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It seems like the Army is inching ever closer to completion on choosing the next rifle and optic that will be used by soldiers moving forward. Recently, news broke on which optic will be equipped upon those new weapons. Vortex Optics’ submission to the Army’s Next Generation Squad Weapons-Fire Control (NGSW-FC) program has been selected to become the XM157-FC.

The optic designed by Vortex and chosen by the Army will be equipped upon the winning rifle and light machinegun entry to the NGSW program. In the next few months the Army will be announcing the winner of NGSW program, sources say. Currently, it is down to two contenders: SIG Sauer and Lone Star Future Weapons/True Velocity. Just recently, Textron withdrew there submission from the NGSW program.

The NGSW-FC procurement process hasn’t been getting as much attention as it’s weapon systems counterpart, yet still plays a vital role in the process. In April of 2020, Vortex and L3 Harris were awarded contracts to develop their prototype optic for Army evaluations. The original timeframe for selecting a winner for the fire control unit was slated for summer of 2021 and was delayed.

The XM157 is a feature rich optic design with the future in mind. The XM157 features will include: digital compass, a laser rangefinder, a ballistic calculator, and a HUD display within the optic for the shooter.

As, mentioned before L3 Harris was contending for the contract but, was beat out by Vortex. Vortex wins a 10-year contract worth a minimum of $20 million dollars and of excess of $2.7 billion dollars for production and delivery of 250,000 XM157 optics.

Below, is the press release from the Army Solider of Lethality on awarding the contract to Vortex Optics.

Press Release

The Army has awarded Sheltered Wings Inc. d/b/a Vortex Optics, based in Barneveld, WI, a 10-year firm fixed price, Follow-on Production Other Transaction Agreement (P-OTA) with a maximum ceiling value of $2.7 billion for production and delivery of up to 250,000 XM157 Next Generation Squad Weapons – Fire Control (NGSW-FC) systems over a 10-year period.

The NGSW-FC system is a ruggedized fire control that increases accuracy and lethality for the Close Combat Force. It integrates a number of advanced technologies, including a variable magnification optic, backup etched reticle, laser rangefinder, ballistic calculator, atmospheric sensor suite, compass, Intra-Soldier Wireless, visible and infrared aiming lasers, and a digital display overlay.

The agreement minimum is $20 million and provides the U.S. Government the ability to procure fire control systems, supporting accessories, spare parts, repairs, and engineering services, to include requirements for other Department of Defense Services and potential Foreign Military Sales.

The NGSW-FC will serve as the fire control for the Next Generation Squad Weapons – Rifle and Automatic Rifle. The NGSW-FC is the planned replacement for the Close Combat Optic, Rifle Combat Optic, and Machine Gun Optic within the Close Combat Force (Infantry, Cavalry Scouts and Combat Engineers).

The U.S. Army Contracting Command, Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey, is the contracting activity.

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