The US Army chooses SIG Sauer for its assault rifles and its new generation infantry machine guns

Launched in 2017, the US Army's Next Generation Squad Weapon program aimed to develop a new generation of infantry weapons to replace the M4A1 assault rifles, M249 and M240 infantry machine guns, and 5,56 .XNUMX mm NATO, judged by the American General Staff as insufficient in the face of the democratization of ballistic protection.

Integrated into the BIG 6 super program, the NGSW program began by choosing, in August 2019, a 6,8mm smart round designated XM1186, derived from a caliber developed by Remington RPC in the early 2000s, abandoning the idea once mentioned of telescoped ammunition which, according to the US Army, would have created too many logistical and industrial constraints.

In early January 2022, the US Army awarded the company Vortex Optics a $2,7 billion contract for the supply of 250.000 XM157 NGSW-FC sighting systems (Fire Control), day and night sighting equipment incorporating many new technologies, which must take place on both the assault rifle and machine gun version of the program.

It only remained for the US Army to choose between the two finalists for the competition concerning the weapons themselves, between the model of Lonestar Future Weapons associated with Beretta USA based on a Bullpup design (loader and chamber in back of the grip, as with the Famas), and the traditionally designed MCX Spear from SIG Sauer Inc.

It's now done, the US Army having awarded Sig Sauer the contract aimed at developing and manufacturing the XM-5 assault rifle which will replace the M-4A1, and the XM-250 machine gun replacing the M249 light machine guns in caliber 5,56 mm, and the M240 machine gun in caliber 7,62 mm, after a 27-month testing and experimentation process.

The gunsmith has been awarded a $20,4m contract to supply the weapons, but also the ammunition, parts and service, to continue the trials, so as to start the prototype trials in 2023 as planned by the US Army.

The XM-5 assault rifle and the XM-250 machine gun (top) will share a single 6.8mm caliber
The XM-5 assault rifle and the XM-250 machine gun (top) will share a single 6.8mm caliber

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