I first had an opportunity to gain some familiarization with the Lightweight Small Arms Technologies (LSAT) Light Machine Gun or LMG at an NDIA Small Arms Symposium in Virginia Beach, VA. I was impressed with its compactness and weight reduction achieved through design changes and ammunition concept. The U.S. Army’s Maneuver Center of Excellence at Ft. Benning, Georgia completed its military utility assessment, Sept 2011, confirming that soldier participants preferred the LMG over the M249 SAW. A total of 25,000 rounds were fired from eight prototype LMG’s during the assessment. Soldiers overwhelmingly preferred the LMG to the M249 SAW, which is the machine gun currently used in Afghanistan. Fifteen out of nineteen soldier participants stated that, given a choice, they would rather take the LMG into combat over the M249. Compactness and weight reduction emerged as the key deciding factors; however, the study also revealed a significant reduction in the time it took the Soldiers to zero the LMG compared to the M249 SAW.
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