US Army to announce preferred supplier of Next Generation Squad Weapons NGSW in Q4 2022

According to information published by the "1945" website, the United States Army could announce the preferred supplier of the Next Generation Squad Weapons (NGSW) in Q4 2022. This program consists of the acquisition of a new Rifle (NGSW-R) and Automatic Rifle (NGSW-AR) with a common 6.8mm cartridge to replace M4 Carbine, M249 SAW, and M240 machine guns.
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The three contenders for the U.S. Army NGSW program are Sig Sauer, General Dynamics and Textron. (Picture source Army Recognition)

The first prototype test, beginning in the third quarter of Fiscal Year (FY) 2020, will serve as a “diagnostic test” to inform the weapon and ammunition vendors on their current performance and feed another design iteration. The second prototype test, beginning in the second quarter of FY21, will be a “for record test” and will inform the weapon systems' selection.

For the U.S. Army, the NGSW program significantly increases lethality and probability of hit at the squad level. Due to the nature of the General-Purpose ammunition, the 6.8 mm projectile will outperform even the most modern 5.56 mm and 7.62 mm ammunition. These weapon systems will give Soldiers significant capability improvements in accuracy, range, signature management, and lethality.

The goal of the NSGW is to equip infantry, combat engineers, forward observers, combat medics and scouts in high-readiness units. Planned procurement is for 250,000 weapons, with 122,000 to be ordered by FY2025. In its FY2022 budget request, the US Army proposes to spend $97 million on 12,217 NGSWs, almost quadrupling the enacted total for FY2021 (3,983).

The NGSW (Next Generation Squad Weapon) program is currently in a competitive prototyping iteration with three vendors for weapons and ammunition including SIG Sauer, General Dynamics – OTS, and Textron Systems.

NGSW R US Army Sig Sauer MCX SPEAR assault rifle 925 001
Sig Sauer MCS SPEAR (Picture Army Recognition)

NGSW AR US Army Sig Sauer MG 68 machine gun 925 001
Sig Sauer MG-6.8. 5 (Picture source Army Recognition)

On February 2021, SIG Sauer had announced the delivery of the final prototype weapons including the NGSW-AR lightweight belt-fed machine gun, the NGSW-R rifle, and suppressors. Sig Sauer has developed the MCX Spear to answer the U.S. Army request for a Next Generation Squad Weapon Rifle while for the NGSW-AR, Sig Sauer has developed the MG-6.8.

NGSW R US Army General Dynamics assault rifle 925 001
General Dynamics RM-277-R (Picture source Army Recognition)

NGSW AR US Army General Dynamics assault rifle 925 001
General Dynamics EM-277AR (Picture source Army Recognition)

General Dynamics and Beretta USA have jointly developed the GD RM277-R and the EM-277AR to respond to the NGSW program of the U.S. Army. The new assault rifle is an indigenous weapon of bullpup design.

The BDT/GD-OTS RM277-R (Rifle) and RM277-AR (Automatic Rifle) NGSW variants are designed to replace the M4/M4A1 Carbine and M249 SAW (Squad Automatic Weapon) light machine gun (LMG). The RM277-AR is fitted with a slightly longer barrel and a bipod. Both feature a bullpup design, so they maximize barrel length while minimizing overall weapon length.

NGSW R US Army Textron CT assault rifle 925 001
Textron CT System assault rifle (Picture source Army Recognition)

NGSW AR US Army Textron machine gun 925 001
Textron LSAT Ligt Machine Gun. (Picture source Army Recognition)

The third company selected by the U.S. Army for the NGSW program is Textron with Textron CT System rifle and LSAT light machine gun utilizing an Olin Winchester CT 6.8 polymer cased-telescoped cartridge.

On August 2019, Textron has announced its selection by the U.S. Army’s Project Manager Soldier Weapons as one of three organizations to deliver Next Generation Squad Weapons (NGSW) based on the company’s mature, high-performance cased telescoped (CT) technology.

The Textron team includes Heckler & Koch, Olin Winchester (ammunition design), and Lewis Machine & Tool (suppressor). The Textron NGSW designs are a magazine-fed rifle and belt-fed AR.

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