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One year later: US Army selects new rifles and machine guns as part of NGSW program

PANAGYURISHTE, (BM) – It has been 11 months since the US Army signed a three-member contract under the Next Generation Squad Weapon program, which is by far one of the Army’s most ambitious small arms projects today, BulgarianMilitary.com reports.

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Weapons from General Dynamics, SIG Sauer and Textron Systems are being evaluated alongside new 6.8mm ammunition and advanced fire control systems from Vortex Optics and L3Harris.

Currently, preliminary tests of prototypes are underway, which began in early June at the Aberdeen Proving Ground. The stage covers all classical types of tests [exposure to extreme temperatures, reliability of the automation after dust and water exposure, resistance to drops, determination of the characteristics of the sound of a shot, determination of accuracy and accuracy characteristics, life tests, etc.] and will end in August.

The first stage of the Soldier Touch Points will begin soon. According to the test leaders, in the future, the US military wants to have weapons [NGSW-R and NGSW-AR] from the same manufacturer, but an alternative solution may be considered.

Fire control systems NGSW-FCU from both suppliers (Vortex and L3Harris) initially arrived at Fort Benning, where military personnel from different units have already given their feedback on the reticle, menus, placement of control buttons, etc.

The 6.8mm ammunition produced at the Lake City plant continues to improve in terms of tolerances and deviations during testing. To date, nearly 1,000,000 cartridges have already been manufactured.

Also, the military does not abandon the idea of ​​adding a “smart” guide “picatinny” with the ability to transfer energy and data to a promising weapon.

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Supplies of new SIG Sauer assault rifles and machine guns for the US Army began

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, BulgarianMilitary.com reported on July 2.

The United States upgraded its army’s small arms to a new generation of German SIG Sauer as part of a program to replace all rifles and machine guns. The production and supply of weapons occurred on time, despite the coronavirus infection.

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.

Ergonomics and recoil of the new machine gun corresponds to the performance of the M-4 rifle. Weight is less than 7 kilograms. Thanks to the optimization of the muffler, the removal of powder gases significantly reduces the visibility of the shooter in infrared rays, and can also reduce their impact.

“The SIG SAUER Next Generation Squad Weapons system is the only submission entirely designed, engineered and manufactured by a single American company. We are proud to deliver this comprehensive solution to the U.S. Army, with new capabilities to enhance mission effectiveness for our soldiers on the battlefield,” began Ron Cohen, President & CEO SIG SAUER, Inc. “Our ammunition, machine gun, rifle, and suppressors far surpass the performance of the legacy weapons system in range and lethality, offer exponentially better maneuverability, and are significantly lighter in weight.”

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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.

SIG SAUER Rifle (NGSW-R): a lightweight rifle built on the foundation of the SIG SAUER weapons in service with the premier fighting forces across the globe combined with the added firepower of the 6.8mm round. Features include a fully collapsible and folding stock, rear and side charging handle, free-floating reinforced M-LOK™ handguard, fully ambidextrous controls, and quick-detach suppressor.

SIG SAUER Next Generation Suppressors: designed to reduce harmful backflow and signature that feature low flash with a quick detach design.

“I am very proud that every component of the SIG SAUER Next Generation Squad Weapons system was manufactured at our SIG SAUER facilities in New Hampshire and Arkansas and is entirely American made. Our engineers have worked in concert to optimize the system, ensuring that every component is synchronized, and our soldiers are equipped for the demands of the modern battlefield,” added Cohen. “Additionally, I would be remiss if I did not recognize the hard work and dedication of the entire team who worked tirelessly in these unprecedented times, in the face of a pandemic, to deliver the SIG SAUER NGSW system to the U.S. Army.”

Read more: US is already ahead of its competitors with several tests of ‘smart’ sights

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