According to a number of sources, Textron may no longer be part of the US Army’s Next Generation Squad Weapon (NGSW) program. If this is indeed the case this would mark a significant turning point in the NGSW program, with Textron’s entry being based on mature LSAT and CT technology which had been developed over the past couple of decades. It would leave two submissions: the LoneStar Future Weapons/True Velocity (formerly General Dynamics’ weapon) RM277 and SIG Sauer’s SPEAR and MG6.8.
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A source associated with Textron’s participation in the NGSW program confirmed that ‘Textron are no longer in the project’ and that the US Army’s Next Generation Squad Weapons program is now likely to be between SIG Sauer and Lone Star Future Weapons’ submissions.
Following up on this we gained independent confirmation from a number of industry sources that Textron has withdrawn from the program reportedly due to issues with weapon and ammunition that emerged during testing.
When we approached Textron for comment on the possibility that Textron and their weapons were no longer part of the NGSW program Betania Magalhaes, Textron’s Director of Corporate Communications, said:
Textron Systems has completed its scope of work for the prototype phase and have delivered all our weapons for government testing; we are closely tracking the Army’s next steps.
There has been no official confirmation or announcement made as of yet but we have reached out to the US Army’s PEO Soldier Lethality team.
Last week we received a further suggestion that Textron may no longer be in the running when True Velocity issued a statement announcing their purchase of LoneStar Future Weapons, a sentence near the end of the statement reads: “True Velocity and LoneStar Future Weapons are one of two teams remaining in the NGSW program, which is expected to culminate in January 2022.”
In terms of the NGSW program’s progress Lt. Col. Joshua Headley, the NGW program’s new product manager, advised that it may be towards the end of the year when we hear which submission has been selected. Alternatively, the Army Times reported that Maj. Gen. Anthony Potts, commander of Program Executive Officer Soldier (PEO), has stated that a selection is expected by mid-2022. This would be a considerable delay when the original selection announcement was planned for the second half of 2021.
The winning submission is set to be awarded an eight-year contract to produce roughly 145,000 rifles and machine guns. The army is also aiming to procure 121,773 Next Generation Squad Weapons – Fire Control (NGSW-FC), with designs from L3Harris and Vortex competing.