PEO Soldier’s Program Manager Next Generation Squad Weapons has released photos of the latest versions of the three candidate systems for Rifle and Automatic Rifle as well as the two proposed Fire Control Systems.
Three industry teams were selected to provide Next Generation Rifle and Automatic Rifle systems to the US Army which will eventually replace the M4 Carbine and M249 Squad Automatic Weapon in the Army’s and potentially other the services’ close combat forces.
These new weapons fire a 6.8mm cartridge unlike anything else in our or other nations’ inventories. It performs in a similar fashion to the commercial 270 Win Short Mag round and will provide our troops with overmatch of threat small arms.
The teams include Textron System, General Dynamics-OTS and SIG SAUER. Each vendor brings a unique perspective to satisfying the Army’s requirement which includes not only weapons but also ammunition which weigh-in at 20% lower than current ammo.
For instance, Textron proposes a Case, Telescoped ammunition and weapons with an entirely new operation system to accommodate their cartridge design. Meanwhile, GD proposes a polymer cased ammo and bullpup weapons. SIG seems to take the low risk approach with weapons most Soldiers will be able to pick up and put right into operation along with a hybrid cased ammo which combines steel and brass in the cartridge case to lighten the load.
Specifically, NGSW-FC is intended to increase the Soldier’s ability to rapidly engage man sized targets out to 600m or greater while maintaining the ability to conduct Close Quarters Battle. This objective is achieved by leveraging technologies to calculate and display a disturbed reticle to the User.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the program office continues to forge ahead on this priority effort with ongoing technical testing at Aberdeen Proving Ground and Soldier Touch Points at Fort Drum, through the end of August. The Army hopes to make a source selection decision by FY 2022.