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Eurosatory 2024: SIG Sauer reveals plans for new NATO standard round and UK ammunition factory

Sig Sauer's XM7 6.8 mm rifle, seen at Eurosatory 2024. (Janes/Amael Kotlarski)

SIG Sauer CEO and presidentRon Cohen told Janes that the largely US-based gunmaker has been solicited by the US Army to help co-develop what he called the SIG Sauer general purpose round, which he hopes will become an alternate ball cartridge used with the XM7 rifle and XM250 machine gun.

Speaking at the Eurosatory 2024 defence exhibition held in Paris from 17 to 21 June, Cohen said that in the coming years, the development of the round could yield greater interest from other NATO countries for the new calibre and the performance it offers.

SIG Sauer began delivery of XM7 rifles and XM250 machine guns to operational units of the US Army's 101st Airborne Division in March 2024, following the award of the Next Generation Squad Weapon (NGSW) programme to SIG Sauer in April 2022. Designed around the 6.8×51 mm common cartridge family of ammunition, the NGSW programme seeks to replace the M4A1 carbine and M249 light machine gun in US Army close combat formations. To meet the requirements for increased accuracy and penetration over legacy 5.56×45 mm and 7.62×51 mm cartridges, SIG Sauer developed a hybrid case technology to be able to generate significantly higher chamber pressures for the 6.8 mm round.

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