As part of the U.S. Army's forward-looking Next Generation Squad Weapons program, Winchester announced a contract to plan the production of new ammo types.

The company, which bills itself as "the largest manufacturer of small-caliber ammunition for the U.S. military," announced that the Army has awarded it $20 million worth of contracts for the "development, manufacturing facility requirements analysis, and production capacity planning" for the upcoming 6.8mm NGSW ammo program. 

The work will be performed at the government-owned, contractor-operated Lake City Army Ammunition Plant in Independence, Missouri, which Winchester has been running since 2019. Lake City is the country's primary federal small arms ammo plant, making assorted 5.56 NATO, 7.62 NATO, and .50 caliber BMG rounds. 

Intended to replace the Army's 5.56 NATO small arms to include the M4 Carbine and M249 Squad Automatic Weapon, the NGSW will use a common lightweight/high-performance 6.8mm cartridge that is in prototype and testing phases. 

Current contenders for the NGSW-Rifle and NGSW-Automatic Rifle include Sig Sauer and two teams made up of defense contractor General Dynamics Ordnance Tactical Systems, working with Beretta and True Velocity; and AAI/Textron partnered with ammo firearms maker Heckler & Koch

NGSW program contenders
The NGSW program is currently in competitive prototyping with three vendors for weapons and ammunition (SIG Sauer, General Dynamics-OTS, and Textron Systems) and two vendors for fire control (Vortex Optics and L3Harris).

"Winchester is honored to have been selected by the U.S. Army to execute NGSW program activities at Lake City,” said Brett Flaugher, president of Winchester Ammunition. "The NGSW program represents our military’s significant investment in the future U.S. Warfighter, and the work being performed under these contracts is the genesis for generations of NGSW programs to come."

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