Tactical Tailor

Will Life Imitate Art With The Next Generation Squad Weapon Program?

The video game “Battlefield 2042“, created by DICE and distributed by Electronic Arts, takes place in the near future. Interestingly, the standard issue weapon for the US Army is the M5A3 rifle which in the game, is a SIG Spear variant. What’s more, it’s an “A3” variant of the rifle meaning it’s been in service awhile by the time the game’s 2042 has rolled around, having received several upgrades along the way.

The US Army recently announced that the nomenclature of the Rifle component in the Next Generation Squad Weapon program is the XM5. The “X” prefix will be dropped once the weapon finishes test and evaluation and is fully adopted.l, making it the M5.

Sure enough, one of the two candidate rifles vying for adoption by the Army is the SIG Spear in 6.8 x 51.

The Army plans to announce its choice between the SIG and True Velocity candidate weapons soon, with testing planned for later this year.

Although 2042 is still two decades off, the question remains; will life imitate art?

18 Responses to “Will Life Imitate Art With The Next Generation Squad Weapon Program?”

  1. Chuck says:

    Come on, does anyone really think Sig isn’t going to pick this contract up? lol

    • Ian Tashima says:

      There’s reason to think otherwise.

      The Advanced Lethality XM5/250 systems and their BOIPs were recently added to FMSweb. Anyone with access will notice something interesting.

      • John Mayeski says:

        Go on….? I’d also assume SiG has this in the bag, with all the contracts they’ve been getting. The Army would presumably NEVER go over to a Bullpup in our lifetimes. They may chose the TV ammo though.

        • Lcon says:

          The Ammo and weapons are interdependent on each other. The Army wants the NGSW rifle to stay around the length of an AR15 with a 16 inch barrel unsupressed. The TV ammo is designed for a long barrel the Rifle RM277 is packing a 19”inch barrel before you add the suppressor. If you tried that with an AR10 based platform the rifle would come in with a length about the same as an M14. Add the can and it’s longer. Sig optimized its design to try and milk from a 13” barrel before the suppressor that means minus can it’s about the size of an M4 add the can an M16. If you dropped the TV ammo in the Spear it wouldn’t get the velocity. If you did the same in the RM277 it would probably fail.

          • SSD says:


          • Seamus says:

            But with the RFI for 6.8mm barrel conversion kits to existing MGs (M240 series) TV would certainly work and has already been marketed as such, however if the Sig ammo were put in a longer 20” M240 barrel it would, in theory, get even more velocity.

            Also if the conversion kit is the lowest common denominator that is adopted and NGSW dies on the vine, the the Sig ammo has the most velocity to play with and could even be slightly down loaded for less chamber pressure and thus more longevity of bolt and barrel, but still have higher velocity than the TV submission.

            • SSD says:

              Initially at least, you’re going to get one cartridge. If it’s SIG’s technology, it will be loaded to attain desired velocity in the Rifle, so it’s going to be hot in the M240 if they decide to go that route.

          • NF says:

            Nope, TV’s ammo is still faster from a short barrel. SIG’s is extremely slow, only 2,800 ft/s from a 13″. Doesn’t even meet the minimum requirement, it’s been a huge problem for them the entire time.

    • Beau GusPosterman says:

      …well that didn’t age well…

  2. cimg says:

    Mag and mag well looks like we are sticking with 5.56!!4eva

    • Lcon says:

      The M5 in the video game uses a 25 round 7.62 PMAG. The real XM5 from Sig uses a 20 round 7.62 Lancer mag

  3. No1_Important says:

    Current SIG Sauer Military Weapons contracts off the top of my head.
    1. M17
    2. M18
    3. SURG
    5. MG338

    then you have ammo and optics contracts they’ve won. Add to that olin Winchester had agreed to produce the steel reinforced 6.8 brass cased ammo and then they won the contract to run the Lake City Ammunition plant which doesn’t produce Polymer cased ammo but HEY! The new artist formerly known as Beretta/ General Dynamics and now Lone Star Future Weapons could totally win!

    • Doe says:

      Lake City also doesn’t produce 6.8- the contracts for Winchester involve creating an entire new building and tooling. Totally possible for that to be TV.

      • Broseph von Bromovich says:

        TV is holding aces

        Their real product is the semi-portable manufacturing cell capable of making 24 million rounds per year on a 2500 sq foot footprint with minimal labor. That’s the peerless IP.

        TV’s 44,000 ft^2 facility home ranch has a 600M round capacity with a very small headcount (I might have seen a pic of 20 employees all together at once?) Lake city outputs 1.4B rounds/year with 3,935 acres, 1700 employees, 458 buildings and a 2.5 star rating on Glassdoor. That facility is probs toast or TV will take it over and clean house as a contractor (per 2020 testimony)


        You should note all those changes in private ownership probably denote vertical integration based on the world’s soundest business plan “input money bullet printer go burrrrr”

        Even if the technology weren’t wildly superior – and it is – the lack of labor plus less shipping/storage requirements means it will drive everyone else into the dirt next time ammo bottoms out (R admin) or force them to buy in.

        Now that we’re out of Afghanistan the use case for a 1200 meter battle rifle is returning to it’s rightful grave in the year 1959. SIG is marketing a complete buy-in to single solution to the last war that will be hella expensive. There’s no way 80,000PSI in a 13″ platform doesn’t chew through parts and barrels.

        TV is marketing drop-in barreling for existing platforms, plus a new light rifle if you want it. Flexible and cheap stuff you can hide in a budget. Bet they’re low key tanking NGSW based on recent marketing.

  4. Lcon says:

    XM5: This unit must survive….

  5. Doe says:

    Seeing how 2042 was dogshit in many ways, they probably got this one wrong too! Sig’s NGSW has always appealed better with those not following the program closely due to it’s conservative appearance.

  6. Edward Randall says:

    The rifle should be issued to the whole Army so that we would not have multiple logistics lines for 3 or 4 different types of ammunition. Most of the fighting still occurs within 300 yards, the M80A1 or M1158 round has plenty of energy at that range. Both of these bullets could be used with the True Velocity plastic cases. The Army needs a lightweight rifle, like the alloy rifle from Roam that would weigh the same as the M4 with a Proof Research barrel.