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    SOCOM Announce Virtual Industry Day For Lightweight Machine Gun – Medium Acquisition

    Posted 13 hours ago in Companies, Daily News, Defense, Machine Guns, MIL/LE by Matthew Moss with 9 Comments

    Image from GD-OTS product page.

    SOFWERX, in concert with USSOCOM PEO-SOF Warrior (PEO-SW) has announced they will be hosting a Lightweight Machine Gun – Medium (LMG-M) Virtual Industry Day to foster the development of the new machine gun sought by US Special Operations Command.

    You may know the LMG-M by its earlier, slightly wordier name Lightweight Medium Machine Gun (LWMMG). These are weapons chambered in hard-hitting magnum calibres like .338 Norma Magnum. These guns fill a niche role somewhere between a 7.62×51mm general purpose machine gun (like the M240, PKM or HK MG5) and a heavy machine gun like the .50 caliber Browning M2 or 12.7×108mm DShK or Kord.

    SOFWERX announcement describes the event as:
    an informative session for LMG-M manufacturers that can meet the current requirements and future needs of Special Operations Forces (SOF) Operators. In addition to the review of the performance specification, this session is to incorporate Industry comments into the Request for Proposal (RFP) development process and gain a better understanding of recent machine gun Industry developments.

    MG 338 (SIG Sauer)

    At the event, the ammunition and weapon specs will be finalised and released to the industry as SOCOM is seeking to move to reach non-Federal Acquisition Regulation agreements for evaluation. The virtual industry day will feed into the development process of the LMG-M’s Request for Proposal.

    A SOCOM briefing slide on the LMG-M program, May 2019 (US SOCOM)

    There are currently two key players in the LMG-M push: General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems and SIG Sauer. GD-OTS have participated in the program since the requirement’s inception back in 2012. SIG Sauer have also entered the game with a similar weapon, the SIG Sauer MG 338. Both weapons are chambered in .338 Norma Magnum. Back in January 2020, SIG Sauer announced that their machine gun had been delivered to SOCOM for evaluation.


    From declassified SOCOM releases it is clear that it had been hoped the LMG-M would have been up for tender late last year with a request for proposal being issued in October 2020 and a contract away in the 3rd quarter of 2021. The program contract is estimated to be worth around $50 million.

    Interested vendors have until 11 February to register to attend the event, with the event itself taking place online on the 18th February which will include requirement outlines, discussion and opportunities for one-to-one meetings with procurement specialists, subject matter experts and SOCOM personnel. Find out details here.

  • #2
    Kalashnikov designs new firearms


    The Kalashnikov Group is completing the design of the latest firearms, CEO Dmitry Tarasov told RBC. Trials of the Lebedev PL (previously PL-15) full-size pistol will be completed this year to replace Makarov PM. PL is currently in test operation. It was designed for law enforcers and the Defense Ministry. PL will be tested in several modifications.

    Kalashnikov 5.45x39mm RPL-20 machinegun (Picture source: Vitaly Kuzmin)

    Kalashnikov Group also hopes to sign a new contract for 5.45mm AK-12 rifle with the Defense Ministry. It is supplied to Kazakhstan and Armenia. The design of the rifle for 5.56mm cartridge designated as AK-19 was completed in late 2020.

    The technical project of RPL-20 machinegun, which debuted at Army-2020 forum, is being implemented and Tarasov expects the first results in 2023.

    Trials of the latest Chukavina (Ugolek) sniper rifle and small Malysh AM-17 assault rifle will be completed in 2021.

    Kalashnikov is working to expand positions in the foreign arms market. The joint Russian-Indian project to create Indo-Russian Rifles Private Limited (IRRPL) Company for the production of Russian rifles in India is at the final stage.

    Tarasov said “a major step” towards the supplies would be made in the first or second quarter of 2021. The Kalashnikov is also negotiating AK-103 rifle production with Saudi Arabia. It was agreed in a memorandum of October 2017. Tarasov said the deal was delayed by COVID-19 pandemic.

    Kalashnikov continues to design new firearms and will display AKV-521 rifle at Army-2021 forum. It differs from the classical AK scheme.

    The group also designs drones. Tarasov said the Defense Ministry had procured a batch of drones, which were engaged in the counterterrorist operation in Syria. He said loitering munitions created by the company are characterized by a high level of design.

    © Copyright 2021 TASS / Army Recognition Group SPRL .


    • #3
      03 MARCH 2021

      Indian Army receives first 6,000 of 16,749 LMGs ordered from IWI

      by Rahul Bedi

      The Indian Army (IA) has taken delivery of the first 6,000 of 16,749 Negev NG-7 light machine guns (LMGs) ordered in March 2020 from Israel Weapon Industries (IWI) for INR8.8 billion (USD120.7 million).

      Official sources told Janes on 3 March that the 7.62×51 mm LMGs, which had arrived in India in late January, are completing their final round of ‘acceptance’ trials and will be issued imminently to frontline IA troops deployed along India’s restive borders with China and Pakistan.

      Delivery of the remaining 10,000-odd LMGs is slated to be completed by October.


      • #4
        German army to replace MG3 with MG5 machine gun

        POSTED ON WEDNESDAY, 31 MARCH 2021 11:40

        The MG5 will replace the MG3 as a medium machine gun. The fully automatic weapon enables short and long bursts of fire with a range of up to 1,000 meters.

        The MG5 succeeds the MG3 and at the same time heralds a new era of universal machine guns. (Picture source: Bundeswehr / Marco Dorow)

        The Heckler & Koch MG5 (in the development phase also known as the HK121) is a belt-fed 7.62×51mm NATO general-purpose machine gun manufactured by German firearm manufacturer Heckler & Koch. The MG5 resembles the 5.56×45mm NATO Heckler & Koch MG4 light machine gun, which was adopted into German military service in 2005.

