Key point: Warfare is a constant battle between better and better armor and bullets. In this case, America is looking to regain the upper-hand once again.

The Army is developing a more powerful bullet that’ll penetrate body armor capable of stopping 5.56 mm rounds, the Army’s Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley told senators on Thursday.

“The 5.56 round, we recognize there is a type of body armor it does not penetrate, and adversarial states are selling that stuff on the Internet for about 250 bucks,” Milley explained during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, adding, “We think we have a solution … We know we have developed a bullet that can penetrate these new plates.”

The Army’s Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, Georgia, is testing different caliber rounds, which range between the 5.56 mm and 7.62 mm rounds used by U.S. troops, according to Army Times. Milley stressed that the focus is on increased lethality for the bullet, not on a new rifle. When asked if the higher-caliber round would require a new rifle, Milley responded that “it might, but probably not,” though he went on to say that there are off-the-shelf rifle options for the service.

With more than 70 percent of U.S. casualties coming from ground combat troops—mostly within the infantry and special operations forces—new body armor, along with a new weapon system, and a higher caliber round are “critically important,” Milley said.

Last week, retired Army Maj. Gen. Robert Scales addressed the Senate Armed Services Committee and stressed that the service needed to abandon 5.56 mm ammunition, along with the M4 and M16 family of rifles in favor of a new, more modular and lethal weapon system.

Scales has spent the last few years railing against the M4 and M16, and on May 17 said that thousands of combat troops have “died because the Army’s weapon buying bureaucracy has consistently denied that a soldier’s individual weapon is important enough to gain their serious attention.”

James Clark is a staff writer for Task & Purpose. He is a former Marine combat correspondent and a veteran of the War in Afghanistan. You can reach him via email at [email protected]. Follow James Clark on Twitter @JamesWClark.

This article originally appeared at Task & Purpose. Follow Task & Purpose on Twitter. This first appeared in 2019 and is being reposted due to reader interest.

This first appeared in 2019 and is being reposted due to reader interest.

More Articles from Task & Purpose:

Image: Reuters

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

F-22 Stealth Raptors vs. a Hurricane: Who Wins?

Key point: So an F-22 can be beaten.  The F-22 Raptor may be the most elusive fighter ever built. It has a radar-cross section the size of a marble, and if it gets into trouble, it can rocket away traveling…

Should We Just Let the Army Do It?

PROFESSIONAL ARMIES often toil in obscurity until they are needed. Absent a sense of external threat, militaries are often unappreciated and lack constituencies of their own. These professional armies, as is the case in most European and North American countries,…

Iran’s 2019 Drone Shootdown Showed That Air Force Surveillance Must Become More Survivable

Here’s What You Need To Remember: Concerns over survivability compelled the Air Force in mid-2018 to cancel a $7-billion effort to replace the service’s aging E-8 ground-surveillance planes with a newer manned aircraft. Instead of buying another big, slow, non-stealthy aircraft,…

The Marines Want Their Amphibious Ships To Become F-35-Laden Aircraft Carriers

The U.S. Navy amphibious assault ship USS Wasp in March 2019 deployed to the Indo-Pacific region with no fewer than 10 F-35B Lightning II stealth fighters on board. An assault ship usually embarks just six F-35s or older AV-8B Harrier…