon chamber pressure to be between 60 and 80 KSI (kilopound per square inch). To put that into context, the Army’s M1 Abrams main battle tank fires at that chamber pressure. Assault rifles tend to be around 45 KSI, so this will definitely be higher.