The Army was recently demoing the upgraded, and long-overdued, version of the M2 Browning machine gun. Army.mil reports …
The M2 A1 is an upgrade to the M2 machine gun. It provides a quick-change barrel and fixed head space and timing to reduce Soldier errors and associated safety risks, according to a report prepared by the Small Arms Branch. The Army is also working on a lightweight .50-caliber machine gun to augment the M2 A1, Henthorn said.
Also on demoed was the light-weight version of the M240, the M240L, which will be deployed next year …
One of the weapons showcased was the M240L medium machine gun, a lighter alternative to the M240B machine gun. The M240L weighs 21-and-a-half pounds, six pounds lighter than the M240B.
“Lightening Soldiers’ loads is a key element of what we want to do,” Henthorn said. “We are carrying a lot of weight downrange on missions because we want capability. Every pound we take off a guy is a pound he doesn’t have to carry up and down a hill.”
Along with reduced weight, the branch is shortening the barrel and providing a collapsible butt stock for the M240 L, said Troy Harris, deputy chief of the small arms branch.
Henthorn said Army-wide fielding could begin in 10 months.
[ Many thanks to Lance for emailing me the link. ]