        Work on the MG5 began, under the HK121 designation, shortly after the development of the MG4 light machine gun that Heckler & Koch initially presented as the HK MG43 at the MILIPOL 2001 trade show in Paris. A prototype of the HK121 was presented to a larger public by Heckler & Koch on the 14th day of the infantry in July 2010 in Hammelburg.

        In June 2013, it was announced that Germany was testing and evaluating 65 samples and planned to buy at least 7,114 of the machine guns for the Bundeswehr during 2014–2017, in a deal that over time could grow to 12,733 HK5s.

        The MG5 is intended as and started replacing the Rheinmetall MG3 in German service since 2015. According to the Bundeswehr, the MG5 is more accurate than the MG3. The effective range on a bipod is therefore greater. The MG5 reduced cyclic rate uses less ammunition and the user can adjust the stock to individual ergonomic preferences. By 2022 the MG5 should replace the MG3 in Bundeswehr service.

        The MG5 shoots from the open locking position. As with the MG3, there is no cartridge in the chamber when the MG5 is loaded. The MG5 has a weapon barrel in the standard length of 55 centimeters, a bipod and a length-adjustable shoulder rest. It has a telescopic sight with four times magnification and a sighting device with a red dot.

        For the development and use of a special bolt for training cartridges, the German Federal Government has allocated a budget of 7.3 million euros. The costs to integrate the MG5 in various tripod and weapon station mountings in German use are estimated at around 60 million euros.

        The MG5 succeeds the MG3 and at the same time heralds a new era of universal machine guns. (Picture source: Bundeswehr / Marco Dorow)


        • #5
          FN Herstal to launch a new weapon on May 6 2021 Teaser Video

          POSTED ON FRIDAY, 23 APRIL 2021 15:52

          Innovation is part of FN Herstal’s DNA. Since its inception in 1889, FN Herstal has continuously brought innovative, small caliber-oriented solutions to Defense and Security professionals, with most of them becoming world references. The company is about to launch a new weapon of a so-far-undisclosed type on May 6, 2021.

          FN Herstal to launch a new weapon on May 6 2021 Teaser Video | Defense News April 2021 Global Security army industry | Defense Security global news industry army year 2021 | Archive News year (

          Click on "I UNDERSTAND" to see the teaser video about the new weapon of FN Herstal and register for the launching ceremony.

          FN Herstal’s innovative spirit is just as true today as it ever was in the past. The Company has released on April 22, 2021, a product teaser to preannounce an upcoming brand new, revolutionary shoulder-fired weapon. To overcome the constraints of the current pandemic, FN Herstal invites all Defense and Security professionals to join its digital product launch event on May 6, 2021. Register at this link for the launching ceremony.

          FN Herstal is the Defense and Security branch of the Herstal Group. FN Herstal is based near Liège in Belgium, with three fully owned subsidiaries: FN America (USA), FNH UK (UK) and Noptel (Finland). The Herstal Group has almost 3,000 employees worldwide. Its mission is to design, develop and manufacture a full range of innovative solutions at the leading edge of technology, centered on small arms and their ammunition, that meet specific market requirements today and in the future.

          The FN Herstal product range includes small arms, Less Lethal systems, and integrated weapon systems for air, sea and land applications, remote weapon stations, small caliber ammunition, and solutions that harness modern technology to enhance the capabilities of the dismounted combatant. FN Herstal is currently the largest exporter of military small arms in Europe.

          Firearms designed and/or manufactured by FN include some historical world references: the Browning Hi-Power and Five-seven pistols, the FAL (Fusil Automatique Léger, Light Austomatic Rifle), the FNC (FN Carbine), the F2000 and SCAR rifles, the P90 submachine gun, the M2 Browning heavy machine gun, the MAG (Mitrailleuse à Gaz, gas-operated machine gun) and the Minimi (Mini-Mitrailleuse) light machine gun. All have been commercially very successful. FN Herstal's firearms are used by the militaries of over 100 countries: the customers are Armed Forces, Security Forces and Special Forces worldwide.


          • #6

            FN EVOLYS: the new ultralight machine gun by FN Herstal

            (Herstal, Belgium) – May 06, 2021 – Belgium-based designer and manufacturer of small caliber weapons, associated weapon systems and ammunition FN Herstal has announced earlier today the entry of a brand-new machine gun with unique features, the FN EVOLYS™. With this new addition to FN Herstal’s product portfolio, the Company definitely intends to write a new chapter in the history of machine guns.

            Earlier today, FN Herstal has unveiled to the Defense and Security markets a completely new machine gun – the FN EVOLYS™– during a global digital product launch event. It is with a great satisfaction and pride that the Company succeeded in combining its universally recognized expertise in the field of machine gun design, development and manufacture; its innovative spirit and current unmet market requirements to bring life to a new machine gun. The FN EVOLYS™ features an incredibly innovative and open architecture together with unique characteristics.

            The FN EVOLYS™is a radically different, ultralight weapon that combines the firing capabilities of a belt-fed machine gun with ergonomics and balance similar to an assault rifle.This is exactly what is needed and expected by users for current and future operations.

            The FN EVOLYS™has been developed in two calibers, 5.56x45mm NATO and 7.62x51mm NATO.

            A true, ultralight machine gun…

            The FN EVOLYS™, with a weight between 5.5 and 6.2 kilosdepending on the caliber, is much lighter than current reference machine guns.This reduced weight enables the user to move across difficult terrain quickly and to engage with a high volume of fire when needed with no difficulty.

            Its reduced weight and excellent balance also mean that the weapon can be fired from any position. Transitioning from one firing position to another is made easy by the design of the sling attachment interface.

            … featuring assault rifle characteristics

            The FN EVOLYS™ultralight machine gun fires like a machine gun, and handles like an assault rifle.

            The ambidextrous fire selectorhas a semi-auto positionto engage point targets as with a rifle while the full auto positionallows suppressive fire as with a machine gun.

