Sig Sauer’s New M4, M249 Replacements: Most ‘Significant Upgrade to Small Arms in Decades’

Sig M4 M249 replacement

Sig says their ultra-light 6.8mm NGSW-AR, left, and NGSW-R, right, are the “most comprehensive solution to meet the requirements of the Next Generation Squad Weapons to enhance mission effectiveness.” (Photo: Sig)


New Hampshire-based Sig Sauer on Tuesday showed off their Next Generation Squad Weapons down-selected by the U.S. Army to replace the M4 Carbine and M249 light machine gun.

The program, which the Army has been exploring since 2016, broke headlines last week after the Pentagon selected AAI Corporation/Textron Systems, General Dynamics-OTS, and Sig to continue to the next stage of the competition, which could potentially field the new NGSW series weapons as soon as 2022. Notably, while Gen Dyn has partnered with Winchester-Olin and Heckler & Koch, Sig says their entry will provide single-source manufacturing for ammunition, weapons, and suppressors.

“The U.S. Army is leading the world in the first significant upgrade to small arms in decades to meet the growing demands of soldiers on the battlefield,” said Ron Cohen, Sig’s President & CEO. “At the core of our submission is our newly developed, high-pressure, 6.8mm hybrid ammunition that is utilized in both weapons, and is a significant leap forward in ammunition innovation, design, and manufacturing.”

Besides the innovative reduced weight ammunition– an Army requirement– Sig’s NGSW-Rifle entry, to replace the M4, notably features a free-floating reinforced M-LOK handguard, side-charging handle, fully ambidextrous controls, folding buttstock, and suppressor. When it comes to their ultra-light NGSW-AR, proposed to be the successor to the M249, the machine gun has AR-style ergonomics, quick detach magazines, a side-opening feed tray, increased 1913 rail space for night vision and enablers, a folding buttstock, and suppressor.

“The U.S. Army challenged the industry to bring forward significant improvements to the legacy weapons,” said Cohen. “The Sig Sauer NGSW-AR is lighter in weight, with dramatically less recoil than that currently in service, while our carbine for the NGSW-Rifle submission is built on the foundation of Sig Sauer weapons in service with the premier fighting forces across the globe.”

Sig Sauer 6.8mm NGSW

You must admit, the prototypes look great and would give Sig, whose P320 series pistol was adopted by the Department of Defense as the M17 & M18 handguns, a hattrick when it came to U.S. military small arms. (Photo: Sig Sauer)


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