Sig Sauer, a designer and manufacturer of firearms, will produce next-gen squad weapons for the U.S. Army, according to a recent report.

The new weaponry — the XM5 rifle and XM250 automatic rifle — will be built around the 6.8 mm Common Cartridge Family of Ammunition, ultimately replacing current standard Army weapons, including the Colt M4/M4A1 pattern rifles and the FN Herstal M249 Squad Automatic Weapons.

Tristan Sauer, land analyst at GlobalData Aerospace, Defense and Security, a data and analytics company, explained: “The decision to adopt not one, but two new standard weapons systems and a new ammunition caliber for the U.S. Army reflects one of the most significant efforts to modernize solider systems in recent history. Due to growing concerns over the lethality of infantry units in conflicts against peer-level adversaries with modern body armor, the Army has opted to forego the current NATO standard calibers whilst retaining a level of interoperability between the rifles and squad automatic weapons. Indeed, both the XM5 and the XM250 fire the 6.8 mm round, which is purported to have increased lethality and accuracy compared to both the 5.56 x 45 mm and 7.6 2x 51 mm NATO standard cartridges.”

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