Army Aims to Speed Acquisition of Next-Generation Rifle

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(U.S. Army photo by Spc. Dustin D. Biven / 22nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)

(U.S. Army photo by Spc. Dustin D. Biven / 22nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)

5/9/2018
By Jon Harper

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Under pressure from top brass, Army project managers hope to field a next-generation squad automatic rifle sooner than planned.

The system, also known as the NGSAR, is expected to replace the legacy M249 squad automatic weapon. Current plans call for it to be fielded in fiscal year 2022.

The projected timeline has already been accelerated from previous estimates that the new weapon would be fielded in 2025 or later. But some officials want the acquisition community to move even faster, noted Lt. Col. Loyd Beal III, product manager for crew served weapons in program executive office soldier.

“We have senior leaders who say, ‘What’s taking you so long? Why ’22? Why can’t you do it in ’20 or ’21? And so we’re seeing that kind of pressure and we’re thinking around that type of problem statement,” Beal said May 9 during a panel discussion at the National Defense Industrial Association’s Armament Systems Forum in Indianapolis, Indiana.

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