Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) light machine gun (LMG) and rifle project is coming along nicely. Tony Williams, sent me photos and project’s latest news.
The LMG now weighs 9.21 lbs in plastic-cased-telescoped (CT) and 9.9 lbs in
caseless (CL), compared with 17.5 lbs for the M249. RoF is being held down
to 600 rpm, as preferred by the military; the gun uses a “long, soft recoil”
system without a buffer, which sounds like the STK Ultimax. Modifications
have taken place to the barrel handle, bipod and buttstock to approach
Ammunition weights now 8.3g (CT) and 6.3g (CL) compared with 12.2g for M855.
Plastic MG links weigh 0.5g instead of 2.0g for steel.
It is clear that the CL is proceeding at a much slower rate, there are still
some technical issues and the propellant is very costly. Only about 1,000
rounds have been made. The CT version is forging ahead, however. The round
is currently in its third version (“Spiral 3″) which is achieving 41% weight
and 13% volume reductions over brass-cased ammo (CL: 38% volume and 51%
weight reductions). Over 10,000 rounds have been fired of Spiral 2, without
problems, with some 400 rounds so far of Spiral 3. They are now
“productionising” the ammo; it looks as if CT will be cheaper to produce
than M855, with packing the propellant in the case being the main technical
There are currently two working LSAT MGs with a third being made; by May
2011 they plan to deliver 8 guns and 100,000 rounds for “military
assessment” (not qualification).
The LSAT rifle has just been fired for the first time. It uses a rising
chamber with an aft feed, which means that although the 42-round magazine is
ahead of the pistol grip, the barrel is actually 4 inches longer than an M4
of the same total length (24.75 inches total with buttstock folded), which
takes it half-way to a bullpup.
It is sounding like a very compelling package.
[ Many thanks to Tony for the photos and infomation. ]