The US Army plans to invest up to $331 million in next-generation squad weapons (NGSW), ammunition, and associated equipment.
The figure is part of its $185.5 billion proposed fiscal 2024 defense budget to support military modernization and keep weapons development programs on track.
Of the $331-million NGSW budget, around $38 million will be earmarked for research, development, testing, and experimentation.
The other $293 million will be used to procure 17,122 rifles, 1,419 automatic rifles, and 14,932 fire control optics, according to Army undersecretary Gabe Camarillo.
More than 21 million 6.8-millimeter ammunition rounds will also be purchased.
The next-generation weapons are expected to be handed over to the first army unit by early 2024.
They will support special operations forces, infantry, and scouts missions.
‘Providing Increased Lethality’
The US Army’s NGSW program is a prototyping effort to provide operationally-relevant, squad-level lethality to address combat threats.
Its 6.8mm projectile reportedly outperforms even the most modern 5.56mm and 7.62mm ammunition.
Additionally, the weapons feature significant capability improvements in range, accuracy, and signature management.
In an army announcement last year, it was revealed that SIG Sauer bested fellow finalist True Velocity to produce and deliver the NGSW.
SIG Sauer’s pitch resembles the MCX assault rifle and boasts a 13-inch barrel and collapsible buttstock.