Nearly a month after announcing that it was seeking a multi-caliber Advanced Sniper Rifle system, the United States Special Operations Command (SOCOM), in conjunction with the U.S. Marine Corps, has announced it is now in the market for 5,000 Lightweight Medium Machine Guns (LWMMG) chambered in .338 Norma Magnum.
According to the sources sought notice dated for May 11, SOCOM wants manufacturers to provide the complete machine gun system—the weapon, a suppressed barrel and tripod—as well as any tools needed for basic maintenance. Here’s what they’re looking for, specifically:
The LWMMG should fire the belted .338NM round of ammunition with a polymer case. The LWMMG should weigh less than 24 pounds unloaded with a barrel length of 24in. The LWMMG should have a rate of fire of between 500-600 rounds per minute. Weapon shall be compatible with current rail mounted aiming systems with the ability to incorporate more advanced fire control technology. The system should include both a suppressed barrel and an unsuppressed barrel that can be rapidly changed. The LWMMG should include a tripod that is lightweight and provides the stability and accuracy required to engage targets at extreme ranges. The LWMMG should be able to mount in current machinegun mounts designed for the M240B/C. The weapon should have sufficient accuracy to engage area targets and vehicles at 2,000m.
As Soldier Systems points out, General Dynamics’ Lightweight Medium Machine Gun, first introduced back in 2012, would seem to be a good fit for SOCOM’s needs here. According to the product page—GD still carries it—the gun is chambered in .338 Norma Magnum; weighs less than 24 pounds; sports a 24-inch barrel; has a rate of fire of 500 rounds per minute; features a fully collapsible stock; and at 1,000 meters, can defeat Level III body armor and incapacitate soft skinned vehicles. Touted as “eliminating the gap between 7.62mm and .50 caliber weapons,” GD says its LWMMG uses the .338 NM cartridge “to offer unmatched accuracy and lethality while extending the battlespace out to an impressive 1,700 meters.”
Even so, the redoubtable Soldier Systems says it expects other manufacturers offer solutions as well. Interested sources have until the close of business on June 9, 2017 to submit the request information to SOCOM.
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by Tactical-Life / May 15, 2017