True Velocity Partners with General Dynamics on US Army’s Next Generation Squad Automatic Rifle

    Composite munitions manufacturer True Velocity has announced their partnership with General Dynamics – Ordnance & Tactical Systems in working to win the US Army’s Next Generation Squad Weapon system program. Back in July 2018, TFB reported that General Dynamics was one of five manufacturers to be awarded prototype development contracts as part of the Next Generation Squad Automatic Rifle program.

    A press release from True Velocity said they had partnered with General Dynamics to support their weapon system “with a revolutionary composite case design that will yield significant ballistic improvements over traditional brass-cased ammunition, while also reducing the weight of a loaded cartridge, improving accuracy, decreasing thermal heat signature and diminishing wear and tear on the weapon system.”


    GD-OTS LWMMG chabered in .338 Norma Magnum (GD-OTS)

    General Dynamics’ prototype, combined with ammunition from True Velocity, will face entries from Textron, FN America, PCP Tactical and SIG Sauer. True Velocity said that they anticipate the deadline for prototype submissions to come before the end of 2019. The company is best known for their hybrid case technology utilising as polymer case body with a steel case head which integrates with the case body internally. This technology gives the potential to produce a light weight cartridge which is not so susceptible to the danger of cook-offs. Unlike Textron’s LSAT ammunition True Velocity’s ammunition is conventional in layout but does offer weight savings (reportedly in the region of 30%) and the ability to scale case capacities and projectiles dimensions.

    In a press release True Velocity President, Chris Tedford, said:

    True Velocity is committed to producing composite-cased ammunition that is superior to standard brass-cased ammunition in every way. We feel strongly that our partnership with General Dynamics will result in a disruptive, technologically advanced weapon system that will afford our military a distinct advantage on the battlefield.

    True Velocity’s lightweight hybrid composite case technology was patented back in 2010, with the company boasting “over 30 proprietary design and manufacturing method patents”.

    True Velocity patent

    Diagram from True Velocity’s ‘lightweight polymer ammunition cartridge casings’ patent granted back in 2010 (US Patent Office)

    Steve Elgin, vice president and general manager of armament and platform systems for GD-OTS, said:

    By integrating the General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems Next Generation Squad Weapon with True Velocity’s superior composite-cased ammunition, we can provide the U.S. Army with the right balance of lethality, weight reduction, and over-match capability. We are excited for this partnership as we build on our capabilities as a system integrator.

    It is as yet unclear if the partnership will utilise True Velocity’s conventional ammunition layout or fresh developments are being made. Pat Hogan, True Velocity’s Chief Marketing and Sales Officer, said, “we’ve developed and are currently validating a revolutionary 6.8mm case design to support the (GD-OTS) submission for the NGSAR program that we feel cannot be achieved using cases built from brass or even a combination of steel and composite.” from this statement it seems that True Velocity may be working on new case designs, potentially cased telescopic (CT) ones. Hogan concluded: “We think it will change the paradigm of cartridge design and cause the ammunition industry to reconsider what is ballistically achievable in small arms ammunition.”

    Matthew Moss

    _________________________________________________________________________ – Managing Editor – Managing Editor

    Matt is a British historian specialising in small arms development and military history. He has written several books and for a variety of publications in both the US and UK. He also runs Historical Firearms, a blog that explores the history, development and use of firearms. Matt is also co-founder of The Armourer’s Bench, a video series on historically significant small arms.

    Here on TFB he covers product and current military small arms news.

    Reach Matt at: [email protected]