MARS Inc. and Cobalt Kinetics unveiled proposed successor to M4 carbine and M249 SAW

The U.S. Army is seeking the replacement of its M4 carbine and M249 Squad Automatic Weapon. A company is proposing a captivating contender: MARS Inc. and Cobalt Kinetics unveiled their dark horse submissions for the Army's Next Generation Squad Weapon program, a carbine and light machine gun, on the heels of the Association of the U.S. Army's annual expo in Washington, D.C., where General Dynamics-OTS, AAI Corporation Textron Systems and Sig Sauer, touted their official candidates, Jared Keller reports on Task & Purpose.

MARS Inc. and Cobalt Kinetics unveiled proposed successor to M4 carbine and M249 SAW
Mars and Cobalt Kinetic’s proposed successor to M4 carbine and M249 SAW (Mars Inc. / Cobalt Kinetics)

But while General Dynamics, Textron, and Sig Sauer are all working closely with U.S. Army officials to incorporate all manner of next-generation features into the system, Mars and Cobalt Kinetic are going a different route: they plan on making their NGSW submissions available for consumer purchase as early as next year.

In Mars and Cobalt Kinetic submission, which has been in the works since early 2019, purportedly meets all of the Army's existing NGSW requirements. According to American Rifleman, that means the standard fire control and handling characteristics of the service's current small arms, a magazine well capable of handling the Army's new intermediate 6.8mm cartridge, and a fresh long-recoil system ripped from the Browning Auto-5 shotgun.

Shortly after selecting its three NGSW prototype candidates, the service issued a source sought notice for an NGSW Innovative Designs & Engineering Assessment (IDEA) Program to identify "new, innovative, enabling technologies" for the weapon fire-control system and specialized 6.8mm ammunition.