The Army is looking for a replacement for its Squad Automatic Weapon.
Army officials posted the special notice on the Federal Business Opportunities website on May 31, seeking contractor submissions for a classified industry days event on July 25-27 at the Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, Georgia.
Dubbed the "Next Generation Squad Automatic Rifle," the new rifle would replace the M249 SAW in brigade combat teams, according to the website.
"It will combine the firepower and range of a machine gun with the precision and ergonomics of a carbine, yielding capability improvements in accuracy, range and lethality," according to the website.
The aim is for soldiers to use the new rifle against both "close and extended range targets in all terrains and conditions."
The posting does not specify caliber, but the SAW fires 5.56 mm ammunition. The Army is currently developing an intermediate caliber round between 5.56 mm and 7.62 mm for both an M4 replacement and light machine guns.
The new rifle must be compatible with the current Small Arms Fire Control system and possess back-up sights, according to the special notice.
The weapon will "achieve overmatch by killing stationary, and suppressing moving, threats out to 500 meters and suppressing all threats to a range of 1,200 meters," according to the website.
The new rifle must weigh no more than 12 pounds with sling, bipod and suppressor. The SAW in that configuration weighs approximately 17 pounds. That figure does not include ammunition or magazine weight.
The Marines recently adopted a new Infantry Automatic Rifle called the M27. But Marine units continue to deploy both the new IAR and SAWs. Most rifle companies are issued 27 IARs and six SAWs, a Marine Corps official said.
The planned Army replacement is expected to occur over the next decade, according to the website.
Todd South has written about crime, courts, government and the military for multiple publications since 2004 and was named a 2014 Pulitzer finalist for a co-written project on witness intimidation. Todd is a Marine veteran of the Iraq War.