Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Lightweight Intermediate Caliber Cartridge Individual Weapon System (LICC IWS): 25+1-Round Suppressed 6.5x43mm/.264 AR-Type Combat/Tactical Carbine for Special Warfare Applications! (Video!)

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By David Crane
david (at) defensereview (dot) com

April 30, 2023

Speaking of FN Herstal/FN America (FNA) products, DefenseReview really likes this one. It’s called the Lightweight Intermediate Caliber Cartridge Individual Weapon System (LICC IWS), and it’s a very interesting suppressed tactical AR-type combat/tactical carbine that utilizes a special 6.5x43mm/.264 (originally called the “.264 USA) round cartridge that was initially developed by the US Army Marksmanship Unit (AMU). Developed through the Irregular Warfare Technology Support Directorate (IWTSD), the LICC IWS program is a “clean sheet of paper”-approach carbine/magazine/ammo system, the concept of which seems to have been birthed out of IWTSD’s SME Jim Schatz’s briefing titled “A Path to Overmatch: Next Generation Individual Weapon System” (PDF document) presented at the 2016 NDIA Armament Systems Forum.

Basically, Schatz envisioned the LICC IWS carbine system utilizing either a .264 or .277 lighweight cartridge. DefenseReview (DR) got the opportunity to talk with LICC IWS Program Manager for FN Peter Kurupas about the developmental weapon system at SHOT Show 2023, and he told us that the LICC IWS is designed to “provide the user with the best available technology, a hard-htting system that handles similar to an M4, but hits like a 7.62 [x54mm]. The ammunition itself is 20% lighter in weight than an equivalent brass [cartridge cased] round. It is 6.5 caliber by 43 [mm]. It is capable of operating at greater-than-SAAMI pressures. But, a nice thing about this, David, is that we were able to get several different cartridges developed within a very short period of time, within a couple years. [We’re] very proud of our team. The magazine is purpose-built, and it is 25 rounds. And, [its weight is equivalent] to a 30-round Magpul PMAG with 5.56 [mm] brass ammunition.”

Kurupas continues, “So what we have here is a system that is very hard-hitting, that has been delivered to the government in June [2022]. We currently are making over forty (40) changes to the system in order to deliver it in July of next year [2024]. Based on that, we are learning a lot about the different performance perameters of this new lightweight ammunition, and it is very exciting. We’re getting some very good accuracy results and very good performance. And so we’re really looking forward to delivering the next systems in July of next year [2024].”

During our discussion at SHOT, DR mentioned that they also developed a suppressor for the LICC IWS, and Kurupas responded as follows, “That’s correct. We have a team of best-in-industry suppliers that developed the suppressor. We have four ammunition companies working with us [FNA]. We have a magazine designer and manufacurer, and a suppressor designer and manufacturer. And, with all the different attributes that we had, we are very fortunate to be working with all these excellent suppliers, and really key partners, and that includes the government. They’re very good at what they do, and you see the evidence of what we have here after just a couple years of effort from a clean sheet of paper.”

Company Contact Info:

FN America (FNA)
FN Commercial Sales
FN Law Enforcement Sales
and FN Military Sales
PO Box 9424
McLean, VA 22102
Toll Free: 1-800-635-1321
Phone: 703-288-3500
Fax: 703-288-4507
Email: [email protected]
US Website:
International Website:

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Lightweight Intermediate Caliber Cartridge Individual Weapon System (LICC IWS): 25+1-Round Suppressed 6.5x43mm/.264 AR-Type Combat/Tactical Carbine for Special Warfare Applications! (Video!) by

About David Crane

David Crane started publishing online in 2001. Since that time, governments, military organizations, Special Operators (i.e. professional trigger pullers), agencies, and civilian tactical shooters the world over have come to depend on Defense Review as the authoritative source of news and information on "the latest and greatest" in the field of military defense and tactical technology and hardware, including tactical firearms, ammunition, equipment, gear, and training.

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