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Army Moving Forward with Next Generation Squad Weapons (NGSW) Program

The Army is continuing its rigorous testing and evaluation of small arms systems to meet their requirements and deliver increased lethality to the Soldier. Last April, the Army awarded a contract to Sig Sauer to produce the NGSW Rifle, Automatic Rifle and a 6.8mm family of ammunition to replace the M4A1 Carbine, M249 Squad Automatic Weapon and 5.56mm family of ammunition within the Close Combat Force.  Since that time, PEO Soldier, JPEO Armaments & Ammunition, Product Manager (PdM) Next Generation Weapons, PdM Small Caliber Ammunition, Soldier Lethality – Cross Functional Team, Sig Sauer, and the collective Army enterprise have worked feverishly to get this new capability ready to field to the Army.

During the competition to award the contract, the team conducted over 100 technical tests, fired over 1.5 million rounds of 6.8mm ammunition and executed over 20,000 hours of Soldier testing across three different vendor weapon systems.  The team continued this pace by conducting a Soldier Touch Point last fall with a squad of National Guard Soldiers and a squad from the 75th Ranger Regiment.

“The Soldier Touch Point allowed the program and Sig Sauer the opportunity to solicit direct Soldier feedback on the systems post-contract award and inform simple design changes to improve the weapons before going into Production Qualification Test and Operational Tests in the coming year,” said Capt. Tyler Morgan Assistant Product Manager, NGSW

A Soldier with the 75th Ranger Regiment said on the XM7, “Absolutely would take this weapon to combat in a heartbeat. It is light, functions very well, has an awesome load system, and is easy to handle and engage targets with.”

The next step in the NGSW program will be Production Qualification Testing (PQT), May-July 2023. PM Soldier Lethality is preparing to accept delivery of two dozen XM7 Rifles and XM250 Automatic Rifles in preparation for testing. Once these deliveries are received, the Aberdeen Test Center (ATC) will conduct 31 tests including weapons reliability, immersion, cook-off, flash and blank fire performance. The ATC will also test environmental conditions like extreme hot and cold, sand, dust, salt fog and mud.

Following PQT, the Army will conduct an operational test focused on setting the conditions for the First Unit Equipped scheduled in the second quarter of FY24.  Future operational testing is planned for FY24 to assess natural environments and airborne qualifications.

-PEO Soldier, Public Affairs

22 Responses to “Army Moving Forward with Next Generation Squad Weapons (NGSW) Program”

  1. Paul says:

    “A Soldier with the 75th Ranger Regiment said on the XM7, “Absolutely would take this weapon to combat in a heartbeat. It is light, functions very well, has an awesome load system, and is easy to handle and engage targets with.”, has a soldier with the 75th Ranger Regiment ever publicly voiced an opinion that contradicted their superiors?

    • James says:

      Sounds like he’s talking about the 250, it does have a some loading benefits (safety on charging ). Half suspect the M7 is the price of admission for the M250- rifle gets the press so quote gets shifted?

  2. Andy Markcyst says:

    Holy chin weld batman! Is that a picatinny riser on top of the xm250?

    • Hodge175 says:

      Have you ever fired a Machine Gun with as PAS13 installed? I come the days of the M60 and a Litton Night Vision scope.

    • James says:

      If you look really closely, it’s not a simple riser. It’s a bridge mount on the top cover, extends the top cover rail in both directions allowing it to open. That whole optics system flips to the side….

  3. Seamus says:

    So much for the stupid internet rumors of the Army canceling this program. One Army Times opinion piece gets published and the internet loses its mind.

    • Scott says:

      Yeah, that opinion piece had a few red flags. The part about the XM7 failing reliability testing that was clearly referencing the inRange TV mud test instead of an official reliability test was a red flag to me. I don’t have any issues with the inRange test, but I do have an issue with the opinion piece’s wording on that matter.

    • MDA says:

      Blew my mind he cited that and other outlets ran with the ‘news’. These weapons are still moving ahead of schedule.

