The U.S. Army is seeking vendors to developed and produce a fire control system under the Next Generation Squad Weapons – Fire Control (NGSW-FC) program.
In a recent notice posted on the U.S. government’s main contracting website, the Army Contracting Command announced that it looks for prototypes to ensure producible fire control systems that are safe, suitable, effective, and sustainable with a goal of delivering a production representative fire control system. A safe fire control system means the system is free from conditions that can cause unintentional death, injury, occupational illness, damage to or loss of equipment or property, or damage to the environment.
Results of the Small Arms Ammunition Configuration (SAAC) Study provide validation that development of advanced fire control systems to reduce system errors is a major factor in increasing the overall system lethality. Project Manager Soldier Weapons (PM SW) has conducted various industry days, trade studies, and technology developmental efforts to support the next generation of fire control systems for small arms weapons systems. In 2018 the Army prioritized the Next Generation Squad Weapons (NGSW) programs.
PM SW determined it would be in the Government’s best interest to hold a full and open competition to support rapid prototyping of the NGSW Fire Control (NGSW-FC). The NGSW-FC will be integrated with both the Next Generation Squad Weapon – Rifle (NGSW-R) and Next Generation Squad Weapon – Automatic Rifle (NGSW-AR) within the Close Combat Force.
It also added that the Government intends to award up to two independent fixed amount OTAs for NGSW-FC prototyping. The duration for each prototype OTA is estimated to be up to five years. Deliverables for each prototype OTA include 115 NGSW-FC systems, spare parts, tools/gauges/accessories, engineering support, management support; an option for additional NGSW-FC systems in increments of 10 (not to exceed 100 additional systems); an option for additional NGSW-FC systems in increments of 50 (not to exceed 250 additional systems); an option for additional design representative mock-ups in increments of 5 (not to exceed 50 additional mock-ups); and iterative prototyping efforts as defined in the Statement of Work.
Each prototype will undergo Fire Control – Prototype Test (FC-PT) events which include technical testing and Soldier Touch Points (STPs). The initial prototyping and testing for NGSW-FC will be approximately 14 months. There may be additional iterative prototyping efforts for the NGSW-FC.
The NGSW will combine the firepower and effective range of a machine gun with the precision and ergonomics of a rifle, yielding capability improvements in accuracy, range and lethality. The weapon will be lightweight, fire lightweight ammunition and have reduced acoustic and flash signature. Soldiers will employ the NGSW-AR against close-, mid- and extended-range targets in all terrains and conditions.
The NGSW-AR will replace the M-249 Squad Automatic Weapon, or SAW, in the Automatic Rifleman Role, and the NGSW-R will replace the M4/M41 Carbine in Brigade Combat Teams.