The Army will award contracts to two companies in the third quarter of fiscal year 2020 to prototype modernized fire control systems for its future squad weapons, according to a notice released Monday.

Officials released a draft prototype opportunity for notice for the Next-Generation Squad Weapon (NGSW) Fire Control ahead of its industry day for the effort later in March, detailing plans to receive deliveries of up to 100 fire control systems in fiscal year 2021.

Army’s M249 Squad Automatic Weapon light machine gun

“These prototype [awards] will develop industry’s potential solutions/concepts through prototypes, user evaluation, and testing to ensure producible fire control systems that are safe, suitable, effective, and sustainable with a goal of delivering a production representative fire control system,” officials wrote.

The new fire control systems will be used for both the NGSW-Rife, the Army’s M4A1 replacement, and the NGSW-AR, the successor to the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon.

Army officials have previously said they are looking to accept bid offerings for NGSW-FC in the first quarter of FY ’20, with plans to detail specific requirements at an industry day later this month (Defense Daily, Feb. 14).

Following the prototype contracts awards in the the third quarter of FY ’20, the selected companies will run through development and testing for 14 months.

NGSW-FC offerings will encompass the whole weapon-mounted fire control system, including soft cases, remotes, lens covers and mounting and alignment tools.

Officials have previously said the Army plans to award up to three companies prototype contracts to develop both NGSW-R and NGSW-AR, with initial bid offering tests to begin this summer.