News|Industry News

By Drew Bryant
April 19th, 2022,

Earlier today, the U.S. Army announced that it will be awarding SIG SAUER the Next Generation Sqaud Weapon (NGSW) contract. The contract will see SIG SAUER build and deliver the SIG MCX Spear and its machinegun variant to the U.S. Army. The Army delayed this decision earlier this year, needing more time to further review the two remaining candidates in SIG SAUER and Lone Star Future Weapons prototypes. SIG SAUER’s MCX Spear has become the ultimate victor and is being awarded the NGSW contract. The SIG MCX Spear is chambered in the newly designed hybrid 6.8mm cartridge.

SIG SAUER was awarded a 10-year military contract with the Army. The initial delivery of SIG’s MCX Spears will be worth $20.4 million. The company will now provide the pistol, rifle, and light machinegun for the U.S. Army. SIG was awarded the handgun contract back in 2017 after beating out Glock. The new SIG M17, replaced the decades long contract Beretta had with military. Over the past 30 years, the Beretta M9 was the service pistol for the U.S. military. Now, SIG SAUER has become the provider of the vast majority of small arms weapon systems to the infantry, special operations, and combat related MOS.

The creation of the NGSW program started when the Army wanted a more range, accuracy, and lethality out of its small arms weapon systems. The M4 and its 5.56 NATO cartridge couldn’t keep up with the demands of evolving body armor technologies from our adversaries. The Army wanted a new intermediate cartridge that had increased range, accuracy and lethality of that beyond what the 5.56 NATO cartridge could provide. Over the next 27-months of prototyping and testing SIG SAUER would create and refine the 6.8mm cartridge and MCX Spear for its NGSW prototype.

The new SIG MCX Spear will be matched the new XM157 Fire Control Optic, which is being made by Vortex Optics. The new combat optic from Vortex integrates a number of advanced tech, including variable magnification, 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 contract for the Army’s new combat optic from Vortex is worth up to $2.4 billion dollars over the next 10 years.

Textron Systems and Lone Star Future Weapons provided prototypes to the NGSW program. Lone Star Future Weapons was the last man standing next to SIG during the final stages of the program.

Textron Systems provided a rifle that was reminiscent or feel of modern rifle with cased telescoped ammunition that reduced overall cartridge length and was more polymer based.

While Lone Star Future Weapons submitted a bullpup rifle and polymer ammunition that challenged SIG SAUER until the very end.

At the end of the day, U.S. Army chose the SIG MCX Spear chambered in 6.8x51mm. Below, is the press release from the Army announcing SIG SAUER as the winner of the NGSW contract.

Press Release

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Army announced the award of a 10-year firm-fixed-price follow-on production contract to Sig Sauer, Inc for the manufacture and delivery of two Next Generation Squad Weapon variations (the XM5 Rifle and the XM250 Automatic Rifle) and the 6.8 Common Cartridge Family of Ammunition.

This award was made following a rigorous 27-month prototyping and evaluation effort that included numerous technical tests and Soldier touch points of three competing prototype systems.

The value of the initial delivery order on the contract is $20.4 million for weapons and ammunition that will undergo testing. The contract includes accessories, spares and contractor support. It also provides the other Department of Defense services and, potentially, Foreign Military Sales countries the opportunity to purchase the NGSW weapons.

The XM5 Rifle will replace the M4/M4A1 carbine within the close combat force, and the XM250 Automatic Rifle is the planned replacement for the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon

Both weapons provide significant capability improvements in accuracy, range and overall lethality. They are lightweight, fire more lethal ammunition, mitigate recoil, provide improved barrel performance, and include integrated muzzle sound and flash reduction.

Both weapons fire common 6.8 millimeter ammunition utilizing government provided projectiles and vendor-designed cartridges. The new ammunition includes multiple types of tactical and training rounds that increase accuracy and are more lethal against emerging threats than both the 5.56mm and 7.62mm ammunition.

The XM5 and XM250 will be paired with the XM157 Fire Control, a ruggedized advanced fire control system that increases accuracy and lethality for the close combat force. The XM157 integrates a number of advanced technologies, including a variable magnification optic (1X8), backup etched reticle, laser rangefinder, ballistic calculator, atmospheric sensor suite, compass, Intra-Soldier Wireless, visible and infrared aiming lasers, and a digital display overlay. It is produced by Sheltered Wings Inc. d/b/a Vortex Optics, Barneveld, Wisconsin.

For more information, please contact the PEO Soldier Public Affairs Office at 862-324-5933 or

What do you think of the Amry’s choice? Let us know in the comments below.

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