The US Army has released a sources sought notice for a 6.8mm conversion kit for the M240B and M240L machine guns. The kit will convert the weapons from 7.62x51mm to the 6.8mm round which wins the Next Generation Squad Weapon program. The move is essentially market research to find vendors who might be capable of providing kits that include all necessary parts to convert the 7.62x51mm M240s to the new round. This might include barrels, gas systems, action springs and bolt assembly parts.
The US Army’s Army Contracting Command, based at Picatinny Arsenal in New Jersey is conducting the sources sought notice on behalf of the Project Manager Soldier Lethality (PMSL). The short description of the capability sought states that “the durability, reliability, and function of the M240 weapon platform cannot be significantly compromised with a change in ammunition.” There is no mention of the type of ammunition be it SIG Sauer’s hybrid metal cased round or True Velocity’s polymer cased round. The notice states, in capitals: “A TECHNICAL DATA PACKAGE (TDP) WILL NOT BE PROVIDED IN SUPPORT OF THIS ANNOUNCEMENT.”
US Army Contracting Command state that:
The conversion kit should include all hardware and instructions needed to modify a standard M240B and/or M240L to fire the 6.8mm ammunition. This will include a new barrel assembly and may include changes to the weapon powering through updates to the gas regulator, drive spring, or other means. The barrel assembly may be either of the standard barrel length (M240B) or short barrel (M240L). Information on 6.8mm ammunition type, specifications, and availability should be provided.
We do know that True Velocity have demonstrated a capability to convert legacy weapon systems to chamber their 6.8mm TV round. Back in June 2021, they announced that they had successfully converted M40s, M134 Miniguns and the M110 and Knights Armament LAMG to chamber the 6.8mm round.
The notice was launched on 15 March and runs through until the end of the month. Vendors submitting to the notice have been asked to provide information on their ability to scale up manufacturing and production of kits to higher quantities but the notice shouldn’t be considered a request for proposal.
H/t – Gregory Knowles