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US Army awards Sig Sauer for Next Generation Squad Weapon XM5 rifle and XM250 machine gun.

| 2022

According to a statement published by the U.S. Army on April 19, 2022, the U.S. Army announced the award of a 10-year firm-fixed-price follow-on production contract to Sig Sauer, Inc for the manufacture and delivery of two Next Generation Squad Weapon variations (the XM5 Rifle and the XM250 Automatic Rifle) and the 6.8 Common Cartridge Family of Ammunition.
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Sig Sauer NGSW-R Next Generation Squad Weapon will replace the standard M4 carbine of the U.S. Army.  (Picture source Army Recognition)

The Next Generation Squad Weapons (NGSW) is a program launched by the U.S. Army in 2017 with the goal to acquire 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. 

With the NSGW program, U.S. Army plans 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).

This award was made following a rigorous 27-month prototyping and evaluation effort that included numerous technical tests and Soldier touch points of three competing prototype systems.

The value of the initial delivery order on the contract is $20.4 million for weapons and ammunition that will undergo testing. The contract includes accessories, spares, and contractor support. It also provides the other U.S. Department of Defense services and, potentially, Foreign Military Sales countries the opportunity to purchase the NGSW weapons.

The XM5 Rifle will replace the M4/M4A1 carbine within the close combat force, and the XM250 Automatic Rifle is the planned replacement for the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon.

Both weapons provide significant capability improvements in accuracy, range and overall lethality. They are lightweight, fire more lethal ammunition, mitigate recoil, provide improved barrel performance, and include integrated muzzle sound and flash reduction.

Both weapons fire common 6.8 millimeter ammunition utilizing government provided projectiles and vendor-designed cartridges. The new ammunition includes multiple types of tactical and training rounds that increase accuracy and are more lethal against emerging threats than both the 5.56mm and 7.62mm ammunition.

The XM5 and XM250 will be paired with the XM157 Fire Control, a ruggedized advanced fire control system that increases accuracy and lethality for the close combat force. The XM157 integrates a number of advanced technologies, including a variable magnification optic (1X8), backup etched reticle, laser rangefinder, ballistic calculator, atmospheric sensor suite, compass, Intra-Soldier Wireless, visible and infrared aiming lasers, and a digital display overlay. It is produced by Sheltered Wings Inc. d/b/a Vortex Optics, Barneveld, Wisconsin.

The Sig Sauer NGSW-R is a lightweight rifle built on the foundation of the Sig Sauer weapons in service with the premier fighting forces across the globe combined with the added firepower of the 6.8mm round. Features include a fully collapsible and folding stock, rear and side charging handle, free-floating reinforced M-LOK handguard, fully ambidextrous controls, and quick-detach suppressor.

The Sig Sauer Lightweight Machine Gun (NGSW-AR) is a new generation of light machine gun with an emphasis on significant reductions in soldier load and enhanced combat performance, Sig Sauer designed the NGSW-AR to be 40% lighter than current systems, and dramatically reduce felt recoil while maintaining traditional belt-fed operation to increase downrange capability. The MG 6.8mm machine gun features ambidextrous AR-style ergonomics, quick detach magazines, increased M1913 rail space, quick detach suppressor, and vastly improves upon the operation and function of the legacy M249.

US Army awards Sig Sauer for Next Generation Squad Weapon XM5 rifle and XM250 machine gun 925 002
Sig Sauer NGSW-AR Next Generation Squad Weapon will replace the standard M240 light machine gun of the U.S. Army.  (Picture source Army Recognition)

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