Minimi Mk3 7.62mm light machine gun for Norwegian infantry
OSLO ($1=10.73 Norwegian Krones) — Defense equipment has first ordered 1,000 Belgian FN Herstal Minimi Mk3s. The new light machine guns are going to the Ground Forces, Special Forces, and the Air Force.
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Sergeant Major Magnus Langseth is the division’s chief weapons instructor at the Army Ordnance School. He confirms that the weapons are in Norway but have not yet been handed over to the departments – something that will happen soon.
“We have already completed two instructor courses on the new weapon. One in Rena and one in Skjold. In this way, we are at the forefront of education. The Home Guard is also starting its training for instructors,” Langseth said. The Home Guard will also eventually receive the machine gun when the next order for 3,000 more weapons arrives. The contract with FN Herstal is worth NOK 350 million.
The new Minimi Mk3 7.62mm will act as a fire support weapon with two guns per squad. Little brother the Minimi Mk2 5.56mm will still fulfill the role of personal weapon where it is typical with two Minimi per infantry team. The new light machine gun [LMG] will replace the FN MAG, which currently serves as a fire support weapon.
The FN MAG temporarily replaced the MG-3, which had been in the Norwegian Armed Forces since the late 1960s. Like the MG-3, the FN MAG is large and heavy and therefore better suited as a stationary or vehicle-mounted weapon rather than an infantry weapon.
“When we buy the Minimi 7.62, it’s for infantry only, anyone who carries their own weapon should pass on the FN MAG and get the Minimi, which is better adapted to the infantry soldier,” says Langseth.
According to Langseth, it’s about getting a weapon system that is more ergonomic compared to the larger and heavier FN MAG. He says feedback from users has been positive.
He explains that the new weapon weighs less, is shorter, has an adjustable stock, and an adjustable bipod, and the ammo box can be clipped under the weapon. “All of these things mean that the weapon can be handled more like a submachine gun, so you can shoot faster from several types of different positions than you did with the FN MAG and MG-3,” says Langseth.
The Minimi Mk3 weighs 8.8 kg, compared to the FN MAG at around 11.8 kg and the MG-3 at around 11.6 kg. There are also several advantages, including that the training course is similar to the 5.56 Minimi that the Norwegian Armed Forces have today, and that the weapon parts can be used between the two Minimi models.
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