More LMGs For The Army

SHAH ALAM: More LMGs for the Army. Back in 2019, I wrote about the Army issuing a slew of request for bids for light machine guns, mortars, sniper rifles and light anti-tank weapons. We now know that the Army is getting Spanish mortars, Barret and Accuracy International anti-materiel and sniper rifles and LAWs from Serbia and RPGs from Romania.

For more on these go here and here.

A soldier preparing to fire the FN Minimi, the standard belt-fed LMG of the Army. BTDM

Courtesy of another MTO tender we now know that the Army is getting 240 LMGs soon. From the 2019 post:

The number being sought is 240 units. The FN Herstal Minimi is the standard LMG operated by the Army so it will start as the favourite, of course. Cheaper variants from South Korea and Indonesia could be selected instead, if offered of course.

10th Para Brigade Pathfinders company leading the parade at the 2019 Merdeka Parade. Note the two soldiers carrying the FN Minimi Paratrooper version with the collapsible stocks.

Unfortunately as the MTO tender did not revealed the port of loading for the LMGs, I cannot make a guess from which company we had bought them from. As mentioned above the FN Herstal Minimi will be the favourite. It is unlikely that it will be the newly launched FN Evolys ultra LMG as the order must have been put in early 2020.

The latest version of the FN Minimi Mk3. This is the standard version. FN Herstal

It must be noted that the MOF website did not revealed the company that won the tender, only the list of bidders.Eleven bidders qualified for the tender, with prices ranging from RM10.4 million, the lowest and the highest at RM26 million.

FN Evolys 5.56mm ULMG. FN

A Google search revealed that the cost of one M249 SAW (US designation of the FN Minimi) purchased by the US military was US$4,087 (RM17,167) though it must be noted that they bought them in the thousands.

A soldier with a FN Minimi LMG at a border post near the Malaysian Thai border in December, 2020. BTDM

Even with that caveat,one must feel that the Army new LMG is pricey as even the lowest bid price is already quite steep.

Knights Armament 5.56mm Light Assault Machine Gun. Knights

Personally I prefer the Knights Armament Light Assault Machine Gun, which is lighter though it is more of an automatic rifle (due to the lighter barrel) compared to the Minimi.

— Malaysian Defence

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