The US Department of Defense has reached an agreement with Belgian arms manufacturer Fabrique Nationale Herstal to supply M240L machine guns. The deal will go through with the company’s US subsidiary. According to the statement, the value is worth nearly $50 million.
South Carolina-based FN America, which represents the Fabrique Nationale Herstal, has revealed that the deal included delivery of M240L medium machine guns. The weapon, the M240 Lima, is based on the world-famous multi-role machine gun FN MAG 58. Since 1977, the US Army has introduced the original M240 with a caliber of 7.62 mm x 51 as a vehicle’s weapon. Since the late 1980s, the M240 has also gradually replaced the legendary M60 series. The M240 has also been known as a SAW (Squad Automatic Weapon).
The M240L machine gun, formerly known as the M240E6, was developed directly with the United States Armed Forces based on the M240B. Through modern production methods and materials, such as titanium and polymer, the M240L is the lightest in the family of light machine guns M240. In addition, the barrel is shortened by 100 mm, and the butt is foldable to make the weapon more compact. Advances already present in the M240B, such as the Picatinny rail and the hydraulic recoil absorber, have been retained. The order, which the US military has now made, continues the original order nearly five years ago.
With the M1158 Advanced Armor Piercing (ADVAP) armor-piercing munitions, the M240 series also has an increasingly powerful, albeit relatively expensive, solution for hitting targets with armor. With the completion of the latest assessments by the army in March 2021, full serial production can introduce a cross-section of the ammunition, formerly known as XM1158.
According to the director’s annual report, Operational Test & Evaluation for the financial year 2021 [the financial year 2021], published at the end of January 2022, the maximum production capacity should be reached by 2025. The new type of ammunition is designed to replace obsolete cartridges M993 and M80A1 EPA.