101st Airborne Receives The U.S. Army's First Next-Generation Squad Weapons


SIG MX7 & MX250

In a move marking the culmination of a years-long effort, the U.S. Army has deployed its new Next Generation Squad Weapons (NGSW) to its first unit. According to Military.com, the 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, stationed at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, received the XM7 Next Generation Rifle and XM250 Next Generation Automatic Rifle ahead of their training scheduled for April.

These new weapons are designed to replace the M4 carbine and M249 Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW) currently fielded by the Army. The XM7, intended for close-combat scenarios, boasts a 6.8mm caliber for enhanced range and effectiveness against enemy body armor. Its counterpart, the XM250, serves as the automatic rifle replacement, offering similar firepower in a lightweight package.


The NGSW program extends beyond just the firearms themselves. The system also incorporates the XM157 Fire Control, a sophisticated scope developed by Vortex Optics. This advanced sight integrates a laser rangefinder, ballistic calculator, and digital display, providing soldiers with unprecedented battlefield awareness.


The fielding of these weapons signifies the successful conclusion of a meticulous process. Soldier feedback played a crucial role throughout the design, testing, and refinement stages. As a result, the Army is confident it has delivered the most capable and reliable small-caliber weapons and ammunition currently available.

The XM7 rifle, based on the Sig Sauer MCX-Spear platform, features a compact 13-inch barrel, ambidextrous charging handles, a collapsible stock, and M-LOK handguards for easy customization. The XM250, derived from Sig's LMG 6.8mm machine gun, utilizes detachable magazines and offers increased rail space for mounting accessories. Both weapons come equipped with Sig Sauer suppressors to mitigate toxic fumes and improve overall sound signature.

SIG MX7 & MX250 02

Soldiers receiving the XM7 should be prepared for a slightly heavier weapon compared to the M4 carbine. Sig Sauer acknowledges the increased weight and recoil, which are comparable to 7.62mm weapon systems.

The Army's commitment to the NGSW program is evident in its long-term procurement plans. According to the fiscal 2025 budget request, the service intends to acquire over 111,000 XM7 rifles, 13,000 XM250 automatic rifles, and over 124,000 XM157 Fire Control devices over the next decade.


All photos from SIG Sauer.

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