Army seeks data as it fields Next Generation Squad Weapons

Army Maj. Trisha Wyman prepares to present her master’s thesis research during the annual Defense Analysis Research Week. Wyman, a December 2019 graduate of the university, performed a detailed analysis of a Russian disinformation campaign designed to shape U.S. perceptions of nuclear capabilities.

Armaments Research Co. will provide U.S. soldiers with real-time data on the health and readiness of the rifles that the service has recently selected for its close combat force under the Next Generation Squad Weapons program, the company announced in a news release Wednesday.

The platform built by the small data and technology company will use an Internet of Things system to monitor individual weapons at scale, according to the release.

“The resulting insights will enable units to regularly assess weapons’ health, reduce failure rates, extend the lifetime of a weapon and optimize maintenance plans, enhancing performance and reducing costs,” the company stated in the release.

Armaments Research will work in partnership with firearms company Sig Sauer, which the Army chose in April to manufacture the 6.8mm rifles and automatic rifles that will replace the standard-issue M4 variants in the close combat force. The Army’s general purpose forces will continue to use the M4.

“Our team is thrilled to partner with Sig Sauer to deliver this groundbreaking platform and refresh the Army’s weapons for the first time in several decades,” Armaments Research CEO Michael Canty said in the release. “The Army NGSW program office is pushing the boundaries in seeking a modern, data-driven approach to weapons readiness and we are honored to contribute.”

The company did not provide specifics in the release about the terms of its contract, including the price or the duration. Sig Sauer’s contract is for 10 years, with a $20.4 million initial delivery order.

Founded in 2016 and headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Armaments Research offers services to clients in the defense and law enforcement spheres. It claims on its website that its systems reduce tactical response time by 60%.

The Next Generation Squad Weapons program is an effort the Army launched in 2017 to prototype and develop more lethal small arms for the close combat force.

Irene Loewenson is an editorial fellow at Military Times and Defense News. A native New Yorker, she is a recent graduate of Williams College, where she was the editor-in-chief of the student newspaper.

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Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.