XM7 assault rifle
The XM7 (formerly known as the XM5), is the US Army variant of the SIG MCX SPEAR, a 6.8×51mm (.277 Fury), gas-operated, magazine-fed, assault rifle. It was designed by SIG Sauer for the Next Generation Squad Weapon program in 2022 to replace the M4 carbine. The XM5 is based on the SIG MCX Spear.
According to Army Times, On 19 April 2022, the Army awarded a 10-year contract to SIG Sauer to produce the XM7 rifle, along with the XM250 light machine gun, to replace the M4 and M249, respectively. In January 2023, the Army announced it was changing the name of the rifle from XM5 to XM7 to avoid a trademark conflict with Colt's M5 carbine.
According to Military.com as well as the U.S. Army's own article, the XM7 was awarded a 10-year contract to replace the M4 carbine as of April 19th, 2022. This is true for the XM250 replacing the current M249 as well. In January of 2022, the Army had also announced that it would change the name of the XM5 to "XM7" in order to avoid trademark issues with Colt's M5 Carbine, according to Army Times.
The first batch of 25 XM7 rifles, and 15 XM250 light machine guns are planned to be delivered in late 2023. The U.S. Army intends to receive 107,000 rifles and 13,000 light machine guns for various forces, including close combat forces such as infantry, cavalry scouts, combat engineers, forward observers and combat medics. It appears that there are no plans to issue these weapons to non-combat soldiers, at least initially. The contract also allows for additional weapons if the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Special Operations Command choose to be included in the adoption, per an Army Times article.
In January 2019, the United States military began their "Next Generation Squad Weapon Program" in order to find more modern replacements for the M4 Carbine and M249 light machine gun. In September 2019, SIG Sauer submitted their designs. The XM5 was designed to fire the 6.8×51mm SIG Fury cartridge (also known as ".277 Fury" and other names) in response to concerns that improvements in body armor would diminish the effectiveness of common battlefield rounds such as the 5.56×45mm NATO (used in the M4 and M249) and 7.62×51mm NATO. The .277 Fury acts as a better do-all intermediate cartridge between the 5.56x45mm NATO, and 7.62x51mm NATO with better ballistics at both short and long ranges.
On April 19th 2022, the United States Army announced that it had awarded a 10-year contract to Sig Sauer to produce the XM5 rifle, along with its light machine gun counterpart, the XM250 Automatic Rifle, to (at least possibly) replace the M4 and M249, respectively. It appears this will depend on results when these firearms are put to use in actual operations.
- SIG Sauer MCX Spear - Official SIG Sauer site for their MCX Spear rifle.
- SIG Sauer Firearms at Palmetto State Armory - A link to Palmetto State Armory's selection of SIG Sauer firearms. This is an affiliate link and purchasing through it will give us a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support!
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