‘Sweating’ to Next-Gen Soldier Lethality

The U.S. Army is preparing to introduce a new arsenal of small arms capabilities to its “close combat force” — the approximately 103,000 soldiers identified as those most directly responsible for closing with and destroying the enemy.

A cornerstone of these new capabilities can be found in the service’s Next-Generation Squad Weapons program emerging from Army Futures Command’s soldier lethality cross-functional team. Focused on enhancing squad-level lethality for the close combat force, the initiative is a prototyping effort that consists of a rifle (NGSW-R) and automatic rifle (NGSW-AR) with a common 6.8mm cartridge and fire control (NGSW-FC) between the two systems. The goal is to field the NGSW-R to selected units as the planned replacement for the current M4A1 and the NGSW-AR as the planned replacement for the current M249 Squad Automatic Weapon.

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