Print Friendly, PDF & Email


The Next Generation Squad Weapons (NGSW) Program is an iterative, prototyping effort, using Middle Tier Acquisition Authority, to develop squad-level lethality to combat proliferating threats, informed by Soldiers to be operationally relevant.

The NGSW prototyping effort consists of the Rifle (NGSW-R) and Automatic Rifle (NGSW-AR) with a common 6.8mm cartridge and Fire Control (NGSW-FC) between the two systems.  The effort aims to field to the Close Combat Force (CCF) with the NGSW-R as the planned replacement for the M4A1 and the NGSW-AR as the planned replacement for the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon.

It is currently in a competitive prototyping iteration with three vendors: SIG SAUER, General Dynamics – Ordinance and Tactical Systems, and Textron Systems.  The first prototype test, beginning this spring, will serve as a “diagnostic test” to inform the vendors on their current performance and feed another design iteration.  The second prototype test, beginning in January 2021, will inform a selection team on the performance of these systems.


The NGSW program significantly increases lethality and probability of hit at the squad level.  Due to the nature of the General Purpose ammunition, the 6.8mm projectile will outperform even the most modern 5.56mm and 7.62mm ammunition.  These weapons will give Soldiers significant capability improvements in accuracy, range, signature management, and lethality.


Though the specifics are competition sensitive, the NGSW-R, NGSW-AR, NGSW-FC, and the 6.8mm ammunition will be compatible with all the currently fielded enablers, while providing an open Adaptive Soldier Architecture (ASA) to integrate with developing enabler programs.


FY19: Prototype Opportunity Notice 1 assesses the maturity of the small arms industrial base and informs the objective requirements through a tiered capability matrix.

FY20: Prototype Project Opportunity Notice 2 selects three vendors to compete in a two-year prototyping effort, with the option to field based on system performance.


FY20: Prototype Test #1 (Diagnostic)

FY21: Prototypes Test #2 (Record) onward selection to one vendor and production decision

FY22: First Unit Equipped