U.S. Special Operations Command is seeking new weapons, ammunition, and explosives to outperform adversaries on a more competitive battlefield and enhance the capabilities of special operators.
Lt. Col. John “Tosh” Lancaster, program manager for U.S. Special Operations Command’s lethality acquisitions, discussed the need for various small arms, ammunition, and explosive devices to enhance the capabilities of special operators in future missions. The goal is to outperform and outrange enemy weapons systems on a more competitive battlefield. One upcoming addition is the lightweight medium machine gun, expected to be fielded in fiscal 2026, which will require accessories, dedicated optics, and a new suite of ammunition. The command is also seeking nighttime range finders for snipers and new suppressors for machine guns and small arms, with a focus on reducing flash, sound, heat, and round disturbance. Additionally, the command expressed the need for a low-cost, squad-level weapon that can effectively engage targets behind berms, walls, or hills. They also aim to update their breaching and demolition kits with remote firing devices and higher-yield explosives for improved effectiveness.