I'm not sure I have issues with the plan or not. If we have good supplies of M4's that are in good condition, then I'm totally cool with waiting it out with the M4. However, if it's getting time for new rifles, then perhaps that's not the greatest idea.They seem to be constantly angling for the plane to pursue an uber future technology which they figure will not be deployed any time soon, rather than what can be built from what is on the shelf right now. That seems to have been the plan since Land Warrior.
The next generation rifle has a serious body armor issue (as does the M4...or ANY rifle for that matter). None of the current AP ammo will penetrate level IV body armor...and that armor is getting cheap...and showing up frequently on the battlefields.
The new tungsten core ammo will penetrate that armor, even out to combat ranges of 500m or a little more. But a couple of problems with using tungsten...
1 - We don't have significant supplies of tungsten. The big producers of tungsten are China and Russia. So our ability to create a patent supply line of ammo to sustain a war is questionable at best.
2 - The Army's new XM1158 Advanced Armor Piercing round is a little pricey at $13.00 per round! No, that's no typo; you read that right. $13.00 per shot from a round that doesn't have "Nitro Express" at the end.