View Full Version : True? New FN M3M 50 BMG replaces M2?
Somebody claims this in another forum, as in widespread M2 replacement, over a long time for sure...
Does anybody knows if the FN M3M/GAU-21 has been adopted by any branch of the US military other than for Navy and Marines helicopter use?
For example, are there plans to use it on Hummers, M1 tanks, other armored vehicles, ground defensive positions, etc.?
What is the future of the M2 BMG?
Thanks in advance :)
Bullocks. The M2 is being replaced by...a new M2 that has a easier barrel change.
General Dynamics is working on some fancy .50 MG with super low recoil, but still has some issues to solve.
The M2 still has a lengthy and bright future ahead.
Ma Deuce is alive and kickin'.
Ma Deuce is alive and killin'.
Fixed that for you. :D
That's like saying the B-52 and C-130 are history... ain't happening anytime soon...
BLUF: General Dynamics is developing the LW 50, designated M806 for PEO Soldier.
-M806 began life as a training device for the 25mm airbursting munition program. When the 25mm munition failed, PEO Soldier continued R&D on the .50 cal portion as a standalone weapon.
-The most significant strengths of the LW 50 are:
-350lbs recoil vs 1000 ft lbs recoil of M2
-Fixed headspace and timing ensures faster re-engagement times.
-No T&E ensures faster target to target engagement times.
-Still allows fixed fire.
-Increased accuracy from reduced recoil and tighter mounting system
They had a few of the M806 at the Pentagon for the Army's birthday. They looks kind of futuristic.
I'm currently Active Duty and haven't heard anything about the M2 actually being replaced.
I knew about the M2 variant with quick barrel change and the GD lightweight fifty in development (...who knows if it will ever be issued).
It seems the FN M3M needs a feed chute due to the high rate of fire, and that is not conductive to a more general ground use.
I was at Camp Lemonier with some marine CH-53s and their crew chiefs loved it. IIRC it uses some ceramic parts and with the open bolt design, it shines in hot environments. The increase in the cyclic rate of fire is also impressive. The link you posted shows 1150 as the max but if you tweaked the buffer assembly you can get 1300 easily.
I'm not sure about any ground forces like the police if they are going to get this new GAU-21 in the USAF. IMO the GAU-21 is going to be mainly used for helo's across the military.
For the USAF we are getting the GAU-21 to be used on the HH-60G PaveHawks. I am a flight engineer that flies on these birds and have talked to the engineers that have bought enough GAU-21's to replace the M2's (GAU-18) for the entire fleet.
I have been to Helo week this year at Stone Mountain near Atlanta, GA and seen the demo by FN. THe USAF sent reps to Belgium in the past year to finish the contract.
No telling when the USAF gets the GAU-21 but it is coming.
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