Announced last Tuesday, the U.S. Army has awarded General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products of Saco, Maine with a contract to fabricate two new M2 machine guns for field use and to refashion existing models with new specifications. The deal was handled by the Army’s TACOM Life Cycle Management Command last August and General Dynamics reports the delivery orders will net the company about $73.5 million.
Taking a peek at the invoice, the U.S. Army is asking for 5,080 brand new M2 Heavy Barrel machine guns. Additionally General Dynamics will alter some 6,000 M2HB guns to a M2A1 configuration.
General Dynamics’ factory in Maine has made the M2 machine gun since 1979 and this same facility will be put to use both assembling the new models and revamping the existing M2s. Work is scheduled to begin later this month with a tentative end date penciled in sometime in February 2013 for the new M2s. Reconfiguration of the M2HB into M2A1 guns will begin in April 2011 with plans to be finished a little over a year later.
Mike O’Brien, vice president and general manager for General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products said of the “Ma Deuce” (a better look at this serviceman favorite here), “The M2 machine gun continues to be a highly accurate, effective weapon. We have delivered more than 35,000 M2 guns for our customer and with this award we will continue to manufacture one of the world’s most reliable guns for U.S. warfighters.”