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    U.S. Military Prepares for Advanced Firepower: XM7 Rifle and XM250 Automatic Rifle Scheduled for Deployment in 2024

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    In an era of rapidly evolving military technology and threats, the U.S. Army is taking significant strides to modernize its infantry capabilities. In 2022, the Army announced an ambitious upgrade to its arsenal: the introduction of the Next Generation Squad Weapon (NGSW) program’s XM7 Rifle and XM250 Automatic Rifle, along with the 6.8mm ammunition designed to outperform the longstanding 5.56mm rounds. Poised to replace the venerable M4A1 Carbine and M249 Squad Automatic Weapon, these new weapons are projected to reach full operational capability and begin fielding to the first unit in the second quarter of fiscal year 2024.

    The decision to transition to the NGSW system stems from the desire to provide soldiers with increased lethality and range, factors that are critical against modern threats on the battlefield. The NGSW program, launched by the Army in 2017, aims to address these evolving threats with weapon systems developed based on direct soldier feedback.

    The NGSW program focuses on the Rifle (NGSW-R) and the Automatic Rifle (NGSW-AR), both utilizing a common 6.8mm cartridge and a shared Fire Control system. The XM7 Rifle, poised to become the NGSW-R, will employ the potent 6.8mm ammo in place of the 5.56mm rounds currently used by infantry rifles. The XM250 Automatic Rifle, designated to be the NGSW-AR, aims to be a lighter and more maneuverable successor to the M249, with an impressive effective range of up to 3,900 feet. These advancements promise to enhance the Army’s combat capabilities significantly.

    The project has involved significant investment, with over 1.5 million rounds of 6.8mm ammunition fired, 100 technical tests, and over 20,000 hours of soldier testing conducted. Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, with soldiers from the 75th Ranger Regiment and National Guard praising the XM7 for its lightweight, smooth operation, and target engagement efficiency. Similar accolades were given to the XM250 for its ergonomic design, recoil management, and ease of manipulation. A soldier involved in testing the XM7 stated, “Absolutely would take this weapon to combat in a heartbeat.”

    Moreover, the XM157 Fire Control Optic, developed by Vortex Optics Inc., is set to enhance the accuracy and tactical capabilities of these weapons, featuring a laser range finder.

    FORT BENNING, Ga. – Soldiers of the 4th Ranger Training Battalion, Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade, demonstrate the U.S. Army’s newest weapon during a Rangers in Action Ceremony September 16, 2022, at Victory Pond, Fort Benning, Georgia. The XM5 Rifle will replace the M4/M4A1 carbine within the close combat force. The new ammunition includes multiple types of tactical and training rounds that increase accuracy and are more lethal against emerging threats than both the 5.56mm and 7.62mm ammunition. (U.S. Army photo by Patrick A. Albright, Maneuver Center of Excellence and Fort Benning Public Affairs)

    “The level of emphasis and precision the Army enterprise has put into synchronizing the NGSW DOTmLPF-P domains has been nothing short of amazing,” said Lt. Col. Joshua Headley, Product Manager, Next Generation Weapons. “The enterprise has rallied around the schedule we have laid out and we are on a great glidepath to get our Solders weapons and ammo, at the speed of relevance, that are fully integrated across the DOTmLPF-P.”

    related images you might be interested.

    Weapons and military equipment for army, Assault rifle gun (M4A1) and pistol on camouflage background.
    Bucharest, Romania – December 1, 2018: Romanian special forces soldiers, armed with M4A1 5.56×45mm NATO assault rifles with holographic sight, take part at the Romanian National Day military parade.
    Weapons and military equipment for army, Assault rifle gun (M4A1), Sniper rifle.
    Sailor fires an M249 machine gun during a small arms training.” by Official U.S. Navy Imagery is licensed under CC BY 2.0
    m249” by Mike Saechang is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
    M249 Ready to Go” by Elliott Plack is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
    M249 Light Machine Gun” by Maryland National Guard is licensed under CC BY 2.0
    050323-F-9629D-056” by U.S. Army Korea (Historical Image Archive) is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
    USS America conducts a live-fire exercise.” by Official U.S. Navy Imagery is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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