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    Deployment of the Groundbreaking XM7 Rifle and Fire Control System by the U.S. Army Expected in 2024

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    The United States Army is on the brink of a major advancement in infantry firepower with the upcoming introduction of the Next Generation Squad Weapon rifle and automatic rifle, known as the XM7 and XM250 respectively. In late 2023, the XM7, previously the XM5 and a member of the SIG MCX Spear series, embarked on field testing with troops from the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, and a unit from the 75th Ranger Regiment.

    Weapons and military equipment for army, Assault rifle gun (M4A1), Sniper rifle.

    These cutting-edge weapons, featuring the advanced XM157 fire control system, will officially replace the M4/M16 and M249 SAW for close combat units like infantry, scouts, combat engineers, and special forces as early as the second quarter of fiscal year 2024. The XM7, derived from the ambitious Next Generation Squad Weapon-Rifle (NGSW-R) program, introduces a new era of combat effectiveness and lethality.

    Cartridges 6.8mm SPC and 6.5mm Grendel CC BY-SA 4.0 by Grasyl” by Grasyl is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

    With a gas-operated, magazine-fed design, the rifle is chambered in 6.8mm—a caliber carefully crafted to surpass current 5.56mm and 7.62mm rounds, particularly in piercing enemy body armor and obstacles. The XM7 boasts advanced elements like a variable folding stock, fully ambidextrous controls, and improved ergonomics, solidifying its position as a powerful asset in the U.S. Army’s arsenal.

    Accompanied by the XM157 fire control system, a product of the Vortex Optics/Sheltered Wings partnership, the XM7’s precision is unparalleled.This sophisticated optic integrates a laser rangefinder, ballistic calculator, and digital overlay, automatically adjusting for range and bullet drop at the push of a button. It will be mounted atop each XM7, ensuring that soldiers can rapidly engage targets with outstanding accuracy. Moreover, the transition to the XM7 is not merely about firepower but also involves a strategic shift to a more potent caliber.

    The 6.8mm round is tailored for increased hit probability, resistance to wind drift, and superior performance against personnel and barriers, providing the close combat force with a substantial lethality boost. “The Army adjusts Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (TTP) frequently based on many variables. As the Army transforms the CCF into the future, the concepts of NGSW and other efforts will be integrated to attain and maintain overmatch,” said Siter.“

    These efforts combined will give the CCF better ability to detect and engage targets; improved performance of ammunition against personnel and battlefield barriers; better C2 and nighttime fighting capabilities; greater effects against targets in defilade; and more. As we experiment, test, and field systems – through Soldier touchpoints, formal test events, and tactical training – leaders at all levels will develop and adapt TTP to capitalize on these synergistic gains.”

    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)

    Fort Campbell Garrison Commander Col. Chris Midberry and Command Sgt. Maj. Chad Stackpole had firsthand experience with the new weapon system. “It is an incredible piece of equipment, incredible lethality,” he remarked. Looking ahead to the future, Midberry expressed anticipation about the widespread deployment of this advanced weaponry to units stationed at Fort Campbell. “I’m looking forward to getting it fielded to our units here on Fort Campbell.”

    Relevant articles:
    Army to field new rifle, machine gun and optic in 2024
    R XM5 SIG MCX Spear 6.8mm assault rifle data
    Army moving forward with Next Generation Squad Weapon program, Army.mil, Mar 15, 2023
    Revolutionizing Soldier Firepower: U.S. Army Adopts Next-Gen Weapons, DVIDS, Oct 3, 2023

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