The Norwegian Armed Forces have placed an order with FN Herstal for new machine guns. A two-part framework contract for this was recently awarded according to a notification from the Norwegian procurement agency Forsvarsmateriell (FMA).
The first contract has a duration of seven years and provides for the delivery of up to 4,000 FN MINIMI 7.62 Mk3s with logistical support. A second contract governs the procurement of spare parts, accessories, special tools and training services, which is for a period of 20 years. The framework agreement is worth up to 350M Norwegian kroner, which corresponds to about €35M.
The FN MINIMI 7.62 Mk3 is a further development of the proven light machine gun from FN Herstal in 7.62 mm x 51 calibre. It was first introduced in 2013 and is in use with over 40 nations, including NATO countries such as Belgium, France, the UK and the Netherlands.
Numerous operational experiences went into the development of the Minimi Mk3 armoury. The main changes were aimed at ergonomics and manoeuvrability, while the core system was retained for easier logistics.
Improvements to the Mk3 include:
- a length-adjustable shoulder rest (five detent positions) with integrated buffer and adjustable cheek rest
- a redesigned hand guard to which the height-adjustable bipod can be folded, even when accessories are mounted
- a more ergonomically designed tension slide
- an improved belt feed
- an optional heat shield
- a conversion option of the FN MINIMI 7.62 Mk3 to be able to fire 5.56 mm x 45 calibre ammunition