  4. Nam says:

    “last fall with a squad of National Guard Soldiers”

    Does anyone know which National Guard unit is this? Also does anyone know what their opinion regarding the weapon? I am not a big fan of the 75th opinion since it tends to be heavily biased to the Army.

    • Ian says:

      Nobody said it was a NG “unit,” just that it was NG Soldiers.

      Feedback during Soldier Touchpoint events is generally withheld from public distribution, and participants sign NDAs. Further, the resulting Developmental Test and Touchpoint reporting is Controlled Unclassified Information with an associated Distribution Statement that limits access to it.

      • Yup says:

        Soldier feedback does not require, nor routinely have, NDAs. Traditionally, civilians out of CCDC-Soldier in Natick, MA conduct the evaluations with research psychologists through the Army G-1. The systems are brought to the unit and issued to the Soldiers. No NDAs are signed. I have been on dozen of those from the government side out of Natick.

        • Ian says:

          I’ve also dealt with APG testing and I guess it depends on which items are being evaluated. NDAs are thing, but perhaps not everything. Ultimately, the Touchpoint reports are not Distribution Statement A, but LIMDIS CUI.

  5. Vet says:

    Interestingly, I think it’s the first time the M250 was pictured with the lighter XM7 ‘buffer tube’ and stock, rather then the chunkier LMG stock it had during trials. Hopefully, the Army can adjust the weapon at some point to have a folding stock (which the weapon support, but SIG omitted to meet the OAL specs).

  6. Charlie says:

    Ammo can’t be sourced or produced. Already several user groups are moving away from this program. The platform and combo with its accessories are a hodge-podge , suppressor kinda works(not good). PMs are
    to blame; wasted time, money. 556/762 stock piles are in the million$ … SIG does some good things, not this.

    • Ian says:

      Please expand upon:
      >Ammo sourcing and production unavailability.
      >User groups that are moving away from the NGSW effort.
      >How 5.56/7.62 address NGSW program requirements.

      Frankly, this reminds me of the mindset that heaped 7.62 on us, way back when the .276 was proposed…”we’ve got a stockpile, so that’s why it’s what we need,” so I’m truly intellectually curious why you think 5.56/7.62 meets the NGSW requirement.

      • Goomba says:

        IMO moving on from 223 Remington has its merits. It’s a relatively sub-optimal design compared to 5.45 Russian and 5.8 ChiCom.

        6.8×51 ain’t it though. Too big/heavy with excessive recoil and pressures. To be fair part of that is the Army’s asinine requirement to penetrate level IV plate at 600 meters, but even without that it’s too much like a battle rifle round. The mass-issue battle rifle died out for good reason, and it’s stupid to bring it back (particularly as we pivot to the pacific). Hell, just look at the Russo-Ukrainian war; most small arms engagements have been within the classic “300 meter or less” category (with many of them taking place far closer).

    • Philip says:

      If you’re going to make such claims, surely you have a source other than “dude trust me”. Right?

    • JACK says:

      Winchester and their 5 million round contract want you to call them.

      https://www.ssusa.org/content/u-s-army-contracts-winchester-for-6-8-mm-ngsw-ammunition-production/

    • JACK says:

      Winchester and their 5 million round contract want you to call them

    • MDA says:

      This just is not true in any capacity lol blows my mind how much shit people throw around on here like they are involved in the program. It is a new round, there will obviously be growing pains. Luckily the US Military and SIG SAUER (both relatively experience large scale manufacturers) are at the helm. Stop spreading these falsities, please. These weapons and ammo are coming, and they will perform.

  7. Joe_K says:

    Here’s hoping the Soldiers Touch points lead to ditching one of the superfluous charging handles on the XM-7.

  8. MDA says:

    This just is not true in any capacity lol blows my mind how much shit people throw around on here like they are involved in the program. It is a new round, there will obviously be growing pains. Luckily the US Military and SIG SAUER (both relatively experienced large scale manufacturers) are at the helm. Stop spreading these falsities, please. These weapons and ammo are coming, and they will perform.