Sergio Aponte, a product director at the U.S. Army, has said the service branch plans to award contracts in June to start the process of buying multiple infantry weapons for foot soldiers, Breaking Defense reported Tuesday.
The report noted the Army wants to procure Next-Generation Squad Weapons designed with an open architecture that can support future upgrades.
The NGSW procurement effort’s first phase will focus on prototyping an M249 Squad Automatic Weapon replacement and the second phase will center on replacing the M16 rifle.
Apointe noted that selected vendors should submit their prototypes for live-fire testing next year and he expects contractors to use data from the tests to fine-tune designs.
The branch aims to pick three companies under the engineering and manufacturing development phase of the program then award a mass production contract to one company, according to the report.