            The buttstock is adjustable in length and height.Whatever his size, or the equipment he is wearing, the user can always find a comfortable shooting position.

            Reliable, extremely comfortable and stable when firing

            The latest-generation materials and technologies used on the FN EVOLYS™, combined with FN Herstal’s long-standing expertise and innovative spirit, ensure that the reduction of weight has not compromised the vital factors of reliability, user safety and long life of parts.

            The hydraulic buffergives a steady rate of fireand reduces recoil.

            The FN EVOLYS™was designed from the start to fire intensively with a sound suppressor and therefore showed no reduction in performance when fitted with a suppressor, no excessive fouling, and no debris projected towards the user, even for left-handers.

            Innovative and unique architecture

            Another big innovation in the FN EVOLYS™is the patented lateral feed mechanism,which has allowed the design to include several major improvementsrequested by users:
            • The one-piece long top rail enables mounting a combination of various in-line optical sightssuch as day and night sights together, or magnifiers for instance, without removing the iron sights.
            • Easy, instinctive and fast access to all controls by left or right-handed shootersfor improved handling in the field
            • All actions can be done with just one hand, including engaging the belt.
            • Cartridges are automatically repositionedwhen the feed cover is closed if the belt is not correctly placed on the feed tray. This avoids a failure to feed the first round, which is a great reassurance for the user.
            • The last link is automatically ejected,clearing the way for a faster and more reliable reload.


            • #7
              FN EVOLYS: Technical review of new FN Herstal ultralight 5.56/7.62mm caliber machine gun

              POSTED ON FRIDAY, 07 MAY 2021 12:10

              Technical review of the new FN EVOLYS Ultralight machine gun by Army Recognition editorial team. The Belgium-based company FN Herstal, a global leader in the design, development and manufacturing of firearms, unveils its new FN EVOLYS ultralight machine gun chambered either in 5.56x45mm or 7.62x51mmNATO caliber. In the next few days, the Army Recognition editorial team will be the very first European media to have the opportunity of performing firing tests with this new machine gun on FN Herstal’s facilities.

              The FN EVOLYS is a new generation of ultralight machine guns featuring new technical innovations and technologies. (Picture source FN Herstal)

              For many decades, FN Herstal has created small caliber firearms and associated ammunition using state-of-the-art technologies and bringing innovative features. The FN MAG and FN MINIMI machine guns, as well as the FN FAL and FN SCAR-L & SCAR-H family of rifles are just a few examples. The company enjoys worldwide notoriety and is unanimously recognized as an international leader in the design, development, and manufacturing of machine guns. The FN EVOLYS ultralight machine gun is definitely a revolutionary weapon.

              With its new FN EVOLYS, FN Herstal launches a new concept of ultralight machine gun that combines the firing capabilities of a belt-fed machine gun with ergonomics and balance similar to an assault rifle. This machine gun features an incredibly innovative and open architecture together with unique characteristics. The FN EVOLYS is not an evolution of the FN MINIMI but a real new weapon that meets the current needs of military forces and the evolution of combat operations. Unlike the FN MINIMI or the FN MAG, this new weapon is not designed to be mounted on a tripod or integrated into a weapon station. Only specially dedicated support for vehicles is foreseen.

              FN Herstal has already finalized the full design of the FN EVOLYS and the pre-series of the weapon has undergone functional and firing tests. According to FN Herstal, the weapon will enter full production during the year 2022 and will be presented physically as a world première during the DSEI defense exhibition that will take place in London, the United Kingdom, from the 14thto the 17th of September 2021.

              The FN EVOLYS is not a converted FN SCAR assault rifle but uses the proven technology of a gas-operated, open bolt, short-stroke piston weapon. The new machine gun can be handled like an assault rifle. The compact and ultralight weapon has a length of approximately 850 mm in 5.56mm caliber and 925mmin 7.62mm caliber (retracted buttstock), compared to a standard assault rifle which has a length from 756mm to 990 mm.

              The FN EVOLYS is fitted with an ambidextrous fire selector that has a semi-auto position to engage point targets like with a rifle, while the full-auto position allows suppressive fire like with a machine gun. The FN EVOLYS ultralight machine gun has a rate of fire of approximately 750 rounds per minute. The new FN machine gun has an effective firing range of 800 m in 5.56mm caliber and 1,000 m in a 7.62mm configuration.

              The FN EVOLYS is fitted with a buttstock adjustable in length and height, similar to the FN SCAR assault rifle’s one. The buttstock is fully independent of the weapon system. In the future, additional types of buttstocks could be introduced to meet customer requirements.

              As mentioned earlier, one of the main advantages of the new FN EVOLYS machine gun is its very lightweight: with its 5.5 kg for the 5.56mm caliber version or 6.2 kg for the 7.62mm caliber version, the Belgian company FN Herstal has successfully designed one of the lightest machine guns ever in the world. To reach this weight, the engineers of FN Herstal have used the latest generation of materials and technologies combined with FN Herstal’s long standing expertise and innovative spirit, ensuring that the reduction of weight does not compromise the vital factors of reliability, user safety, and long life of parts. Its reduced weight and excellent balance also mean that the weapon can be fired from any position. Transitioning from one firing position to another is made easy by the design of the sling attachment interface.

              In terms of design, the FN EVOLYS originally integrates a long one-piece Picatinny top rail . A distinctive advantage presented by this unique long rail is that it enables the weapon to be fitted with a combination of various in-line optical sights such as day and night sights altogether (not alternatively), or magnifiers for instance, without removing the basic iron sights. The front part of the handguard is designed to cool down the barrel by air flow.

