Army Issues $50 million Award for More of the Most Unsung Machine Guns in the Arsenal
The Pentagon this month awarded Nevada-based U.S. Ordnance a contract for one of the most curious guns in the U.S. arsenal.
Based in McCarran, U.S. Ordnance pulled down a $49.925 million contract for MK19 MOD 3 Grenade Machine Gun, spare parts kits, and spare barrel assemblies. The work will be completed within the next five years, with the award estimated to run until April 7, 2026.
The MK19, developed during the Vietnam War, has been a staple of the U.S. military since the 1980s. An air-cooled, blowback-operated, belt-fed weapon, it isn't light – weighing in at about 77 pounds – but its M430A1 High Explosive Dual Purpose grenades are capable of penetrating 3-inches of armor at a maximum range of 2,200 meters while its blast and fragmentation properties can be effective against exposed personnel within 50 feet of impact.
The MK19 Grenade Machine Gun can defend against hovering rotary-wing aircraft, destroy lightly armored vehicles, fire on suspected enemy positions and provide high-volume fire into an engagement area and indirect fires from hidden positions. The system increases the capability of U.S. forces to defeat opposing armored, mechanized and infantry forces with high-explosive, dual-purpose ammunition.
U.S. Ordnance is in good company as an MK19 manufacturer. Over the years, the platform has been supplied to the U.S. military by General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems, FN America, and others.
And, of course, you didn't come this far not to see one at work.
Banner image: Marines engage designated targets during a grenade and MK-19 Grenade Launcher range at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., Oct. 28, 2015. (Photo: Cpl. Neysa Huertas Quinones/USMC)