Norway Adopts FN MINIMI Machine Gun

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It is nice to report some good news for FN Herstal after their run of bad luck. The FN MINIMI won the competition to select a new light machine gun for the Norwegian Armed Forces. Norway will be purchasing 1,900 MINIMI guns.

FN Minimi 5.56 (Para-TR model)

From the press release

Belgium-based FN Herstal is pleased to announce that the FN MINIMI™ 5.56 has been selected as the new light machine gun for the Norwegian Armed Forces.

The Norwegian Defence Logistics Organisation (NDLO) confirmed their decision last November, putting an end to a yearlong competition.

The contract includes the manufacture and delivery of 1,900 MINIMI™ 5.56 machine guns together with spare parts and accessories up to the end of 2012. The contract also includes optional quantities and additional services to be provided by FN Herstal to the NDLO over a 15-year period.

The MINIMI™ 5.56 light machine gun is the newest addition in line with the FN MAG™ medium machine gun and the FN M2HB-QCB heavy machine gun already in use by the Norwegian army.

[ Many thanks to Rijoenpial for emailing me the link. ]


Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • crisara722

    my question is… was it a good choice? what do you think?

  • subase

    There is no need to cry for FN. The better weapon is the Singaporean Ultimax 100 but they didn’t get the contract cause they don’t have the political and financial pull of FN.

  • http://remov.pl REMOV

    Steve, the agreement between Norway Forsvarets Logistikkorganisasjon and FN Herstal was signed December 7th, 2010 ;)

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/ Steve (The Firearm Blog)

      Thanks guys for the info.

  • charles222

    I like the finish on the stock photo-is that how Norway is actually going to be buying them? Tan is a good color for snow, IMO.

  • Lance

    Why bother with the weak 5.56mm 249 get more 240s! in goood 7.62mm caliber.

    This must be in line with Norway’s adoption of the H&K 416. While for assault rifles 5.56mm is OK for MGs come on get 7.62mm far better for a GPMG.

  • Riceball

    @Lance

    The 240 & the 249 serve different roles and would, presumably, be issued at different unit levels. For instance, in the Marine Corps the 249 was issued at the fireteam level which meant that 1 out every 4 men in a squad had an M249. The 240, on the other hand, was generally issued at around the platoon and carried by the weapons platoon and at the battalion level, the weapons company.

  • Wes S.

    And it even has “the shoulder thing that goes up!”

    Oh wait: Does that violate the “no politics” thing? Sorry…

  • greywolf

    norway already uses the mg3 as GPMG so the minimi goes to fill the LMG role…

  • M, Norway

    Since I’m Norwegian Army, I thought I’d clear a few things up.
    Subase: The Ultimax may be the better choice, but it wasn’t submitted for the trails. IIRC there were only two candidates, The FN MINIMI PARA and the HK MG4.
    As for 7.62 GPMG’s in use by us Vikings, The Rheinmetal MG3 and the FN MAG will remain in service. The MG3 has been the workhorse of the infantry since the late 50’s.

    Info is sketchy at the moment, but, there’s word going around from the Army’s combatlab that there will be two MG-teams in each squad, as opposed to the current one MG-fireteam solution. At the same time, there is also word that the MG3 will be primarely a vehicle-mounted weaponsystem.
    This is in part because of a parts-shortage for the MG3, since Rheinmetal has stopped producing it, and the Turkish clones are(put mildly) substandard.

    As for the Camo-choice, I’ve seen photos from the trials of both the black paint scheme, and the Tan one(So I currently have no idea which was chosen, since my unit haent received them yet).
    The latter would definitely be my choice.
    Black sticks out like a sore thumb in just about every environment, from forest, desert and snow.
    Black rifles/guns in general looks good in the showrooms, at the range, and possibly urban environments. In the woodlands/snow however, it’s a totally different story. I’ve spotted more than one dude in force on force training scenarios because of they’re “shiny” black HK’s.

    Cheers!
    M

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/ Steve (The Firearm Blog)

      M,, thanks for the info.

  • Lasse

    According to “Forsvars Forum” (a Norwegian military magazine), each Minimi will be supplied with both para and standard barrels, para stock, Aimpoint CompM4, light (guessing it’s the Insight M3X) and something like an AN-PEQ2..

