FN America have confirmed that the US Army has awarded them a contract to deliver an unspecified number of new M249 Squad Automatic Weapons. The contract is due to be fulfilled by 2025 with deliveries set to begin soon.
The M249 has been in the US Army service for nearly 35 years. Its frontline replacement is currently being sought through the US Army’s Next Generation Squad Weapons program with the NGSW-Automatic Rifle set to replace the SAW if the program is successful. Even if the NGSW program is successful, the M249 SAW is likely to remain in service for years to come.
Here’s FN’s press release about the contract:
(McLean, VA – September 24, 2020) FN America, LLC is pleased to announce that the company has been awarded a firm-fixed-price contract to supply the U.S. Army with M249 Squad Automatic Weapons, also known as the M249 SAW. The contract is expected to be completed by 2025.
The FN M249 SAW has been a mainstay throughout the U.S. military since 1986 and is currently in service in more than 30 countries globally. FN has been the sole source manufacturer of the 5.56-chambered belt-fed lightweight machine gun. Designed for front line applications delivering crucial support at the infantry squad/fire team level, the FN M249 SAW provides highly accurate fire from a highly maneuverable light machine gun. The ergonomic polymer buttstock contains a hydraulic buffer that allows SAW gunners to maintain a high rate of fire with accuracy and effect.
“We are honored to continue our dedication as a critical partner to the U.S. military and pleased to announce this latest Army contract award for the FN M249 SAW, a flagship design for FN, in service for more than 30 years. The proven design has served the U.S. military, reliably and without fail,” said Mark Cherpes, President and CEO for FN America, LLC. “We look forward to building these machine guns at our production facility in Columbia, South Carolina.”
Throughout its history, FN has been one of the largest suppliers of small arms to the U.S. military. In addition to the M249 and its variants, the company currently holds contracts for the FN M240 medium machine gun and its variants; the FN MK 46, MK 48, MK 17 and MK 20 SSR for USSOCOM, and various other contracts.
For more information about FN’s military product line or current U.S. military contracts, please visit www.fnamerica.com.