              The FN EVOLYS also features an M-LOCK receiver and a lower Picatinny rail. The weapon can be fitted with a bipod to increase comfort and stability when firing. The barrel of the FN EVOLYS has a length of 355mm (14") in 5.56mm caliber or 406mm (16") in 7.62mm caliber. The machine gun can accept a standard foregrip like an assault rifle and an FN SmartCore shot counter that provides precise information about the firearm. The FN SmartCore is the firearm’s life memory as it acts as an electronic logbook of the maintenance history of the firearm and other user-defined information. This includes the number of shots (blank, live and dry firing being discriminated), its base location, whom it is issued to, and its operational condition. The FN SmartCore plays a major role in managing a small arms fleet in a smart and digital way.

              Another important innovation in the FN EVOLYS is its patented lateral feeding mechanism that offers the possibility of loading the weapon with a single hand to engage the belt.

              In terms of use, the FN EVOLYS has been designed to offer instinctive and fast access to all controls by left- or right-handed users for improved handling in the field. The weapon is fed by a free belt or an FN MINIMI ammunition pouch (100 or 200 rounds for the 5.56mm caliber, or 50 rounds for the 7.62mm version). Unlike the FN MINIMI, the new weapon cannot accept standard assault rifle magazines.

              Another important innovation in the FN EVOLYS is its patented lateral feeding mechanism that offers the possibility of loading the weapon with a single hand to engage the belt. The cartridges are automatically repositioned when the feed cover is closed if the belt is not correctly placed on the feed tray. This avoids a failure in feeding the first round, which is a great assurance for the user. The last link is automatically ejected, clearing the way for a faster and more reliable reload.

              The FN EVOLYS was designed from the start to fire intensively with a sound suppressor and therefore shows no reduction in performance when fitted with a suppressor, no excessive fouling, and no debris projected towards the user, even for left-handers.


              • magnify
                magnify commented
                Editing a comment
                Up to 800 meters semi-auto with 100 rounds plus compact low-light scope option? Love the concept, a lot of kill capacity for not much ammo use, with infrequent reload, and assault size with 5.5 kg for a bare weapon? Will get a bit heavier with suppressor and scope, but then stuff all noise, recoil or flash with a suppressor. But what range will it get then? But if going for long-range shots just detach the suppressor, if it comes off fast. Good RPM too. Hard not to like it, terrific weapon if reliable and can be bought in big numbers.

            • #8
              More Marines Will Test Lighter Polymer-Cased Ammunition as Experiments Expand to Fleet

              A Marine with 2nd Maintenance Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, loads a chain of ammunition into a M2 .50-caliber machine gun during a live-fire training exercise on SR8 Multi-purpose Machine Gun Range aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C. (Alex Mitchell/Marine Corps)

              9 May 2021

     | By Gina Harkins

              The Marine Corps has been testing the performance of a polymer-cased .50-caliber ammunition in a lab environment, and leathernecks soon will get a chance to see how the lighter rounds hold up in the field.

              Marines at the schools of infantry on both coasts, Advanced Machine Gunners Course, and 1st and 2nd Amphibious Assault Battalions will likely be the first to try out the new round for the "Ma Deuce" M2 machine gun, said Kelly Flynn, a Marine Corps Systems Command spokeswoman. Officials then want members of I and II Marine Expeditionary Forces to test the round on static and maneuver ranges, she said.

              The evaluations, which are set to start later this year and run into 2022, could determine whether Marine Corps and Army mounted combat units will swap the traditional brass .50-caliber round for a lighter polymer version. The lighter casings cut the weight of the machine gun rounds by about a quarter, Brig. Gen. A.J. Pasagian, head of Marine Corps Systems Command, told reporters Thursday.

              Marine officials announced last year they planned to invest $10 million in the polymer-cased .50-caliber rounds for user evaluations. The lab tests so far have produced promising results, Pasagian said.

              The rounds have been exposed to temperature changes to see how they perform compared with brass versions. The trajectory and performance have so far been on par with brass rounds, Pasagian said.

              "But what we want to do ... is expose the round to the more operationally realistic environment in which we typically see Marines, which is kind of not so pretty," he said. "It's very austere, a lot of sand, grime and dirt. There are days where you don't get the opportunity to clean the weapon as often as you'd like or maintain it with lubrication or other means, so those are the things we want to check out."

              The Marine Corps is on a mission to lighten the weight of gear required for warfighting, especially as it returns to naval operations after decades of ground-based combat. Pasagian said it's not just ground units that are excited about the idea of lighter ammunition, but logisticians and aircrews, too.

              "A lot of optimism here, but we're going to bring it out and we're going to put it through its paces," he said.

              Other services are experimenting with polymer ammunition, too. Adopting the lighter rounds could put an end to a decades-long effort to replace brass-cased ammunition. The Army wants to replace its brass-cased 7.62mm ammo, and the Navy is working to develop lightweight cartridges that perform as well as traditional options.

              Combined, Pasagian said, the results of those experiments could lead to changes for the joint force.

              "Just the fuel savings alone [could be] a ... strategic advantage," he said.

              -- Gina Harkins can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @ginaaharkins.


              • #9
                LAST Report on the new FN MG's, too good to miss..............this one is from Soldier Systems Daily

                SSD Exclusive – A Deeper Dive Into The FN EVOLYS Machine Gun

                May 7th, 2021

                Yesterday, FN Herstal unveiled their new ultralight belt-fed machine gun, the EVOLYS. Here’s some additional information on the EVOLYS we thought you might be interested in.

                Right up front it is important to note that the machine gun shown during FN Herstal’s unveiling is not exactly the same as the one that will be offered in the United States, which we’ll explain later on.

                Having said that, it is being offered in two basic variants, the Ultra Lightweight Machine Gun in 5.56mm NATO and the Lightweight Machine Gun, a multi-caliber gun, currently in 7.62mm NATO, which can also be chambered for 6.5 CM as well as a conventional cased Next Generation 6.8 x 51mm round. Additionally, we are told the EVOLYS LMG can be adapted to other calibers.

