Toronto: Canadian army researchers have developed a next-generation integrated assault rifle that comes with more firepower, improved accuracy and smart integrated accessories.
The rifle has been developed by the Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) and arms manufacturer Colt Canada for the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF).
The prototype includes a firing mechanism to shoot lightweight cased telescoped ammunition, a secondary effects module for increased firepower and a NATO standard power and data rail to integrate accessories like electro-optical sights and position sensors.
In order to support the multi-role nature of the weapon, the prototype's secondary effects module features the ability to install either a three round 40 mm grenade launcher, or a 12-gauge shotgun.
When optimised, the integrated weapon prototype could weigh less than a C7 equipped with a M203 grenade launcher, reducing the burden on soldiers.
"In the medium term, this weapon concept represents a lethal, flexible general-purpose platform," Lieutenant-Colonel Serge Lapointe, from the Soldier Systems group in Director Land Requirements - Soldier Systems (DLR 5) of the Canadian Army said in a statement.
"It will be able to operate in all theatres of operations in the most complex terrain including urban areas, mountains, jungles, deserts and the Arctic," said Lapointe.
DRDC scientists analysed advanced material technologies that could replace the metal used in heavy components.
The lightweight case telescoped ammunition was tested extensively with the support of the Munitions Experimental Test Centre in Valcartier, Quebec to assess its long-term ageing behaviour.
Scientists also studied how to increase the rifle's accuracy using technology that can automatically detect targets and assist with engaging them.