The Indian Armed Forces’ long-standing requirement of a modern Light Machine Gun (LMG) has finally fructified. The Acquisition Wing of Ministry of Defence has signed the capital acquisition contract with Israel Weapons Industries for procurement of 16,479 LMGs at a cost of Rs 880 crore with the approval of Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh. The contracted Negev 7.62X51 mm LMG is a combat proven weapon and currently used by several countries around the globe. The provisioning of this operationally urgent and very critically needed weapon will boost the confidence of the frontline troops and provide much needed combat power to the Indian Armed Forces.
The Negev is a NATO light machine gun developed by the Israeli firearm manufacturer, Israel Weapon Industries (IWI) of Ramat HaSharon. In 2012, IWI introduced the Negev NG-7 7.62×51mm NATO general-purpose machine gun and is used by the Israel Defense Forces (mainly in the infantry, combat engineer and special forces units). The IWI Negev is a gas-operated selective fire light machine gun that uses propellant gases from the barrel to cycle a short-stroke gas piston operating system under the barrel and a rotary bolt locking mechanism. The design was meant to be reliable, especially in adverse conditions. In 1997, it was officially adopted by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF).
The IWI Negev NG-7 general-purpose machine gun is chambered for the 7.62×51mm NATO cartridge. It has a barrel length of 508 mm (20 inch) and two operation modes; semi-automatic for accurate and fast controlled fire, and fully automatic for maximum firepower. It is fed by a 100- or 125-round assault drum magazine containing disintegrating M13 NATO standard ammunition belts or NATO standard ammunition belts and has two gas regulator settings as the possibly for box magazine feeding was omitted. The IWI eLog weapon-embedded sensor module was added to collect and store data on the actual use of the weapons for more efficient maintenance management and servicing by armorers.