                Apparently, EVOLYS has been under development for several years. However, this current iteration is a refinement of a design submitted for the US Army’s Next Generation Squad Automatic Rifle (NGSAR) solicitation meaning that much of the engineering was already accomplished by that point for a similar machine gun. Consequently, the technology is more mature than it appears to those seeing it for the first time. What sets EVOLYS apart form that earlier effort is that there has been a significant amount of user feedback from SOF used in the current configuration. FN America assured us that EVOLYS was not created to satisfy any new government solicitations, but rather is the next step in FN’s line of machine guns, integrating multiple new features.

                Conversely, FN has no intention of halting production of their existing designs (M249, M240, MK46/48). They will continue to support those designs throughout their lifespan while the company looks to address current and future needs. With one of every two machine guns on the planet coming from FN, they’ve got a lot of customers to continue to support.

                The name hints at evolution and this new machine gun platform will be familiar to anyone who has had time behind FN’s M240 (MAG) or M249 (Minimi). While it breaks down in much the same way, with a receiver, recoil spring and bolt carrier group, you’ll note that EVOLYS features a monocoque construction receiver. Unlike the M240, it’s one continuous piece which helps control weapon weight. In fact, you’re looking at significant weight reduction with 5.5 kg ULMG & 6.2 kg LMG compared to a 7.5 kg M249 and 10.1 kg M240L.

                Another interesting note is that there are no operator barrel changes with EVOLYS. They’re so confident in the metallurgy of the barrel that you won’t have to swap barrels during sustained fire. Barrel changes will require tools and about two to three minutes to accomplish.

                Speaking of barrels, EVOLYS will be introduced with 14″ (para) and 16″ options, but other lengths may be added in the future.

                It uses a tappet short stroke piston operating system with a gas regulator and, like other FN belt-feds, EVOLYS only fires from the open bolt. Controllability and reliability is enhanced by use of a hydraulic buffer.

                FN Herstal has stated that EVOLYS was developed from the outset for use with a suppressor and we understand that the developmental team used at least the SureFire suppressors adopted by USSOCOM. Additionally, video shown by FN Herstal during the EVOLYS launch depict B&T suppressors which makes sense as they provide suppressors to FN.

                Interestingly, FN also claims that their operating system prevents the gas associated with the use of a suppressor from being blown back into the face of the firer, even a left handed shooter.

                Earlier we mentioned that the US and Rest of World version of EVOLYS would differ slightly. For instance, the version Herstal revealed is equipped with a SCAR stock while the US version has a backplate which also facilitates use of an M4-style collapsible stock. Further development of the stock is underway with concepts being evaluated to offer different comb heights without weight increases.

                As one FN America executive related, “one hundred years in the waiting, we finally have a side loading, continuous rail machine gun.”

                The real magic in the EVOLYS design is the patented lateral feed mechanism which still incorporates a feedtray cover and feedtray, but how they are accessed is completely different than other machine guns.

                Instead, the separate feedtray cover and feedtray open to the left, swinging outward toward the business end of the gun. Of note, it can only be configured as left-hand feed.

                This design facilitates one-handed loading and has similar round alignment pawls to the Mk46 and Mk48. You can seat the cartridge into the feed tray and the system will guide the cartridge into proper placement.

                While belts can still be broken in the event of a runaway gun, FN informs us they have integrated a anti-runaway mechanism into the design. Additionally, the last link is automatically ejected at the end of firing so no need to clear the feedtray.

                With the lateral feed mechanism, the top Picatinny rail is a single piece, running all the way from the front of the handguard to the rear of the receiver. This means optics and other enables can be mounted anywhere along the rail without having to worry about a front folding or side tilting feedtray cover. You can mount your optic where you need it and keep it there.

                EVOLYS offers single (semi-auto) as well as sustained (full-auto) fire options, selectable at the ambidextrous thumb safety above the pistol grip.

                Expect better accuracy than an M4 carbine. FN has regularly demonstrated 1.5 – 2.5 MOA accuracy, depending on the gun’s temperature.

                Initially, EVOLYS will be built in Herstal and the company will evaluate US-based manufacturing.

                FN Herstal plans to exhibit EVOLYS at DSEI in London in September, but it’s possible you may run into it at a range day before then as interest begins to pick up.


                • #10
                  FN America to supply US Army with additional M240 machine guns

                  09 JUNE 2021 09:46

                  The U.S. Department of Defense announced on June 8 that FN America LLC, Columbia, South Carolina, was awarded a $92,104,736 firm-fixed-price contract to procure M240 Series machine gun variants and spare receivers. One bid was solicited via the internet with one received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of June 8, 2026. U.S. Army Contracting Command, New Jersey, is the contracting activity.

                  GIs operating an FN America M240 Machine Gun at Rock Island Arsenal, Jan. 27, 2020 (Picture source: U.S. DoD)

                  The M240, officially the Machine Gun, 7.62 mm, M240, is the U.S. military designation for the Belgian-designed FN MAG (Mitrailleuse A Gaz, "gas-operated machine gun"; alternatively, Mitrailleuse d'Appui General, "general support machine gun"), a family of belt-fed, gas-operated medium machine guns that chamber the 7.62×51mm NATO cartridge.

                  The M240 has been used by the U.S. Armed Forces since the late 1970s. It is used extensively by infantry, most often in rifle companies, as well as on-ground vehicles, watercraft and aircraft. Though it is heavier than some comparable weapons, it is highly regarded for reliability and its standardization among NATO members is a major advantage.

                  All variants are fed from disintegrating belts and are capable of firing most types of 7.62 mm (.30/.308 cal) NATO ammunition. M240 variants can be converted to use non-disintegrating belts. There are significant differences in weight and some features among some versions which restrict the interchangeability of parts. The M240s used by the U.S. military are currently manufactured by FN America, the American subsidiary of the Belgian company FN Herstal.

                  The M240B and M240G are usually fired from integrated bipods, tripods, or vehicular mounts; regarding tripod use, the U.S. Army primarily uses the M192 lightweight ground mount, while the U.S. Marine Corps uses the M122A1 tripod, a slightly updated M2 tripod.


