XM5, XM250 rifles and 6.8mm hybrid ammo selected as US NGSW
WASHINGTON — The United States Army has made its choice in the NGSW project – NGSW is short for Next Generation Squad Weapon, BulgarianMilitary.com has learned, citing Soldat&Technik.
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The US military announced last night [April 19th] that the program will be implemented with the help of weapons developed by SIG Sauer. The project aims to replace part of the M16 family with the so-called NGSW rifle and the M249 light machine gun. As a first step, $ 20.4 million in weapons and ammunition will be purchased for testing purposes.
“The contract also includes accessories, spare parts and maintenance contractors. It also provides an opportunity for other agencies of the US Department of Defense and potentially countries that wish to make purchases through foreign military sales to purchase NGSW weapons,” the US military said in a statement.
The XM5 rifle, based on the SIG Sauer MCX-SPEAR, will replace the M4 / M4A1 carbine within the so-called Close Combat Forces. The XM250 Automatic Rifle, based on the SIG Sauer LMG-6.8, is the planned replacement for the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon. Melee forces means infantry, reconnaissance troops, engineering forces, observers and medical troops stationed directly on the front line.
The X mark on weapons is usually dropped once the weapon systems have passed all the tests and been handed over to the troops. Therefore, it can be assumed that the official designation of the weapons will be M5 or M250.
SIG Sauer XM250
SIG Sauer XM250 Automatic Rifle based on LMG-6.8 is a firearm with a short-stroke gas piston system. There is an interface for a belt box, no magazine submission is provided. At 5,440 grams, the weapon weighs 35 percent less than the comparable MK48 Mod 1. It also has the same recoil reduction system as the SIG MG 338. Similarly, the cover with the top of the belt feeder does not open at the front, but at the side. In this way, the optics can be used with attachments without any problems.
The fire selector lever, which can be operated from both sides, is locked in the safe – continuous fire – single fire positions. The weapon can be secured in any state of charge. The extension buttstock, which can be locked in five positions, can be folded on the left side of the housing. The standard tube is 16″ [406 mm] long.
SIG Sauer ХМ5
SIG Sauer HM5 based on MCX-SPEAR also works with a short-stroke gas piston system. There is a mechanism with a double loading lever: The weapon can be fully loaded or in the classic way AR-15 with the lifting lever at the rear of the receiver or with a smaller loading lever that can be folded on the left side of the weapon. The weapon can be operated from both sides and has a 13 “barrel. Silencers of the latest generation can be used.
Hybrid ammunition 6.8 mm x 51
Both weapons fire with hybrid munitions developed by SIG Sauer in the caliber of 6.8 mm x 51. This munition has a brass box and a steel base. The 6.8 mm projectile was pointed out by the army. The newly developed 6.8 general-purpose projectile is said to have a range of at least 600 meters, doubling the M16 / M4A1’s main combat range. It must also be able to pierce any ballistic body armor currently in use and predictably.
Some time ago, a decision was made for the optical part of the NGSW range. Vortex Optics received the order for the system known as XM157. The framework agreement, with a minimum value of $ 20 million and a maximum value of $ 2.7 billion, is set to run for ten years. The XM157 optronics is a combination of 1-8 × 30 interchangeable glass with a sensor package, laser rangefinder and ballistic computer, which aims to significantly increase the probability of the shooter’s first strike compared to classic optics.
The U.S. military launched the NGSW program about five years ago, and with the choices it has made now, it has chosen the most conventional approach and thus the least risky path. Remaining competitor Lone Star Future Weapons, Beretta and True Velocity offered two bulpup pistols and polymer box ammunition. Previously, a team from Textron [teamed with Heckler & Koch and Olin Winchester] with telescopic ammunition was eliminated.
The next phases are further technical and operational tests with weapons and ammunition. The main focus should be to what extent weapons and ammunition bring advantages in terms of range, effect and handling. The US Special Forces Command [USSOCOM] and the US Marines are also continuing to monitor the project.
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