The Army’s 10-year deal with Sig Sauer to produce its Next-Generation Squad Weapons and new 6.8 caliber ammunition could be worth up to $4.7 billion, service officials told reporters.

After announcing Sig Sauer as the winner of the NGSW competition on Tuesday evening, Army officials provided additional details during a Wednesday press briefing to include noting initial operational test and evaluation is slated for the third quarter of fiscal year 2023 before a planned first unit equipped date by the end of FY ‘23.

Army officials hold a press briefing on April 20, 2022 on Sig Sauer’s selection to deliver the service’s new Next-Generation Squad Weapons

“After all was said and done and the selection process was complete, the Sig Sauer rifle and automatic rifle solutions with their integrated ammunition were determined to be the best value to the government,” Col. Scott Madore, the Army’s project manager for soldier lethality, said during the briefing. “This strong competition ensured that we will continue to field the best possible small arms capabilities to our warfighters.”

Sig Sauer beat out LoneStar Future Weapons for the 10-year NGSW contract to deliver the new XM5 Rifle and the XM250 Automatic Rifle that will fire 6.8 caliber bullets, as the Army looks to replace the M4 rifles and M249 Squad Automatic Weapon for its close combat forces (Defense Daily, April 19). 

“The U.S. Army is taking a bold step toward command of the 21st century battlefield and Sig Sauer is immensely proud to be the selected provider for this historic revolution in infantry weapons. The fielding of the Sig Sauer Next Generation Squad Weapons System will forever change the dynamic of military engagement for America’s warfighters with American innovation and manufacturing,” Ron Cohen, the company’s president and CEO, said in a statement on Wednesday.

Madore said Sig Sauer’s deal could potentially cover production of 250,000 weapons when factoring in for other customers’ potential procurement of the new capabilities, with Brig. Gen. Larry Burris, director of the Soldier Lethality Cross Functional Team, noting the Army’s acquisition objective for the close combat force is closer to around 120,000 weapons.

Burris also confirmed the initial $20.4 million delivery order placed with Sig Sauer covers around 25 rifles, 15 automatic rifles and “a large quantity of ammo.”

“The first order, that $20.4 million, is really to start the process of developing the production line at Sig Sauer. So it’s very small quantities,” Burris told reporters. 

Brig. Gen. William Boruff, joint program executive officer for armaments and ammunition, said the Army can now begin working with Sig Sauer on the ammunition piece for NGSW and added a site has already been selected at Lake City Ammunition Plant in Missouri where future production will begin in FY ‘25 or ‘26.

“The way the contract’s laid out, Sig Sauer will provide the ammunition initially for like three to five years. We’ll start producing the ammunition at Lake City at that point. And then seven to eight years down the line, we’ll take the lead and Sig Sauer will remain our second source,” Boruff said.

Burris added the new 6.8 caliber ammo “provides greater energy against protected and non-protected targets at various ranges,” with production capacity to set the pace for the overall fielding of the new weapons to units.

“The fielding of the [new] weapons is based upon ammunition production. So as the vendor is able to produce ammunition and then Lake City [Ammunition Plant] ultimately comes on, what we don’t want to do is field a capability to a unit where we don’t have training ammunition or contingency ammunition if required,” Burris said.