SIG Sauer have unveiled their newest entry into the small arms market at the 2018 AUSA exposition, which began today in Washington, DC. Described as the Light Weight Machine Gun, the new weapon was reportedly developed for US Special Operations Command’s medium machine gun requirement and is chambered in .338 Norma Magnum – a rival to General Dynamics’ Lightweight Medium Machine Gun.
According to the Strategie-Technik blog the new medium machine gun, which they refer to as the MG338 – although this designation is not visible on the weapon in photographs and is not yet confirmed, can feed from both left or right and is available in a number of barrel length configurations. Solider Systems Daily report that a 7.62x51mm version of the machine gun has also been developed. They are also said to be working up a prototype which can chamber the Army’s new XM1168 6.8mm GP round for the Next Generation Squad Weapon programme, which has recently released a new draft prototype opportunity notice.
— JPW_FIDES (@JPW_FIDES) October 8, 2018
The new SIG light weight machine gun appears to have a top rail that extends over the feed tray cover and also has a folding stock and ambidextrous controls. It also appears that the charging handle can be switched from left to right. There are currently no details on weight or other dimensions. Photographs of the weapon show receiver markings that read: “SLMAG Multi-Caliber”.
SIG Sauer also displayed their new hybrid ammunition, a three-piece metallic, not polymer design, with a brass body and what appears to be an alloy base. Solider Systems report that this new ammunition offers a 20% reduction in weight – this was a stipulation of the 2017 SOCOM Medium Machine Gun solicitation. The hybrid ammunition was displayed in a number of calibres including .338 Norma Magnum and 6.5mm.
SIG also unveiled their MCX-MR (Medium Range) prototype, a shortened version of their Compact Semi Auto Sniper System (CSASS) submission re-purposed for the Next Generation Squad Weapon programme.