Army Delivers Next Generation Squad Weapon to First Unit

A brigade from the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell was the first unit equipped with the Army’s new Next Generation Squad Weapon (NGSW) system today.

Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, accepted Next Generation Rifles and Automatic Rifles in preparation for New Equipment Training (NET) in April. NET is an in-depth, train-the-trainer course that prepares designated non-commissioned officers to facilitate follow-on training across the company.

“The process of developing and fielding new equipment is never without challenges and setbacks and speed bumps, so we’re celebrating the fact that we’re delivering on schedule, as promised,” said Lt. Col. Mark Vidotto, the NGSW lead for the Soldier Lethality Cross-Functional Team (SL CFT) at Fort Moore, Georgia. “It was a team effort from start to finish.”

The “start” was 2018, and the “team” included the SL CFT and their Program Executive Office Soldier partners, Joint Program Executive Office Armaments and Ammunition, Sig Sauer, Vortex and a number of other stakeholders who teamed to hasten development and production of the new system after the requirement was identified in a 2017 study that recognized the need for weapons that will perform better at range.

More than 25,000 hours have been invested by Soldiers during the development and testing of the NGSW system, which includes the XM7 Rifle, the XM250 Automatic Rifle, the XM157 Fire Control and the 6.8 mm family of ammunitions.

“The NGSW fielding is a culmination of a comprehensive and rigorous process of design, testing and feedback, all of which were led by Soldiers,” said Col. Jason Bohannon, project manager, Soldier Lethality, PEO Soldier. “As a result, the Army is delivering on its promise to deliver to Soldiers the highest quality, most capable small-caliber weapons and ammunition.”

Based on modernization schedules, the Army will field NGSW systems to a National Guard armored brigade in May.