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US Army Announces 6 Prototype Opportunity Notice Awards to 5 Companies for Next Generation Squad Automatic Rifle

Saturday, July 14th, 2018

Although announced just today, the U.S. Army Contracting Command – New Jersey (ACC-NJ), on behalf of Project Manager Soldier Weapons, awarded five companies contracts to develop prototype weapon technologies on June 25, 2018.

These were for six separate Fixed Priced, Full and Open Competition (F&OC), Prototype OTA’s to:

AAI Corporation Textron Systems – Hunt Valley, MD; OTA W15QKN-18-9-1017

FN America LLC. – Columbia, SC; OTA’s W15QKN-18-9-1018 & W15QKN-18-9-1019

General Dynamics-OTS Inc. – Williston, VT; OTA W15QKN-18-9-1020

PCP Tactical, LLC – Vero Beach, FL; OTA W15QKN-18-9-1021

Sig Sauer Inc. – Newington, NH; OTA W15QKN-18-9-1022

These Prototype Other Transaction Agreements will be for the manufacture and development of a Next Generation Squad Automatic Rifle (NGSAR) system demonstrator representative of a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 6 and Manufacturing Readiness Level (MRL) 6. The expected Prototype OTA duration is twelve months after award.

Earlier this year, the Army released a Prototype Opportunity Notice for NGSAR, which is intended to replace the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon in Brigade Combat Teams. The prototype must weigh less than 12 pounds, with ammunition weighing 20 percent less than an equivalent brass case and integrate fire control. Although the caliber and type of ammunition is left open to vendors, most are using the government provided 6.8mm projectile. Notice I said projectile. It will be up to them to create a cartridge which is lightweight, yet delivers an undisclosed velocity which is beyond any other intermediate caliber cartridge previously evaluated. With that comes the challenge of increased chamber pressures and recoil which must be dealt with.