Launched in 2017, the US Army's Next Generation Squad Weapon program aimed to develop a new generation of infantry weapons to replace the M4A1 assault rifles, M249 and M240 infantry machine guns, and 5,56 .6 mm NATO, judged by the American General Staff as insufficient in the face of the democratization of ballistic protection. Integrated into the BIG 2019 super program, the NGSW program began by choosing, in August XNUMX, a 6,8mm smart round designated XM1186, derived from a caliber developed by Remington RPC in the early 2000s, abandoning the idea once mentioned of telescoped ammunition which, according to the US Army, would have created too many logistical and industrial constraints. At the beginning of January 2022, the US Army awarded the company Vortex Optics a $2,7 billion contract for the supply of 250.000 XM157 NGSW-FC sighting systems (Fire Control), day and night sighting equipment incorporating many new technologies, which must take place on both the assault rifle and machine gun version of the program.
It only remained for the US Army to choose between the two finalists for the competition concerning the weapons themselves, between the model of Lonestar Future Weapons associated with Beretta USA based on a Bullpup design (loader and chamber in back of the handle, as with the Famas), and the traditionally designed MCX Spear from SIG Sauer Inc. This is now done, the US Army having awarded Sig Sauer the contract aimed at developing and manufacturing the XM-5 assault rifle which will replace the M-4A1, and the XM-250 machine gun replacing the M249 light machine guns in 5,56mm caliber, and the M240 machine gun in 7,62mm caliber, after a process 27 months of tests and experiments. The gunsmith has been awarded a $20,4 million contract to supply the weapons, but also the ammunition, parts and service, in order to continue the trials, so as to begin the trials of the prototypes in 2023 as planned by the US Army.
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