India has ordered 16,479 Israel Negev NG7 7.62mm LMGs (Light Machinegun). This is the standard 7.62mm LMG for Israeli forces and will cost India $7,100 each. The NG7 was introduced in 2012 and the Indian Special Forces were one of the first export customers and have been using it since 2012. The Indian operators have high praise for the NG7 and that played a major role in the NG7 being selected for the regular infantry over two competing candidates. The NG7 is based on the earlier NG5 5.56mm machine-gun which has been in use by Israeli forces since 2001. Both weapons fire NATO standard ammo.
The NG7 is effective out to 1,000 meters and fires at the rate of 600-750 rounds per minute (10-12 rounds a second). There is a lower rate of fire setting when operating in very dusty or sandy conditions. This minimizes jams from the dust or sand. The NG7 can also fire single shots (semi-auto) instead of the full automatic bursts of one to several seconds. When the barrel becomes too hot it can be quickly changed for a fresh one. The NG7 has a Picatinny rail for mounting various special sights (day/night scopes) and aiming (laser pointer) devices. The NG7 fires belted (disintegrating links) ammo and usually fires 100 or 125 round belts from a canvas container suspended under the LMG. The NG7 is equipped with a bipod that is folded back when used by operators standing and moving forward. There is a handgrip under the barrel for this kind of operation. The stock is foldable to make the NG7 even more compact when fired on the move.
The NG7 weighs 7.6 kg (17.4 pounds) and has a 508mm (20 inch barrel). The overall length is one meter (39 inches). There is a special forces version that weighs 7.5 kg and has a shorter (420mm) barrel and 912mm overall length. The NG7 is built to be easily disassembled for cleaning and contains an electronic monitor that tracks ammo usage so that replacement of a worn-out barrel can be more precisely timed and major overhauls scheduled. This device and the overall design make the NG7 one of the most reliable 7.62mm machine-guns in service. The NG7 is also widely used mounted on vehicles, ships and helicopters.
While India manufactures assault rifles and machine-guns domestically, the military has found Israeli infantry weapons much more reliable and effective and this has led the government to relent and import more and more of these weapons. Usually the special operations troops get them first and their user testimony is often decisive in buying many more for the regular infantry.