The Army Wants the 'iPhone' of Rifles for Its Next Squad Weapon

Task and Purpose

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"Imagine that Steve Jobs and his engineers were trying to convert the iPod Touch to the first 3G iPhone," said Army Col. Elliott Caggins, project manager for soldier weapons. "There were a thousand technologies they could have put in the first iPhone but they were looking to mature the platform before they could actually go onto the system."

The Army Wants the 'iPhone' of Rifles for Its Next Squad Weapon

With a goal of equipping its first unit with the platform by fiscal year 2022, the Army has kicked the acquisition process into high, Caggins said, with the dual PONs posted with the intent of having prototypes ready to testing by June 2019.

The Army isn't on the hunt for any old rifle for it's Next Generation Squad Weapon program — it's looking to spark a "revolution in small arms" on par with what the iPhone did to consumer electronics.

(This first appeared several months ago.)

At least, that's how Army officials at the Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC) at the Picatinny Arsenal in New Jersey described their overall goal in a conversation with Task & Purpose following the release of a formal Prototype Project Opportunity Notice calling on industry partners for a rapid prototyping and testing run of the brand-new platform.

"Imagine that Steve Jobs and his engineers were trying to convert the iPod Touch to the first 3G iPhone," said Army Col. Elliott Caggins, project manager for soldier weapons. "There were a thousand technologies they could have put in the first iPhone but they were looking to mature the platform before they could actually go onto the system."

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