Indian Army Scouts For New Heavy Machine Gun

Along with active tenders for virtually the entire gamut of infantry weapons, here's the latest. The Indian Army has just sent out requests for information (RFIs) on a potential new Heavy Machine Gun (HMG) for its forces -- 12.7mm x 99mm with a minimum effective range of not less than 2,000-metres. According to the RFI, the weapon should have the capability to be used from a Light Strike Vehicle/Infantry Fighting Vehicle and in a ground role while mounted on vehicle and tripod respectively. It continues: The weapon should be easy to carry by the three men crew in dismantled condition and be assembled with ease while being used in the ground role. The weapon should be robust enough to withstand rough usage and simple to maintain in operational conditions normally encountered in India including high altitude areas, jungles and desert. The gun should of course be capable of firing High Explosive Incendiary (HEI), Armour Piercing High Explosive (APHE), Armour Piercing Discarding Sabot (APDS), Target Practice (TP) and corresponding tracer ammo.

The specs put out are in fact almost identical to the superb Browning M2HB HMG already in service with the Indian Army, and which the new guns will replace. The other 12.7mm vehicle-mounted HMG in service with India is the Russian NSV 12.7mm HMG. RFIs for a new HMG have been sent to agencies that include Rosoboronexport for the Degtyarev Kord 12.7mm HMG, General Dynamics for the still in-development M806 HMG and also the Browning M2E50 (a modernised variant of the venerable M2).

Photo by Shiv Aroor (Off the coast of Mullaitivu, Sri Lanka)

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