Source: Conseil Régional de Basse-Normandie / National Archives USA
The U.S. Army’s “Ma Deuce,” the .50-caliber M2 machine gun wielded by World War II hero Audie Murphy, is being revamped to prevent malfunctions that have injured dozens of soldiers.
Congress shifted $34 million at the Army’s request to supplement $15 million originally sought in this year’s defense budget for modifications to correct a “safety issue” with the M2, according to the conference report accompanying legislation. The funds may benefit gunmakers General Dynamics Corp. and U.S. Ordnance Inc.
The money will buy about 6,400 kits that let soldiers change barrels without manually resetting the weapon, a sometimes time-consuming process that can result in hand or face wounds when done improperly, Army officials said. The Army plans to seek more funding and hold a competition later this year to buy 28,000 more kits, part of an effort to upgrade its entire M2 inventory of 45,000 guns to newer M2A1 models.
Source: Brendan McGarry and Tony Capaccio for Business Week.