The XM8 Future Combat Rifle is intended to replace existing M4 Carbines and select 5.56mm x45 weapons in the US Army arsenal beginning as early as the fourth quarter of FY05.
In October 2002 ATK (Alliant Techsystems) was awarded a $5 million contract modification from the U.S. Army Armament Research, Development, and Engineering Center (ARDEC), Picatinny, N.J., to develop the new XM8 Lightweight Assault Rifle. ATK Integrated Defense, Plymouth, Minn., and teammate Heckler and Koch, Oberndorf, Germany, will support the rapid development program, which will investigate the potential of the XM8 as the lightweight assault rifle for the Army's Objective Force.
The XM8 will be based on the kinetic energy weapon that is part of the XM29 next-generation infantry weapon system (formerly the Objective Individual Combat Weapon) currently under development by ATK Integrated Defense. The kinetic energy weapon, which fires 5.56mm ammunition, will provide maximum commonality in components and logistics with the XM29 system.
The XM8 is part of the Army's effort to perfect an over-and-under style weapon, known as the XM29, developed by Alliant Techsystems and H&K. It fires special air-bursting projectiles and standard 5.56mm ammunition. But the XM29 still is too heavy and unwieldy for Army requirements. Instead of scrapping the XM29, the Army decided to perfect each of XM29's components separately, so soldiers can take advantage of new technology sooner. The parts would be brought back together when lighter materials become available. The XM8 is one of those components.
Then there is this on the horizon the XM25
Advanced Airburst Weapon System is an entirely new class of weapon that takes the concept of a grenade launcher and adds some smarts, thereby increasing the probability of hit-to-kill performance by up to 500 percent over existing weapons. The advanced design allows the soldier to program the air bursting 25mm round so that it flies to the target and detonates at a precise point in the air. It does not require impact to detonate and is hence capable of defeating an enemy behind a wall, inside a building or in a foxhole.
What seems ideally suited for the urban battlefield is the Corner Shot
is a new weapon system designed for urban combat which enables the user to observe and engage a target from behind a corner without exposing any body parts. The highly technological system was officially unveiled in late December 2003 in Israel and is already being used by some of the world's elite Special Forces. Corner Shot attaches to most handguns currently used by Special Forces, for example the GLOCK, SIG SAUER, CZ or BERETTA. It includes a small, high-resolution camera and monitor, which can observe and view a target from various vantage points.
Nothing political but i thought these interesting, despite being a non-gun owner even.