The U.S. Army intends to move to a new 6.8mm cartridge

Almost 55 years after the adoption of the M-16 rifle with 5.56mm caliber ammunition, the US Army is preparing to switch to new generation ammunition. This is a 6.8mm ammunition for a weapon that will replace the M4A1 carbine and M249 light machine gun.

The Army Command believes that the 5.56 mm cartridge from the Vietnam War is outdated and will hardly be able to pierce Chinese and Russian armored vests during a hypothetical conflict.

According to the publication Military.com, the new cartridge will have more gunpowder, which will increase its power due to the higher speed of the bullet, and will make it possible to penetrate steel and ceramic armor.

The 6.8mm ammunition is very similar to the existing M855A1 cartridge, which consists of an open steel penetration element placed on top of a copper core and partially encased in a copper shirt.

General Dynamics / True Velocity, Textron and Sig Sauer are competing for a new ammunition contract. The army requires that the cartridge weighs 30 percent less than its old brass counterparts. The first samples of weapons with new cartridges are due for service in 2023.

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