Beretta finalist for the US Army NGSW program

(To Tiziano Ciocchetti)

The NGSW (New Generation Squad Weapon) program consists of two parts: NGSW-AR, intended to replace the M-249 SAW; and NGSW-R to replace the M-4 air rifles.

The new weapons will have the following characteristics: the controls will obviously be ambidextrous; they will have a flash hider with integrated attack for sound moderators; they will be equipped with a 3-position pull selector (safe, semi-automatic and free burst) and will have a dial rail on the temple.

The need for American soldiers to be able to use calibrated portable weapons with more powerful ammunition than the 5,56x45 NATO, was evident from the earliest stages of operations in Afghanistan: the Taliban militias could have weapons and ammunition (of ex Soviet conception ) capable of exceeding those supplied to western forces by power, penetration and range.

However, despite being a known problem for decades, only in 2014 did the US Army begin a series of tests and evaluation studies aimed at introducing a new intermediate ammunition between 5,56x45 and 7,62x51 in service.

On August 29 of last year the three finalist companies were indicated (distribution to the departments should begin in 2022): Sig Sauer Inc., Aai Corporation Textron System and General Dynamics. The latter makes use of the collaboration of Beretta Defense Technologies (BDT) - as regards the replacement of the M-4 - and together they presented a model bullpup named RM-277 in caliber 6,8.

The new stroke is characterized by having the polymer case that incorporates the metal caseback; moreover, it has no collar and has a small shoulder.

Specifically, the NGSW program is unable to dispel some doubts. In fact, it is difficult to totally replace the 5,56x45. Perhaps it will replace the 7,62x51 in some roles.

As far as we can understand, the new weapons will replace the M-249 SAW machine guns and all the DMRs (Designated Marksman Rifle), both in caliber 5,56, in the platoons and in the teams (at least as regards the front line departments) , 27 (like the IAR M-7,62 of the Marines) or in 51xXNUMX.

The entry into service of a 6,8 mm shot in the US Army cannot fail to have repercussions on other NATO armies as well.