Wednesday, November 29, 2023

The US Army chooses SIG Sauer for its next-generation assault rifles and 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, the M249 and M240 infantry machine guns, as well as the 5 munition .56 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 smart 6.8 mm ammunition designated XM1186 , derived from a caliber developed by Remington RPC in the early 2000s, abandoning the idea for a while mentioned telescoped ammunition which, according to the US Army, would have generated too many logistical and industrial constraints.

At the beginning of January 2022, the US Army awarded the company Vortex Optics a $2.7 billion contract for the supply of 250,000 XM157 NGSW-FC (Fire Control) sighting systems , day and night sighting equipment carrying many new technologies, which must take place on both the assault rifle and machine gun versions of the program.

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

This is now done, the US Army having awarded Sig Sauer the contract to develop and manufacture the XM-5 assault rifle which will replace the M-4A1, and the XM-250 machine gun replacing the M249 light machine guns in the caliber 5.56 mm, and the M240 machine gun in caliber 7.62 mm, after a process of tests and experiments lasting 27 months.

The gunsmith was awarded a $20.4 million contract to supply the weapons, but also the ammunition, parts and service, to continue the tests, so as to begin testing the prototypes 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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Fabrice Wolf
Fabrice Wolf
A former French naval aeronautics pilot, Fabrice is the editor and main author of the site. His areas of expertise are military aeronautics, defense economics, air and submarine warfare, and Akita inu.

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