The Army is continuing its rigorous testing and evaluation of small arms systems to meet their requirements and deliver increased lethality to the Soldier. Last April, the Army awarded a contract to Sig Sauer to produce the NGSW Rifle, Automatic Rifle and a 6.8mm family of ammunition to replace the M4A1 Carbine, M249 Squad Automatic Weapon and 5.56mm family of ammunition within the Close Combat Force. Since that time, PEO Soldier, JPEO Armaments & Ammunition, Product Manager (PdM) Next Generation Weapons, PdM Small Caliber Ammunition, Soldier Lethality – Cross Functional Team, Sig Sauer, and the collective Army enterprise have worked feverishly to get this new capability ready to field to the Army.
During the competition to award the contract, the team conducted over 100 technical tests, fired over 1.5 million rounds of 6.8mm ammunition and executed over 20,000 hours of Soldier testing across three different vendor weapon systems. The team continued this pace by conducting a Soldier Touch Point last fall with a squad of National Guard Soldiers and a squad from the 75th Ranger Regiment.
“The Soldier Touch Point allowed the program and Sig Sauer the opportunity to solicit direct Soldier feedback on the systems post-contract award and inform simple design changes to improve the weapons before going into Production Qualification Test and Operational Tests in the coming year,” said Capt. Tyler Morgan Assistant Product Manager, NGSW
A Soldier with the 75th Ranger Regiment said on the XM7, “Absolutely would take this weapon to combat in a heartbeat. It is light, functions very well, has an awesome load system, and is easy to handle and engage targets with.”
The next step in the NGSW program will be Production Qualification Testing (PQT), May-July 2023. PM Soldier Lethality is preparing to accept delivery of two dozen XM7 Rifles and XM250 Automatic Rifles in preparation for testing. Once these deliveries are received, the Aberdeen Test Center (ATC) will conduct 31 tests including weapons reliability, immersion, cook-off, flash and blank fire performance. The ATC will also test environmental conditions like extreme hot and cold, sand, dust, salt fog and mud.
Following PQT, the Army will conduct an operational test focused on setting the conditions for the First Unit Equipped scheduled in the second quarter of FY24. Future operational testing is planned for FY24 to assess natural environments and airborne qualifications.
-PEO Soldier, Public Affairs
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