Canada to get 1,148 new, improved C6A1 machine guns

Upgrades from legacy C6s include a polymer stock and furniture and the ability to add optics and accessories via a rail system. (Photos: Canadian Forces)

Upgrades from legacy C6s include a polymer stock and furniture and the ability to add optics and accessories via a rail system. (Photos: Canadian Forces)

It was announced this week that Colt Canada will add 13 jobs as a result of a contract to provide the first new general purpose machine guns to the nation’s military in 30 years.

The C6A1 FLEX (flexible) General Purpose Machine Gun program will augment and replace legacy C6 GPMGs produced under license from FN by Canadian Arsenals Ltd. back in the 1980s. An upgrade on the ever-evolving FN MAG 58, one C6 is issued to each rifle platoon for support while other variants are mounted on vehicles ranging from Mercedes G-Wagons to Leopard C2 main battle tanks.

The new design will be flexible across all platforms and used by ground troops as well. Upgrades from legacy C6s include a polymer stock and furniture and the ability to add optics and accessories via an integrated rail system.

The standard C6, seen above mounted on a Canadian forces armored vehicle, uses wooden furniture

The standard C6, seen above mounted on a Canadian forces armored vehicle, uses wooden furniture and is a more dated design

Canadian Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan said, “This purchase will replace equipment that was procured over 30 years ago and will ensure that the CAF are properly equipped and continue to be ready for operations.”

The contract, valued at $32.1 million (Canadian) will see the first C6A1s delivered in Sept. 2018 with completion expected by June 2019.