Textron Systems Unmanned Systems has completed testing of its 7.62mm and 5.56mm lightweight cased-telescoped (CT) machine guns, which marks a major milestone in the weapons' development phase.
The company conducted Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 5 demonstrations of the 15lb, 7.62mm CT medium machine gun to validate the performance of the integrated weapon's operating mechanism.
Additionally, Textron Systems' 9lb, 5.56mm CT light machine gun is at TRL 7 and has completed a demonstration for the Swedish Armed Forces.
The weapon's accuracy, mobility and maintainability was evaluated against the military's current lightweight machine gun during the demonstration, which was conducted at the Land Warfare Centre in Kvarn, Sweden.
Textron noted the demonstration revealed that the 5.56mm CT light machine gun required 30% less ammunition to accomplish a fire mission, while providing a 20% tighter shot grouping and scoring significantly higher soldier ratings for ease of maintenance, trigger operation, recoil reduction and burst fire control.
Textron Systems Unmanned Systems Control & Surface Systems vice-president Wayne Prender said: "We are pleased with the recent results achieved during testing on both the 7.62mm and 5.56mm CT machine guns, as well as our development progress to-date.
"As we develop these weapons, our intent is to make them as lightweight as possible, while also improving performance; these tests and developments validate that we are accomplishing these goals."
Textron Systems' CT programme is aimed at improving the US Army's current technology as part of the service's lightweight small arms technologies (LSAT) programme.
The company's 5.56mm and 7.62mm CT machine guns offer reduced system and ammunition weight, in addition to increased lethality and reliability in order to achieve the goals of the CT programme.