                  • #11
                    Army-2021: Kalashnikov prepares RPL-20 machinegun for trials

                    POSTED ON WEDNESDAY, 25 AUGUST 2021 13:57

                    The Kalashnikov Group says it is preparing the latest 5.45mm RPL-20 machine gun for preliminary trials: "We are creating light RPL-20 machinegun with belt feed in the framework of Sotnik R&D for the Defense Ministry. There is a prototype and we had the technical project approved. We are preparing it for preliminary trials". Batch production of the machinegun is likely to begin after all trials and test operations are completed.

                    Kalashnikov 5.45mm RPL-20 light machine gun (Picture source: Vitaly Kuzmin)

                    The RPL-20 is a light machine gun developed by Kalashnikov Concern for the Russian Military. Though designed in response to feedback following the purchase and testing of the company's magazine-fed RPK-16 light machine gun, the RPL-20 is an entirely new design, utilizing an open-bolt, belt-fed action in lieu of the closed-bolt, magazine-fed operation typical to Kalashnikov-pattern weapons. It is anticipated to serve as a squad automatic weapon in Russian military use, supplementing the heavier-caliber PK machine guns currently used for suppressive fire while still providing a higher practical rate of fire than is possible with RPK-based weapons. The RPL-20 was unveiled at the Army-2020 event in late August 2020.

                    Kalashnikov Concern has stated that the RPL-20 is a new design, rather than being a derivative of the ubiquitous Kalashnikov-pattern rifle series. It is a belt-fed, open bolt, fully automatic light machine gun with a rotating bolt and a long-stroke gas piston.


                    • #12

                      Industry News The Norwegian Armed Forces trust the FN MINIMI® Light Machine Gun again

                      (Herstal, Belgium) – September 3, 2021. FN Herstal, the world’s leading designer and manufacturer of small calibre weapons and weapon systems, has recently been awarded by the Norwegian Ministry of Defence a multi-year contract for, firstly, the production and provision of up to 4,000 FN MINIMI® Mk3 (3rd generation) light machine guns in 7.62x51mm NATO calibre and associated initial spare parts over a 7-year period, and secondly, maintenance and support equipment over a 20-year period.

                      This decision concludes a program that was initiated by the Norwegian Ministry of Defence more than two years ago and included a series of technical evaluations and commercial negotiations in which FN Herstal competed against three American suppliers. Norway thus becomes the 37th country to select and standardise the FN MINIMI® 7.62 for its armed forces.

                      Photo courtesy FN Herstal


                      • #13

                        DSEI 2021: FN Herstal officially unveils FN Evolys ultralight machine gun

                        POSTED ON THURSDAY, 16 SEPTEMBER 2021 23:40

                        Belgian firearms manufacturer FN Herstal officially launches in Europe its new ultralight machine gun FN Evolys at DSEI 2021, an International Defense Exhibition that takes place in London, UK. With this new weapon, FN Herstal completes the family of its machine guns including the FN Minimi, the FN MAG and FN M2HB-QCB.

                        Belgian company FN Herstal unveils its new ultralight machine gun at DSEI 2021, International Defense Exhibition in London, UK. (Picture source Army Recognition)

                        The FN EVOLYS™ is a new type of machine gun that completes the existing range of FN® machine guns, which are all combat proven and recognized as world references. The FN Evolys is an ultralight machine gun that is available in 5.56mm and 7.62mm calibers.

                        One of the main features of FN Evolys is the weight, using new design technology and latest generation of material components, FN Herstal engineers were able to obtain a weight of 5.5 kg for the FN Evolys 5.56mm caliber and 6.2 kg for the 7.62mm version. The new ultralight machine gun also combines belt-fed machine gun firepower with assault rifle ergonomics, which is an unprecedented benefit on the market today.

                        The FN EVOLYS is fitted with an ambidextrous fire selector that has a semi-auto position to engage point targets like with a rifle, while the full-auto position allows suppressive fire like with a machine gun. The FN EVOLYS ultralight machine gun has a rate of fire of approximately 750 rounds per minute. The new FN machine gun has an effective firing range of 800 m in 5.56mm caliber and 1,000 m in a 7.62mm configuration.

                        The FN EVOLYS is fitted with a buttstock adjustable in length and height, similar to the FN SCAR assault rifle’s one. The buttstock is fully independent of the weapon system. In the future, additional types of buttstocks could be introduced to meet customer requirements.

                        The top of the FN Evolys is equipped with a one-piece long top rail for in-line optical sight, such as day and night sights and magnifiers. The FN EVOLYS also features an M-LOCK receiver and a lower Picatinny rail. The weapon can be fitted with a bipod to increase comfort and stability when firing.

                        Since its digital launch last May, many European and international armed forces and special units have shown great interest in this innovative product designed and developed by Belgium-based company FN Herstal.


                        • #14
                          AUSA 21 – Blackbridge Defense

                          October 13th, 2021

                          Exhibiting in the ADS, Inc booth, Blackbridge Defense offers the Shadow Mount and Swing Arm Assembly.

                          The Shadow Mount was initially developed for use with 10th SG(A)’s Snow Machines and accepts the M240 and M249. Naturally, it can be used with other platforms as well. All of the features can be used even while wearing mittens.

                          The weapon is easy to mount and dismount thanks to their spring loaded pin.

                          There is a rail along the right side of the mount to accept the universal ammo compartment which accepts two SAW drums or a 7.62 ammo can. The lid is replaced on the latter and there are two magnets in the compartment’s lid to hold your linked rounds at the ready so they won’t fall back inside the can. Additionally, the lid is ratcheted into place. Finally, there are detent holes for proper alignment with both M240 and M249 feedtrays.


