WASHINGTON DC – After decades of using 5.5mm bullets, the United States Army has decided to manufacture new 6.8mm ammunition to enable its forces to fight Russia and China.
Since the 1960s, the United States has equipped its troops with 5.5mm bullets for its rifles.
According reported the website Popular Mechanics, the caliber bullets 5.5mm US were lighter than similar ammunition at the time.
However, with the evolution of vehicle armor and the use of individual protective equipment by troops from countries such as Russia and China, the needs of the US military became different.
“The new bullet is part of a general shift from the major military powers, where fighting against opponents such as China and Russia would lead our soldiers to fight enemies with the latest personal protections,” wrote Kyle Mikzokami, an expert in the field author of the article by Popular Mechanics.
In this way, the US military considers the old bullets obsolete, having decided on 6.8mm caliber bullets to be able to face Russia and China.
The bullet to be developed should be similar to the M8551 model. However, it has little efficiency in penetrating personal protective equipment if fired at close range.
Also according to the article, the US military should receive its first 6.8mm caliber ammunition from 2023.
Earlier this year, according to the Defense Blog portal, the US Army Hiring Command (ACC) has posted a notice on the US government’s main hiring site asking suppliers to provide information about their ability to produce and supply ammunition. non-standard commercial information with NATO.
The US is looking for special ammunition for Russian-made assault rifles, pistols, sniper rifles and submachine guns.
ACC intends to conduct market research to identify sources technically and financially capable of providing various options for Special Ammunition and Weapon Systems (SAWS) and non-standard commercial ammunition with NATO from around the world for supply to the United States.
According to general specifications, the US Army is seeking to purchase small-caliber ammunition for Makarov and Tokarev pistols, AK-47 assault rifles, PKM and YaKB / DshKM machine guns, and SVD Dragunov sniper rifles, all of which are Russian-produced weapons.
In addition, the publication mentions that the procurement process must be carried out in accordance with the Full and Open Competition (F&OC) provisions for fiscal year 2021-2026.