Buried deep within the DoD FY23 budget request by weapon system, the US Army has officially chosen the contractor(s) for the Next Generation Squad Weapons (NGSW) program.
NGSW is a prototyping effort by the Army that consists of a new rifle (NGSW-R) and automatic rifle (NGSW-AR), chambered in a new high tech 6.8mm cartridge, set to replace the aging M16, M4A1 Carbines and the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon, chambered in a 5.56 NATO round.
The NGSW has been in competitive prototyping testing with three defense firms, including SIG Sauer, General Dynamics – OTS, and Textron Systems.
On page 53/106 of the budget request, the Army expects to procure 29,046 NGSWs in 2023.
"Starts funding for the procurement and fielding of 1,704 NGSW-AR, which is the planned replacement for the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW) within the Close Combat Force; Procurement and fielding of 15,348 NGSW-R which is the planned replacement for the M4A1 Carbine within the Close Combat Force; and procurement and fielding of 11,994 Next Generation Squad Weapons Fire Controls," the document read.
The document didn't mention the prime contractor(s), though that should be announced later this year.
The Army will be fielding these new main battle rifles and machine guns next year -- just as tensions with Russia heat up.