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 Nova espingarda do Exército dos EUA infographic
A infografia mostra a espingarda SIG Sauer XM5 / MCX Spear.


Nova espingarda de assalto do Exército dos EUA

By Duncan Mil

October 27, 2022 - Pela primeira vez em seis décadas, o Exército dos EUA introduz uma nova espingarda de assalto – a SIG Sauer tem maior calibre, com sistema de controlo de fogo e supressor.

In January 2019, the U.S. military began the Next Generation Squad Weapon programme to find replacements for the M4 carbine and M249 light machine gun.

The competition was awarded to German arms manufacturer SIG Sauer in April 2022. Sig Sauer, Inc. will manufacture and deliver 6.8mm Next Generation Squad Weapons to replace the M4 carbine and M249 Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW), which both fire 5.56mm rounds.

The company’s XM5 will replace the M4 in close-combat units, while its XM250 will replace the M249 SAW.

The XM5 is designed to fire the new 6.8×51mm SIG Fury cartridge in response to concerns that improvements in body armour have diminished the effectiveness of the 62-grain, 5.56mm NATO M855A1 Enhanced Performance Round (EPR) -- adopted by the Army in 2010 and used in the M4 and M249.

In the Military Review, combat arms expert Dr Joseph Avery states the 5.56mm NATO round’s maximum effective range is about 250 metres. “Effective” is the keyword, Avery states. “It denotes the maximum range a projectile is expected to inflict casualties or damage… because half of our firefights occur well beyond 300 metres, our weapons are marginally effective,” Avery notes.

Sig Sauer’s 6.8mm “hybrid” ammunition has a brass casing with a steel base to provide extended range and power. The steel base allows significantly higher chamber pressure levels of 80,000 pounds per square inch (psi) or 551.6 megapascals (MPa), compared with 62,366 psi or 430 MPa for 5.56mm NATO.

The high chamber pressure enables a 135-grain projectile to have an effective range of 518 metres with a muzzle velocity of 910 metres per second from a short 330mm barrel.

Brig. Gen. Bill Boruff, Joint Program Executive Officer for Armaments and Ammunition, said the 5.56mm EPR cartridge “has been maxed out from the performance perspective.” It showed lacklustre lethality at distances beyond 300 metres in Afghanistan and Iraq.

“The Next Generation Squad Weapon and ammunition will provide an immense increase in the capability for the close-combat force,” said Boruff.

PUBLISHED: 27/10/2022; STORY: Graphic News