                          • #15
                            Dillon Aero unveils new 503D .50 Gatling gun at Milipol 2021

                            POSTED ON THURSDAY, 21 OCTOBER 2021 09:59

                            Dillon Aero is in the final stage of developing a new .50 caliber Gatling gun designated 503D. This gun system will be lighter, faster and smarter than existing .50 machine guns., firing u to 1,500 rounds per minute (25 rounds/second) with the ability to adjust the precise firing rate based on platform integration to optimize mission performance.

                            Dillon Aero 530D Gatling gun (Picture source: Army Recognition)

                            The 503D Gatling gun weighs 41 kg. The 503D’s design includes integrated immunity to internal component damage from ammunition feed jams. The technology used in the system provides the operator with detailed information about weapon operations, maintenance data for possible failure prevention, and increased safety.

                            Dillon Aero and the Minigun history

                            In the mid-1960s, General Electric designed and produced the GE Minigun. It was derivative of larger types the company produced for fighter aircraft. The Minigun saw service throughout the Vietnam War and for some years after. Those who knew the weapon knew how devastating it was. Miniguns quickly spread through the services. The Army used them on UH-1 Hueys, AH-6s, AH-1 Cobras, and even put Miniguns in trucks to protect convoys. The Navy used Miniguns on river patrol boats and ships. The Air Force had Miniguns in the nose of the A-37 Dragonfly jets and even mounted three side-firing Minis on Douglas C-47 Skytrain/Dakota transports then called AC-47 ‘Puff the Dragon’.

                            However, when the war ended, production ceased. The M134’C’, as it was known at that time, soldiered on for decades, living off of the spare parts inventory that had built up during the last war. Eventually, the spares began to run out. New sources of parts were sought. These contracts went mainly to low bidders who, lacking an understanding of how the gun actually operated, produced parts of questionable quality. By the 1980s, the spares supply had either been used up or tainted with bad parts. Many units simply chose to turn in their weapons for other less temperamental and, unfortunately, less effective guns.

                            In 2004, Dillon followed up with the development of the M134D-T. This was the lightweight variant of the Minigun with much of the weight reduction being achieved by replacing steel components with titanium.

                            In the end, the all-titanium Minigun had a fairly short life. While most of the improvements were very successful, the titanium housing suffered from a higher than normal wear rate which reduced its life to 500,000 rounds. However, all was not lost. By 2005, the lightweight components perfected in the M134D-T were introduced into the steel M134D to create the M134D-H.

                            As a result of the phenomenal success of this weapon family, Dillon Aero has been awarded over 375 contracts by the US government, in addition to numerous other key projects.


                            • #16
                              Hungary is developing a new small arms family for their military, this is the LMG the G224LMG


                              • #17
                                Czech army to acquire 949 FN Herstal Minimi machine guns

                                POSTED ON TUESDAY, 28 DECEMBER 2021 20:01
                                According to information published by the Czech Ministry of Defense on December 21, 2021, the Czech army will acquire 949 FN Herstal Minimi machine guns via the Czech company CB Servis Centrum sro. The contract includes MINIMI machine guns in 7.62mm and 5.56mm calibers.

                                Belgian soldier armed with FN Herstal Minimi machine gun. (Picture source Army Recognition)

                                The deliveries of the Minimi machine guns are scheduled to take place from 2022 to 2025 and will also include sights, armor kits, cases, and packaging.

                                Currently, the Czech armed forces have different types of machine guns in 7.62mm and 12.7mm calibers including M2 Browning, NSV, M134 Minigun, PK 7.62mm machine gun, Rheinmetall MG 3, M60 and M48 from the United States and UK vz. 59.

                                The acquisition of these new machine guns is part 3 of a modernization plan launched by the Czech armed forces to have new small arms. The Minimi will be used by Czech soldiers of infantry units.

                                The FN Minimi is a light machine gun that was developed in 5.56mm caliber. It is manufactured by the Belgian company FN Herstal. The machine gun was introduced in the late 1970s and is now in service in more than 75 countries all over the world.

                                The Minimi is a squad automatic weapon that fires from an open bolt. It is an air-cooled weapon that is capable of fully automatic fire only. It can be belt fed or fired from a magazine.

                                In November 2013, FN Herstal unveiled the improved Mk3 version of the Minimi light machine gun. The upgrades were based on operational experience and user feedback over the past 10–15 years. It can be converted to fire 5.56×45mm or 7.62×51mm rounds.


                                • #18
                                  FN Awarded $50 Million Contract for M240L & Titanium Receivers

                                  Posted 2 days ago in Daily News, Machine Guns, MIL/LE by Matthew Moss with 48 Comments

                                  Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment (Gimlets), 2 IBCT, 25th Infantry Division deployed to Kahuku Training Area Oahu, Hawaii to conduct company evaluations in movement to contact, attack and defense operations.

                                  FN America have announced a $50 million contract with the US Army to provide M240L GPMGs and titanium receivers. The new award is in line with the June 2021 contract worth $92 million to produce M240 series general purpose machine guns. The titanium receiver is the key component which helped shave 5 lbs off the previous M240B’s 27.6 lb weight. The M240H introduced in 2004 weighed 26.3 lbs while the L weighs just over 22 lbs. The number of guns and additional receivers ordered under the contract has not been confirmed.

                                  FN @ TFB:
                                  FN M240L (FN America)

                                  Here’s FN America’s announcement in full:
                                  McLean, VA – February 8, 2022) FN America, LLC is pleased to announce that the company has been awarded a firm-fixed-price contract, valued up to $49,973,579, to supply the U.S. Army with M240L medium machines [guns] and titanium receivers. The M240L, roughly 18-percent lighter than the M240B, was officially adopted in 2010 after a joint effort by FN and the U.S. Army to reduce the overall weight while maintaining performance and durability of the machine gun.

                                  “The M240L is the product of a collaborative effort between FN, the Army and the individual soldier to further enhance the M240B to be more effective for the warfighter,” said Mark Cherpes, President and CEO for FN America, LLC. “The development saw the introduction of new materials along with new manufacturing techniques that have paved the way for the future generation of military equipment. I am extremely proud of the innovation and ingenuity that went into the development of the M240L and look forward to working with the U.S. Army to deliver against this contract.”

