Weapons: August 17, 2005

Archives

SOCOM (U.S. Special Operations Command) has ordered another 1,100 Mk 46 Light Machine Guns. This weapon is a modified version of the American M249 squad automatic weapon (SAW), which is in turn a modified version of a European design from the Belgian firm FN. The Mk 46 is lighter (18 pounds loaded, with 200 rounds, compared to 22 pounds for the M249) and has the rail on top for the quick attachment of sights and such. The lighter weight is accomplished with a newly designed barrel, and removing various bits of hardware SOCOM doesnt want. Added is a forward pistol grip and a detachable bipod. SOCOM likes to use the Mk 46 more like a heavy assault rifle than a light machine-gun. U.S. Army Special Forces pioneered the development of the 5.56mm light machine-gun four decades ago, when they obtained the first experimental models for use in Vietnam. The Special Forces and SEALs were very impressed with the light weight, and heavy firepower, from these weapons. But it took over a decade for the regular army to adopt such a weapon, mainly in response to the success the Russians were having with their own version of the lightweight squad machine-gun.  SOCOM isnt getting 1,100 MK 46s right away. Its an open ended order, for a maximum of 1,100 weapons.

 


Article Archive

Weapons: Current 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 


X

ad
0
30

Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 30 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close