The Marine Corps said Wednesday it has not made an official decision on whether to procure new weapons to replace its M27 rifles using the Army’s Next-Generation Squad Weapon (NGSW) program.
The update is a clarification, first reported by Task and Purpose, to a notice from Marine Corps Systems Command released last week that the force had partnered with the Army on NGSW to find a new “primary individual weapon for infantry units” as part of large-scale infantry weapons modernization effort.
“At this time, no decision has been made to procure either variant of the Next Generation Squad Weapon,” Marine Corps officials told Defense Daily. “The Marine Corps is participating in and will continue to assess NGSW solutions for maturity, suitability and affordability to meet our operational requirements in order to inform a decision on if and when to begin procurement of these improved capabilities.”
The Marine Corps plans to continue using the M27 rifle, which is manufactured by Heckler & Koch and first introduced in 2011, with plans to equip every member of an infantry squad with the new weapon.
The Army has previously selected Textron Systems [TXT], General Dynamics [GD] and SIG Sauer for the NGSW prototype phase, with plans to eventually field new weapons in 2022 to begin replacing its own M4 rifles and M249 Squad Automatic Weapons.
“We’re always looking for systems that enhance the lethality and lighten the load for infantry Marines,” officials said. “Our participation with the Army on the NGSW will ensure we take advantage of both services’ research and development efforts, and field the best capabilities to our warfighters.”