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U.S. Army soliciting prototypes for next-generation guns with facial recognition

The U.S. Army has posted a solicitation inviting defense firms to prototype a Next-Generation Squad Weapon (NGSW) with biometric facial recognition and wind-sensing technology, according to a notice on FedBizOpps.gov.

According to the Prototype Opportunity Notice for the NGSW-Fire Control, the army is seeking technology that increases the ability of soldiers to rapidly engage enemies at distances of 600 meters as well as at close range. Two five-year agreements will be awarded for 115 NGSW-Fire Control systems, along with spare parts and related items for a 14-month testing process. Follow-up production awards could be worth $250 million, with up to two planned for the 2021 fiscal year.

The NGSW program involves a rifle and an automatic rifle to replace the M249 squad automatic weapon and the M4/M4A1 carbine, Military.com reports. The army has a set of basic specifications for both, but says it may also request performance capabilities including “advanced camera based (sic) capabilities: automatic target recognition, target tracking, facial recognition,” as well as pre-shot threat detection.

The system will also be designed to work with the army’s Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS), an AR-type visual information delivery system designed by Microsoft.

Responses to the solicitation are due by November 4, 2019.

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