FN America was awarded a firm-fixed-price contract on Sep. 23 to supply the U.S. Army with M249 Squad Automatic Weapons—also known as the M249 SAW. The contract is valued at $78,709,973.29 and is expected to be completed by Sep. 19, 2025.
The FN M249 SAW has been a mainstay throughout the U.S. military since 1986 and is currently in service in more than 30 countries across the globe. FN has been the sole source manufacturer of the 5.56 NATO-chambered belt-fed lightweight machine gun. Designed for front-line applications delivering crucial support at the infantry squad/fire team level, the firearm provides highly accurate fire from a maneuverable, light machine gun. The ergonomic polymer buttstock contains a hydraulic buffer that allows SAW gunners to maintain a high rate of fire with accuracy and effect.
“We are honored to continue our dedication as a critical partner to the U.S. military and pleased to announce this latest Army contract award for the FN M249 SAW, a flagship design for FN, in service for more than 30 years. The proven design has served the U.S. military, reliably and without fail,” said Mark Cherpes, president and CEO for FN America. “The initial FN M249 shipments depart from our production facility in Columbia, South Carolina, this week and we look forward to delivering this enduring light machine gun to the great men and women of the U.S. Army.”
Testing is currently underway on three finalist firearm systems in the U.S. Army’s search for its Next Generation Squad Weapon. This recent purchase from FN America—and the fact that the new guns under review are all chambered for 6.8 mm—indicates widespread deployment of the winning entry and ammunition by the Army is still years off.
Throughout its history, FN has been one of the largest suppliers of small arms to the U.S. military. In addition to the M249 and its variants, the company currently holds contracts for the FN M240 medium machine gun and its variants; the FN MK 46, MK 48, MK 17 and MK 20 SSR for USSOCOM, and various other contracts.