FN racks up $13m Army contract for work on M240 machine guns (PHOTOS)

Sky Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment qualified with their M240s in Grafenwoehr, Germany September 8, 2018 during Saber Junction 18

In its ground mount configuration, such as seen with the above paratrooper, the M240B/G has a 550 to 650 round-per-minute rate of fire when cyclic. (Photos: U.S. Army)

The U.S. Army last week gave FN America the news that the South Carolina-based gun maker will continue to crank out general purpose machine guns for the service.

The one year award, valued at $13.27 million, is for work on the M240 series machine gun. The new outlay comes as a modification to a Dec. 2014 indefinite delivery contract awarded FN for the purchase M240 machine gun variants and receivers worth up to $57 million.

The U.S. variant of FN’s iconic MAG 58 belt-fed machine gun, the U.S. Army adopted the model in 7.62x5mm NATO in 1977 to replace the Vietnam-era M60 machine gun. Since then, the design has been adopted throughout the Department of Defense as well as the Coast Guard in both pistol/trigger grip M240B/G and spade-gripped M240D/H variants for use by ground troops as well as on vehicles, ships, and aircraft.

CH-47 helicopter 3rd General Support Aviation Battalion, 82nd Aviation Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division Combat Aviation Brigade, fires an M240H machine gun from a CH-47 Chinook during a Combined Arms Live

When using spade grips and a thumb-activated trigger system, such as in the above Army CH-47 helicopter, the M240D/H series typically have a higher rate of fire, ranging from 650 to 950 rounds-per-minute. Also, note the rail-equipped feed cover.

Since 2011, the military has also been fielding smaller quantities of FN M240L variants which incorporate a redesigned collapsible buttstock assembly, polymer trigger guard and shorter barrel to produce a lighter, more compact GPMG.

1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, fires a M240L Medium Machine Gun Sept. 19, 2012

A shorter barrel and increased use of polymer drop 5~ pounds from the weight in the M240L series

This month’s award to FN complements a $7.19 million firm-fixed-price contract issued through the Defense Logistics Agency in September to provide machine gun barrels to the Army and Marine Corps.

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