More LMGs For The Army

A soldier armed with a FN Minimi LMG at the Malaysian-Thai border. BTDM

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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About Marhalim Abas 2191 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. In the near future, hopefully we can see FN EVOLYS on the hands of malaysian army infantry.

  2. Not that I have anything against minimi but why did the army move away from HK21? It’s lighter than M240, it’s robust, reliable and both HK2(shoots .308 round) and HK23 (shoots .223 rounds) share very high degree of commonality between them that you could convert one from the other with just a barrel change

  3. No idea really but like many other militaries we also have moved away from the roller locked HK guns apart from the MP5s. AFAIK the Army used to have the HK11s, the magazine fed heavy barrel version of the the G3 known locally as udang galah. The PGA still uses them though

  4. I was under the impression the army had the HK11 but not the HK21. Why we moved to Minimi? Must as well ask why we moved from the M16A1 to the AUG and from High Powers to Glocks and other designs. Natural progression; to something more contemporary, offering certain advantages.

  5. Roller-delayed blowback mechanism apparently didn’t really catch on with the arms making world and only H&K still uses it.

    Currently only the old HK guns like the MP5s are using the roller blow back system. Current HK offerings uses the short stroke gas piston which was popularised by the AR-18s. Other manufacturers did not use the roller blow back system as it is difficult to design one without infringing the HK copyright.

  6. Since we’re on the subject of infantry weapons; has anyone ever seen pics of troops with M-79s, M-20s and Armbrust? All were operated by the army at one stage (the M-79s bought at the same time as the M-16A1s; the M-20 in the 1970’s and Armbrust in the 1980’s) but I’ve never seen any actual pics.

    Also, anyone know what snipers and sharpshooters were issued with before the L-96 arrived in the 1990’s? Something else I’ve been trying to confirm with veterans but they can’t provide confirmation : did we get small batches of Lithgow produced SLRs to supplement the Enfield produced ones? It’s seems the “heavy barrels” we had were from Lithgow

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