                                  The joint efforts between FN, the Army to reduce the overall weight burden to the soldier resulted in a major leap forward in the materials and manufacturing methods for today’s machine guns. The M240L has been the cutting-edge for lightweight medium machine guns with an overall weight reduction of 5 pounds from the M240B without any impact to performance or longevity. The 18-percent weight reduction was achieved by incorporating titanium into the design, including the receiver, and introducing new manufacturing methods to adjust for the material properties. The M240 general purpose machine gun, derived from the FN MAG 58, was adopted by the U.S. military in the late 1970s, and has been in continual service since being introduced.

                                  Throughout its history, FN has been one of the largest suppliers of small arms to the U.S. military and continues to develop innovative, future technology. In addition to the M240 and its variants, the company currently holds contracts for the FN M249 lightweight machine gun; the FN MK 46, MK 48, MK 17, and MK 20 SSR for USSOCOM, and various other contracts


                                  • #19
                                    US Army seeks 6.8 mm conversion kits for the M240

                                    22 MARCH 2022

                                    by Amael Kotlarski

                                    Shown here is an M240L 7.62 machine gun. The US Army is currently seeking industry input on 6.8 mm calibre conversion kits for its M240B and M240L weapons. ( Janes/Patrick Allen)

                                    The US Army is seeking industry feedback on 6.8 mm calibre conversion kits for its M240B and M240L general purpose machine guns, according to a 15 March market survey.

                                    Conversion kits should include a new barrel assembly and possibly other mechanical changes to the weapon including the gas regulator and drive spring to ensure reliable function with the new calibre, according to the notice. Barrel lengths can be provided as either the standard length M240B barrel (550 mm), or the shorter M240L profile (450 mm).

                                    Industry has until the end of the month to respond to the army and is asked to provide information about the lead times to produce and deliver up to 10 kits and a maximum of 15,000 rounds of ammunition for evaluation.

                                    “It is preferable that all items be available within two to three months of request,” the army wrote but noted that this is not a request for proposal.


                                    • #20
                                      Sig Sauer to supply USD 157.3Mn-worth .300 and .308 rounds to US Special Forces

                                      POSTED ON THURSDAY, 09 JUNE 2022 09:30

                                      The U.S. Department of Defense on June 8 announced that Sig Sauer was awarded a $157,300,000 firm-fixed-price contract for the production of .300 Norma Magnum M1163 ball ammunition and .338 NM armor-piercing M1162 cartridges. Bids were solicited via the internet with three received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of June 7, 2027. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Newark, New Jersey, is the contracting activity.

                                      Sig Sauer is to deliver millions of .300 Norma Magnum M1163 cartridges and .338 NM armor-piercing M1162 cartridges to US SOCOM, namely for its new MG 338, now dubbed the Lightweight Machine Gun-Medium (LMG-M) (Picture source: Sig Sauer)

                                      The .300 Norma Magnum, also known as .300 NM or "300 Norma" for short, is a centerfire magnum rifle cartridge developed by Swedish ammunition manufacturer Norma Precision. The .300 Norma Magnum uses a .338 Norma Magnum case necked down to the .30 caliber, named to differentiate it from the older .308 Norma Magnum designed in 1960 and has begun to gain popularity in the long-range shooting community. According to the official C.I.P. (English: Commission Internationale Permanente pour l'Epreuve des Armes à Feu Portatives) rulings the .300 Norma Magnum can handle up to 440.00 MPa (63,817 psi) Pmax piezo pressure.

                                      The U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) chose the new Mk22 Advanced Sniper Rifle which will be chambered in .300 Norma Magnum (designated M1163) as well as 7.62x51mm and .338 Norma Magnum.

                                      Here is what Long Range Hand Book had to say on the new cartridge decision: The 300 Norma Mag is based on the 338 Norma Mag case necked down to accept a .30 caliber bullet. It launches a 220gr .308 bullet at just over 3,000 fps. That’s 4,400 ft/lbs of energy! This cartridge is not to be confused with the 308 Norma Mag. The 300 Norma Mag really shines when it is shooting either the 230gr Berger Hybrid bullet – this bullet has an out-of-this-world 0.743 Ballistic Coefficient (BC)! (If you’re looking to learn about BC, check out Chapter 10 of the Long Range Shooting Handbook) When loaded up to 3,000 fps, this bullet from the 300 Norma Mag will stay supersonic out to 1,500 meters! This is as far as a much heavier 300gr SMK shot out of a 338 Lapua can make it before it goes subsonic! Even though the 300 Norma will only have 80% of the energy of the 338 Lapua at that distance with those bullets, it can still make it there accurately with considerably less recoil. Another benefit to the 300 Norma Mag is the overall length is shorter than the 338 Lapua Mag – it is effectively the same length as the 300 Win Mag".

                                      The .338 Norma Magnum is a cartridge first introduced in 2008 and came into production in 2009, designed by Norma of Sweden. In May 2017, the U.S. Special Operations Command, in conjunction with the U.S. Marine Corps, issued a source sought notice for 5,000 Lightweight Medium Machine Guns (LWMMG) chambered for .338 Norma Magnum polymer-cased ammunition. The aim is to identify a machine gun with a 24 inches (610 mm) long barrel weighing 24 pounds (10.9 kg) or less, which offers sufficient accuracy out to 2,000 meters (2,187 yds) to engage area targets and vehicles. In 2019, the U.S. Special Operations Command awarded Barrett Manufacturing a $50,000,000 contract, ordering the Barrett MRAD chambered in .338 Norma Magnum as the Mk 22 Advanced Sniper Rifle (ASR). In 2020 the U.S. Special Operations Command awarded Sig Sauer a contract, ordering the MG-338 machine gun chambered in .338 Norma Magnum.