Sig Sauer announced Wednesday that the Special Operation Command (USSOCOM) had granted it with a safety certification for the new MG 338 Machine Gun, 338 Norma Mag Ammunition, and Next Generation Suppressors.
A press release from the Sig Sauer details that upon safety certification, it will deliver multiple MG 338 Machine Guns, thousands of rounds of 338 Norma Mag Ammunition, along with high-tech silencers.
"The safety certification of the complete SIG SAUER MG 338 system and delivery of the system to USSOCOM is historically very significant. For the first time in decades the U.S. Military certified a new machine gun, ammunition, and suppressor at the same time, bringing new innovation, portability, and increased lethality to our ground forces, with all components coming from one company," said Sig Sauer CEO Ron Cohen.
Cohen added that "this certification was achieved following the outstanding performance of the complete MG 338 system through the rigors of the extensive function, durability, and safety tests set forth by USSOCOM."
The release notes the new machine gun "bridges the gap" between the current M240 (7.62x51cal) machine gun and the M2 (.50cal). The new weapon is "noticeably lighter, weighing only 20 pounds, and provides significantly more range and lethality."
The MG 338 is a belt-fed, lightweight medium machine gun weighing about 20 pounds, chambered a 338 Norma Mag. The weapon has a greater range and can breach advanced body armor from extended distances. The weapon can be easily convertible to 7.62x51cal.
"We are incredibly proud of this historical accomplishment and honored to have received this safety certification by USSOCOM for the performance of the complete MG 338 system," concluded Cohen.
Textron Systems' AAI Corporation delivered their next-generation machine gun to the Army last year that chambers a telescoped round between 6.5mm and 6.8mm and is expected to be the future replacement for the M16 rifle, M4 carbine, and M249 light machine gun.
The Pentagon, flush with new cash from President Trump's $2 trillion military spending spree, is expected to outfit soldiers with modern weapons in the next 2-4 years. Sig Sauer's MG 338 Machine Gun and AAI's next-generation machine gun could be some of the replacement weapons expected to enter service in the near term. With new weapons comes high-tech ammo, the new rounds are expected to penetrate the most advanced body armor Russia and China have to offer.