In most science fiction films, weapons of the future come with extremely advanced aiming systems capable of detecting targets in dim light or behind cover, calculating ballistic trajectory, and communicating with other weapons. Once again, reality will soon join fiction, since the US Army has just awarded a contract of no less than $ 2,7 billion to the company Vortex Optics, in order to deliver some 250.000 XM157 NGSW-FC (Fire Control) fire control systems as part of the Next Generation Squad Weapons program. The system will equip both the NGSW-R assault rifles and the support weapons of the NGSW-AR program, both of which rely, among other things, on a new 6,8mm caliber offering increased firepower facing the traditional 5,56mm NATO currently in service.
And innovative capabilities, the XM157 will not be lacking, with a light intensification system, a laser rangefinder, a ballistic computer coupled with a visible or infrared sighting laser, an atmospheric station, a recording system and a communication system, all integrated into a digital interface. The objective sought by the US Army is both to increase the precision and the lethality of fire, and therefore the firepower of its units, but also to increase the interoperability of forces, in application of the doctrine. Joint All-Domain Command and Control. It will, in all likelihood, be connected to the future IVAS augmented linked system currently in development, in particular for the communication aspects. These new systems will make it possible in particular to increase the range of engagement by taking advantage of the increased power of the projectiles linked to the new caliber, so as to outclass the enemy units in this area, and therefore to engage them before they can. -even, retaliate.
If the Electro-optical system of the NGSW program was awarded to Vortex Optics (to the detriment of L3 Harris, its competitor in this competition), the choice of the manufacturer of the two infantry weapons intended to replace the M4 assault rifles as well as the M249 SAW and M240 machine guns, has yet to be refereed. Of the 5 competitors initially competing, three have already been eliminated, Textron System, FN-America and PCP-Tactical. The two competitors still in evaluation are SIG Sauer with the SIG MCX in the field of assault rifles and the SIG MG 6.8 for support weapons, as well as True Velocity with the assault rifle RM-277R which uses the Bullpup configuration. , and the RM-277AR machine gun. The final contract should allow the delivery of some 250.000 copies of the NGSW-R (Rifle or Assault Rifle) and -AR (Automatic Rifle or support weapon / machine gun) distributed between the US Army and the Marine Corps, to destination in priority of infantry and mechanized infantry units, the remaining support units, for their part, equipped with M4s and MPs.