FN America (FNA) is giving folks a preview at SHOT Show 2023 of its current program that is in the works, the Lightweight Intermediate Caliber Cartridge (LICC) Individual Weapon System (IWS) built on the 6.5x43mm, or .264, round.
The IWS system was built around the key necessities of the Lightweight ammunition family, an improved performance carbine, a 25-round purpose-built polymer magazine, and a signature suppressor. All the items were built for the program including the rifle, and it also added a belt-fed Assault Machine gun to the program.
The cartridge for the system was originally developed by the US Army Marksmanship Unit, or the AMU, but was optimized by FNA. Collaborating with IWTSD, US & Canada SOF, and AMU, FNA worked to establish the overall shape, capacity, and performance.
Inside the IWS is a long-stroke piston operating system, which isn’t utilized nearly as much as in years past. It has a three-lug bolt interface for additional strength. The key feature for the reliability of the system is a self-regulating gas block, meaning the end user won’t have to adjust whether shooting it suppressed or unsuppressed.
Initial reports say that the IWS will be available in three interchangeable configurations, a 1.5” CQB, 14.5” carbine, and 18.5” Recce (marksmanship rifle) with weights ranging from seven to nine pounds unloaded. The IWS has fully ambidextrous controls for easier shooting by different-handed shooters. Additional ambi controls are present for the bolt catch and release system.
FNA also developed a two-stage select fire precision trigger system and a self-contained operating system within the rifle. The rifle has a non-reciprocating charging handle and a single lever takedown operation for rapid field stripping or maintenance.
On the outside, the IWS features a continuous 12-o’clock handguard one-piece Picatinny rail for easier mounting of accessories along with multiple Quick Detachment points. The system can be shot with the stock folded or unfolded. Additionally, the user can select whether it is a left or right-side folding stock.
While the system is still under development, there have been reports that the AWG has shown to be more accurate than the Mk48 in the full-auto mode. Not only that, but testers have observed almost 79% more impact energy over the M4 with better handling with the IWS.
Supposedly, FNA will deliver 55 LICC IWS in the three different configurations and a few AMG, with ammunition, to the US and Canadian Governments for testing. This helps open the door for faster adoption of the systems with a potential additional delivery of products this fall.
LICC IWS & AMG will be on display in FN America’s booth at SHOT Show at booth #11860. Meetings are available for “qualified representatives.”