Almost a year ago TFB reported that the Indian Army was on a tour to source 16,400 Light Machine Guns. The tour included visits to three (to our knowledge) firearms manufacturers, including Arsenal in Bulgaria and S&T Motiv in South Korea. The winner has now been announced and the first price goes to Israel Weapon Industries (IWI), in a $118 million deal for 16,479 NEGEV NG7 7.62mm Light Machine Guns (LMG).
On purpose, SIG Sauer was left out as their American factory is too busy delivering the 72,000 SIG Sauer 716-G2s that India has on order.
India’s total requirement is for 40,000 LMGs.
The Indian Government’s press information bureau today confirmed that:
The Indian Armed Forces’ long-standing requirement of a modern state-of-the-art Light Machine Gun (LMG) has finally fructified. The Acquisition Wing of Ministry of Defence has signed the capital acquisition contract with Israel Weapons Industries for procurement of 16,479 LMGs at a cost of Rs 880 crore with the approval of Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh.
The contracted Negev 7.62X51 mm LMG is a combat proven weapon and currently used by several countries around the globe. This LMG will greatly enhance the lethality and range of a soldier vis-a-vis the presently used weapon.
The provisioning of this operationally urgent and very critically needed weapon will boost the confidence of the frontline troops and provide much needed combat power to the Armed Forces.
Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh is India’s Minister of Defence.
The Negev is probably not one of the most known firearms, so we have included some pictures and the technical data below.
NEGEV NG-7 | TECHNICAL DATA
Rifling: 4 RH Grooves, 1:12″ twist
Barrel length (mm): 508 (20″)
Total length extended (mm): 1,100
Total length retracted (mm): 1,030
Weight (Kg) (weapon only): 7.95
Rate of fire (approx. rd./min): 600~750 (position 1 & 2)
There is also a version with a shorter barrel called the NEGEV NG-7 SF.
According to IWI, it’s the only 7.62x51mm Light Machine Gun with a semi-automatic mode. You can see both modes in the must-see video below.
From IWI’s description:
The IWI NEGEV is a unique Light Machine Gun that featuring light weight with ruggedness, a compact and versatile LMG that proved itself as an extremely reliable in battle, as a weapon of choice.
The NG-7 is based on the reliable NEGEV 5.56 LMG (NG-5) and it is the only Light Machine Gun 7.62X51mm with a semi-automatic mode, empowering its safe use in Close Quarter Battle (CQB) as well.
Although it is chambered in greater caliber, both the NG-7 and the NG-5 are almost identical in size and weight!
Israel Weapon Industries (IWI), part of the SK Group, is a world leader in innovative small arm systems for over 80 years. Designs and develops weapons of choice for military, homeland security and commercial agencies worldwide.
IWI weapons and accessories are deployed by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) as well as other Military, Police and Governmental entities around the world seeking technological innovation, manufacturing excellence and outstanding performance.
What do you think of the Indian Army’s choice of Light Machine Gun?
Sources: IWI, The Economic Times. Thanks to Matthew Moss.