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SIG Sauer sweeps up next-gen US infantry weapon deals

20th April 2022 - 14:56 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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The US Army chose the Sig Sauer MCX SPEAR design for its Next Generation Squad Weapon to replace the M4A1 rifle. (Photo: Sig Sauer)

After 27 months of tests and evaluations, the US Army has chosen the XM250 light machine gun and XM5 rifle as two of its Next Generation Squad Weapons.

SIG Sauer has won the competition to provide the US Army with a new rifle and automatic weapon in its Next Generation Squad Weapon (NGSW) programme.

Under a ten-year contract with an initial delivery order value of $20.4 million, SIG Sauer will provide its  SIG-LMG (XM250) light machine gun and SIG MCX-SPEAR (XM5) rifle, with SIG SLX suppressors as standard and 6.8mm SIG FURY hybrid ammunition.

The contract award, announced by the US Army on 19 April, followed a 27-month prototyping and testing phase involving US Army, USMC and SOF personnel.

‘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,’ the US Army noted in a statement.

SIG Sauer previously won the sidearm contract under NGSW in 2017, providing its M17 and M18 pistols to replace the Beretta M9.

In the rifle (NGSW-R) and automatic rifle (NGSW-AR) competition, the company prevailed over bids from Lonestar (previously General Dynamics Ordnance Systems – GD-OTS) and Textron Systems.

NGSW-R and NGSW-AR will see the US Army replace the M4A1 carbine and the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW) — both 5.56mm calibre — used by its infantry squads.

The XM250 lightweight belt-fed machine gun will replace the SAW, while the XM5 will replace the M4A1. Both new weapons include the XM157 fire control optic from Sheltered Wings.

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