Rheinmetall makes rapid progress on new generation RMG.50
By Christopher F Foss and Neil Gibson
The first example of the Rheinmetall Machine Gun .50 (RMG) has now fired more than 16,000 rounds of standard ammunition and an additional 17,000 via cold-running tests.
Additional weapons are now being used for trials and company qualification.
A firm development contract was awarded to Rheinmetall in November 2009 after an initial presentation to the German Bundesamt für Wehrtechnik und Beschaffung (BWB) in 2008.
Work on the barrel and bolt system started in early 2009, with the first prototype (C1) completed in the May. Soon afterwards it began initial firing trials and more than 5,000 rounds had been fired by late 2010.
Company qualification of the RMG.50 is now under way with a design freeze expected towards the end of 2013. Formal qualification by the BWB with production-standard weapons will follow.
Rheinmetall still has only a development contract with the BWB but a production contract is expected, paving the way for the RMG.50 to enter service with the German Army as early as 2014.
The first application for the RMG will be to replace the .50 calibre M2 MGs installed on Krauss-Maffei Wegmann FLW 200 Remote Controlled Weapon Stations (RCWSs) arming platforms such as the Boxer.198 of 784 words
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