The US Army’s next-generation squad weapon (NGSW) will not be fielded on schedule after experiencing several firing issues, a report by Breaking Defense has claimed.
Citing army acquisition head Doug Bush, the report said the weapon prototypes exhibit “accuracy and fumes” problems when rounds are being fired.
However, the official said the “small issues” have now been resolved and the army has finished conducting production qualification testing to verify the improvements.
“[We are] very positive that our partner Sig Sauer can make the weapons and address some of the small issues,” he said. “We saw great progress on all the challenging areas.”
Despite the unspecified fix, Bush clarified that the army is “not declaring victory” yet but admitted to seeing “a really good sign of progress.”
The US Army has not provided a new timetable for the NGSW initiative. Soldiers were expected to receive the weapons by the end of fiscal 2023.
About the NGSW Program
In 2022, Sig Sauer edged out fellow American arms manufacturer True Velocity in the army’s NGSW competition.
The winning firm was then contracted to develop and supply the XM5 rifle and the XM250 automatic rifle to replace the service’s M4/M4A1 carbine rifle and M249 squad automatic weapon.
Earlier this year, the US Army announced its plan to invest up to $331 million in the program, including ammunition and associated equipment deliveries.
The NGSW is expected to increase the lethality of infantry units, while also providing significant capability improvements in accuracy, range, and signature management.
“This weapon is a… fundamental leap of capability for infantry forces to engage enemy units…” Bush explained. “So, this would be a big deal for the infantry community.”
Once all the tests are complete, soldiers from the 1B infantrymen, 19D cavalry scouts, and 13F forward observers will be the first to receive the weapons.