    If I remember correctly, there is also a project in the works for a new 7.62 MG, but I haven’t seen any more about it except for a note online quite some time ago.

  • Lance

    @Riceball

    Yes I know they have differnt roles BUT from all the combat data the 5.56mm round and the 249 both have some issues that the M-240 or M-60 don’t. I just say standerdise on the M-240/7.62mm GPMGs like we did in the early 80s.

  • Chris

    @ Lance

    What issues are you talking about? 5.56 isn’t going away any time soon and the 249/MK46 are welcome additions at the team level.

  • Some Guy

    “There is no need to cry for FN. The better weapon is the Singaporean Ultimax 100 but they didn’t get the contract cause they don’t have the political and financial pull of FN.”

    The Ultimax 100 is nowhere near as reliable as the M249 or M240 and limited to 100 round drums, while belt fed weapons in general are more versatile, and could theoretically fire an infinite amount of rounds without ever reloading.

    The Ultimax 100 jams frequently and it’s ammunition carrying system is basically crap, but it’s a decent gun for what it is.

  • Lance

    The 5.56mm caliber is too weak for GPMG use and the ight barrel warps ealiy when it gets hot read combat reports at Wadnat. The Mk-46 is 7.62mm caliber not 5.56mm.

  • subase

    Yeah the drum magazine limitation of the Ultimax is a deal breaker. Although the marines taking up the HK416 as a partial M249 SAW replacement is strange.

  • M, Norway

    Lance: Nope, the 7.62 minimi-version is called the MK-48, the MK-46 is the 5.56 version.
    As for the caliber debate: Well, according to the internet, the 5.56 is to weak. According to every NATO defence research organization, the 5.56 does the job. But, as we all know, guys on the internet is way more credible than guys that can back up they’re claims with actual scientific evidence…

  • charles222

    the 240 is a completely useless weapon for a squad auto role. It’s overly long and heavy, is impossible to reload on the move with (a feature of practically any belt-fed weapon, but this is a post about the 240) and the point of a squad auto is that it’s a automatic weapon that can be operated without assistance from the team’s riflemen/grenadiers. The 240 is distinctly designed with crew-serve in mind; it requires two men at a minimum, and ideally three, to really be as effective as it can be. One man shoots, another man keeps it loaded, and the third man observes and adjusts the fires.

    Putting it or frankly any belt-fed machine gun in a single-man position degrades it’s overall effectiveness.

  • Lance

    @ M Norway you many be right about there is too many MK somethings about the FN 240 and 249s too much. I go by what US vets say and they say for rilfes and carbines 5.56mm is ok but for GPMG use its been far too weak.

  • Rijoenpial

    charles222,

    the M240 is the FN MAG, so it is best used on vehicles, like armored carriers, tanks and such anyway… Still, there have ben sightings of the M240 in both Iraq and Afghanistan (check the photos):

    http://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/FN_MAG

    Cheers!

  • Rijoenpial

    PS: By the way, France, the newest FN-MAG buyer, is still not accounted for in the list of countries that use the FN-MAG

  • M, Norway

    @ lance
    I do agree with you, the 5.56 is too weak for GPMG use. That’s why one tend to have GPMGS at the platoon level.
    Trust me, if you have lug around a belt-fed, I’d take a 5.56 Minimi over a 7.62 MG3/MAG anyday. Why? 7.62 belt-feds are HEAVY, and a infantry squad’s purpose is to engage and close in on enemy targets, meaning that ranges are typically going to be closer than 500 meters. If engagements occur at ranges beyond that, you will typically have a 7.62 DMR in the squad, not to mention that the Minimi can engage area targets at around 900 meters. Even if a 5.56 is higly unlikely to be a one-round killer at that range, it will stil keep you’re head down, and if you get hit, you’re still going to pretty much combat effective even though it’s “just” a 5.56.

  • Lance

    You say that till you enter combat then the .30 cal MG is your best friend.

  • charles222

    Not when you’re unable to keep up with your riflemen and their 14-pound weapon/ammo loads. Then you’re the slowest-moving target on the battlefield, and also degrading your MMG’s lethality by attempting to use it yourself.