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Indian Army receives first 6,000 of 16,749 LMGs ordered from IWI

The Indian Army (IA) has taken delivery of the first 6,000 of 16,749 Negev NG-7 light machine guns (LMGs) ordered in March 2020 from Israel Weapon Industries (IWI) for INR8.8 billion (USD120.7 million).

Official sources told Janes on 3 March that the 7.62×51 mm LMGs, which had arrived in India in late January, are completing their final round of ‘acceptance’ trials and will be issued imminently to frontline IA troops deployed along India’s restive borders with China and Pakistan.

Delivery of the remaining 10,000-odd LMGs is slated to be completed by October.

Acquired under the Ministry of Defence’s (MoD’s) Fast Track Procedure, the Negev NG-7s will replace the locally developed Indian Small Arms System (INSAS) LMG, which entered IA service in the late 1990s, but was declared ‘operationally inadequate’ a decade later.

The Negev NG-7 was selected over two rival models – the MG-M2 from Bulgaria’s Arsenal and the S&T Motiv K12 offered by South Korea’s S&T Daewoo – following trials conducted by an IA team in all three countries in late 2019.

Weighing 7.95 kg without the magazine and accessories, the gas-operated, selective-fire Negev NG-7 LMG can fire 600–750 rounds per minute in the semi-automatic and automatic mode, respectively, to a maximum range of 1,200 m.

Fitted with a MIL-STD-1913 Picatinny rail system for optical devices and other accessories, the weapon can also be fired from a variety of mounts on land vehicles, helicopters, and naval vessels.

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