Back in May, following the US Army’s decision to select the SIG Sauer submission to the Next Generation Squad Weapons program, Lone Star Future Weapons lodged a formal complaint with the U.S. Government Accountability Office (the GAO) against the US Army’s choice. The Government Accountability Office is essentially an independent arbitrator which examines bid protests and reports ruling based on their investigation. The GAO defines a bid protest as a challenge to the terms of a solicitation or the award of a federal contract.
NGSW Program @ TFB:
- Lone Star Future Weapons Protests US Army’s NGSW Decision
- SIG Sauer Wins US Army Next Generation Squad Weapon Contract
- Winchester Awarded NGSW Ammunition Manufacturing Facility Design Contract
- US Army Discusses NGSW
- SIG Sauer Comment on NGSW Win
- Commercially Available! The SIG Sauer NGSW MCX-SPEAR
In fact, Lone Star Future Weapons lodged not one but two bid protests. The first was filed on 18 May and the second on 10 June 2022. At this time it remains unknown what the grounds of Lone Star Future Weapons’ protests were. At the time of writing, no comments have been made publicly by any of the parties involved.
Since the US Army’s selection of the SIG Sauer NGSW-R and NGSW-AR submissions as the XM5 and XM250, the Army has wanted to fast-track initial production, however, once a bid protest is filed stop orders are issued and work toward the protested contract must halt.
With the withdrawal of Lone Star Future Weapons’ filed protests on 1 July, the US Army has looked to restart the program. It is now expected that within the next couple of weeks program officials will update the production, fielding and testing schedule of the SIG Sauer produced weapon systems.
Reports suggest that while production of the weapons at SIG Sauer halted due to the GAO stop orders, work setting up an ammunition manufacturing plant which will produce magazines for the 6.8mm XM5 rifles has continued with development work on pistol magazines being done to establish production processes and set up the production line. Intriguingly, the new magazines are said to be pressed steel – potentially replacing the Lancer-made magazines which were submitted with the rifle prototype.