The US military is armed with a unique MCX Spear lightweight assault rifle
PANAGYURISHTE, (BM) – As we reported earlier today [June 3 – ed.] the United States Army began updating its small arms to a new generation of the German company SIG Sauer as part of a program to replace all rifles and machine guns.
This program is the largest in the last 50 years. The received cartridges have an increased firing range and efficiency, as well as muzzle velocity.
Thanks to this program, the US military acquired a unique lightweight assault rifle SIG Sauer NGSW-R MCX Spear rifle.
What the lightweight assault rifle SIG Sauer NGSW-R MCX Spear rifle really is?
The MCX Spear assault rifle / assault rifle was developed by the US division of the international company SIG Sauer under the US Army’s Next Generation Squad Weapon Weapon Rifle / NGSW-R program.
The NGSW program is another highly ambitious U.S. military project designed to provide U.S. soldiers with weapons capable of hitting enemy infantry in modern personal protective equipment (body armor) at increased ranges compared to modern systems, such as a 5.56mm M4 assault rifle.
At the early stages of the program, the military’s wishes to break through “any modern body armor” at distances up to 600 meters were voiced, but it is difficult to believe in the implementation of such a requirement.
Complete tactical and technical requirements for the NGSW program at the end of 2019 were not published. It is known that a new weapon should have a caliber of 6.8 mm and use bullets weighing about 9 grams, with an initial velocity of a bullet from a relatively short machine gun barrel at a level of 3000 ft / s, or 915 m / s.
This requirement means very high working pressures in the barrel of the weapon, which means an increased load on the locking assembly and enhanced barrel heating.
Read more: Top 5 best assault rifles in the world
Also, the new cartridge, regardless of design, will have a recoil momentum even greater than that of the standard 7.62×51 NATO cartridge, which forces all program participants to use various schemes to reduce perceived recoil in their weapons.
Also, with such a cartridge, silencers of the sound of the shot are necessary, otherwise a powerful muzzle flash and a shock wave will extremely negatively affect both the shooter and his comrades, especially when shooting in confined spaces.
Since the customer installed only the caliber and type of bullet within the project, each of the participants is free to develop and offer cartridges of any design. SIG Sauer is offering a 6.8×51 cartridge with a traditional cartridge shape in a hybrid design for the NGSW competition.
The walls of the sleeve are made of thin brass, the bottom of the sleeve is made of steel or another lighter metal, for example, aluminum or titanium. This design provides a reduction in the mass of the empty sleeve by about 20-30% compared to a traditional fully brass sleeve.
The SIG Sauer NGSW-R MCX Spear submachine gun, as its name implies, is developed on the basis of the SIG MCX modular platform. It uses traditional gas exhaust automation with an upper gas piston with a short stroke.
The gas unit has a two-position gas regulator. The barrel is locked by a rotary shutter. The return gate springs are located above the bolt group, in the upper part of the receiver.
Judging by the company’s patent applications, the SIG Sauer NGSW submachine gun has a movable barrel group with an elongated shank, inside which the shutter frame with the shutter moves. The receiver group has a special rollback buffer in the lower back part, designed to reduce the peak return felt by the shooter.
A special silencer for the sound of a shot is installed on the muzzle of the barrel, also playing the role of a flame arrester and a muzzle brake. The layout and ergonomics of the weapon as a whole is similar to the standard weapon of the US Army – the M4 carbine.
The original solution on the prototypes of the SIG Sauer MCX Spear submachine gun is a “double” cocking handle – in addition to the T-shaped handle in the back of the receiver, traditional for American submachine guns on the AR-15 / M16 platform, the SIG Sauer NGSW-R submachine gun has an additional folding handle on the left side of the receiver.
When firing, this handle remains stationary. The weapon is equipped with a side-folding butt, power is supplied by cartridges from detachable plastic stores with a capacity of 20 rounds. Sights of all types are mounted on an integrated Picatinny rail on the receiver cover and forend.
What else did the US military get under the renewal program
SIG SAUER 6.8mm Hybrid Ammunition: designed to enhance mission effectiveness, this high-pressure, compact round combines a significant reduction in weight, with the ability to handle higher pressures resulting in increased velocity and greater penetration. Additionally, based on the cartridge design and the traditional manufacturing processes, the growth potential of the SIG 6.8mm ammunition is exponential.
SIG SAUER Lightweight Machine Gun (NGSW-AR): with an emphasis on significant reductions in soldier load and enhanced combat performance, SIG SAUER designed the NGSW-AR to be 40% lighter than current systems, and dramatically reduce felt recoil while maintaining traditional belt-fed operation to increase downrange capability. The MG 6.8mm machine gun features ambidextrous AR-style ergonomics, quick detach magazines, increased M1913 rail space, quick detach suppressor, and vastly improves upon the operation and function of the legacy M249.
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