Denmark Looking To Adopt New 7.62mm Machine Gun

US Ordnance (USO) M60E6

US Ordnance (USO) M60E6

The Royal Danish Army have been running a competition to select a new GPMG/medium 7.62mm machine gun. I was told that all the well known manufacturers of 7.62mm General Purpose Machine Guns entered into the competition, but my source is bound by an NDA and could not tell me exactly who entered. What he could tell me is that the two finalists are the Heckler & Koch HK121 (pictured below) and the US Ordnance M60E6 (pictured above).

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H&K HK121

The HK121 is a brand new design which recently won the German competition to replace their aging MG3 machine guns. The HK121 is being promoted by H&K in a number of different configurations. The version pictured above looks to be an HK121 I (Infantry) model with the forward rail borrowed from the HK121 U (Universal) and for some unknown reason, maybe to keep the weight within spec, the barrel heatshield has been removed. I cannot determine the exact weight of this particular HK121, but for comparison the HK121 I weights 12.4 kg (27.3 lbs) unloaded and without accessories installed.

hk121

The USO M60E6 is not your fathers (grandfathers?) M60. US Ordnance have been tweaking, lightening and improving the performance of the M60 for decades. The most recent well known iteration of the M60 is the M60E4 aka. the Mk43 Mod 0/1 which went into production in 2000. This newer iteration of the design shaves some weight from the Mk43 while adding an improved rail system and bipod. The M60E6 in the photos looks to be the standard model with a short barre (albeit it with a new black/FDE color scheme which I have not seen before). It weighs 9.27 kg (20.44 lbs) unloaded and without accessories.

M60E6

M60E6

The video below shows Danish troops putting these two guns through their paces …

More photos for your enjoyment are below …

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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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  • Clint Notestine

    that m60 is pretty slick… definitely no pig

    • El Duderino

      No asbestos mitten!

    • Brandon

      I’ve always liked the M60. From what I understand it was one of the lightest LMGs in existence, despite being nicknamed The Pig.
      I think that’s why special operators used the E4 variant.

      • Darren Jones

        I was a US Army company armorer from 1988-1990. The original M-60 was an outstanding LMG but had some maintenance quirks that had to be addressed via maintenance and training. When well maintained the M-60 was hands down the best LMG in the world back then. The new iterations to my knowledge (I’m retired from the military now) have addressed the quirks and have made the M-60 hands down the best available.

        • DiverEngrSL17K

          @ Clint Notestine, Brandon & Darren Jones :

          While I respectfully agree from a professional standpoint that the M60 in all its iterations ( even the original version with its numerous detail problems ) was, and still is, an excellent GPMG by any standard that has been grossly under-rated and equally grossly misjudged, it was, and is not, the “best” GPMG ever made available for general service. There are several other GPMG’s that are simply better and more reliable in terms of outright mechanical and functional quality — for example, the PK / PKM, FN MAG58 ( including all its descendants, such as the British L7A1 / A2 and U.S. M240 ), Swiss MG59 and German MG3. Most of the latter also cost more to manufacture and acquire on a large scale, so the question once again devolves around the issue of “cost-effectiveness” in terms of perceived “bang-for-the-buck”.

    • Too Old for This Crap

      The M60 is a piece of shit, and no amount of tarting up will change that fact. It is a utterly flawed design and sticking a few Picatinny rails on it can’t disguise that fact.

  • neoconfection

    The Danish camo looks an awful lot like CADPAT AND they use the C7. It’s going to get very confusing when the Battle of Hans Island happens.

    • Julio

      The colours are almost identical – so much so that one has to suspect the Canucks of flattering by imitation. Pattern-wise, the Danish M84 camo is more like the classic German flecktarn, but without the brown element, and with none of that (short-lived) digital nonsense!

      • neoconfection

        The similarity could be from Canada and Denmark having very similar environments.

        • Lurgubbe

          But…
          Do they really?
          I only know Denmark well.
          I kind of expected Canada to be cold and full with forests.

          • FourString

            Not sure, probably an educated guess judging by latitude heh

      • Steve (TFB Editor)

        I don’t follow camo developments (mossy oak works for me!). Is digital no longer cool?

        Of course army universal was never cool. I can’t help but feel sympathy when I see soldiers wearing it. It never was the look they deserved.

      • Thatguy

        Every major and minor military power is transitioning to digital patterns because they work better. All versions of multicam, A-Tacs, Kryptek, and every other camo anyone else is evaluating are digital patterns. Digital refers to the fractal algorithm used to generate the pattern, not square pixels.

        • Rythm Divine

          CADPAT is actually designed from the danish M84 pattern camo. Note that the danes have gone on to introduce Multicam as their new standard camo, hence the mutlicam gear in the pictures. It is a very controversial decision to say the least, as M84 works very well in scandinavian terrain.

  • thni

    it’s the same camo we have had more than 20 yrs, we also have a desert one.

    • wetcorps

      I find it very cool.

    • El Duderino

      Here in the Pacific Northwest, at least on the wet side of the mountains German/Danish flecktarn is the best military camouflage. US Woodland isn’t bad but not quite as good a match. The newer US patterns, fugeddaboudit.

      • DiverEngrSL17K

        Agreed — Flecktarn is one of the most effective camouflage schemes in a woodland or mixed woodland / open bush scenario. Digital woodland also works very well under similar circumstances.

  • Cornelius Carroll

    I’m kind of surprised a BARS like system hasn’t been implemented on a something in the M60′s role (GPMG or SAW? Not sure anymore…). I’m also surprised a bullpup configuration hasn’t been implemented. Said changes would make the weapon a bit more mobile and a bit easier to keep on target IMO.

    • Raven

      Bullpup MGs are hard to do because of the necessary large ammo capacity. Drum mags are uncomfortable, belt feed is extremely difficult, everything else is unreliable or absurdly unwieldy (Surefire mags, I’m looking at you). The closest I’ve seen to a true bullpup MG, discounting things like the AUG HBAR, are some scattered photos of a PKP “Pecheneg” that’s had the stock removed and the trigger mechanism linked to a secondary trigger about six inches forward.

    • DW

      The M60 is already a semi-bullpup.
      It is quite a bit shorter than the competition.

  • 11b

    Why not the 240? That thing is super reliable, and very accurate. Stupid simple to operate, too. It IS around 4 lbs heavier than the 121 or new M60, so maybe that factored in.

    • 11b

      Also, Danish guys get beards? WTF? How are we supposed to win against the Danes now that you all have standard issue beards?!

      • neoconfection

        I’ve always been partial to the lumberjack commando look

        • Steve (TFB Editor)

          Pretty much how I always pictured Vikings (just with chain mail instead of camo)

        • Michael Pham

          Of course they’re Canadian.

    • DiverEngrSL17K

      If that is the case, then why not the original FN MAG58, or a variation thereof, from which both the M240 and HK121 ( via the FN Minimi ), not to mention a whole lot of other versions, are derived? Lighter than the U.S.-spec M240 version, and every bit as effective as any of its descendants, perhaps more so even if it doesn’t have add-ons such as the Picatinny Rail systems, etc., which are easy enough to put back on anyway ( they are accessories — and not the central feature of this GPMG — remember? ).

    • Joshua

      That is why we got the L model, the receiver is made of Titanium now which brought the weight down to 22.3lbs.

    • Draken

      The major reason for the change away from the MG3 is weight and the requirement was for a weapon to be used on patrol, not for fighting from fixed positions. Denmark doesn’t have 5.56 MGs and have no plans to get them. So the demand is a light and reliable 7.62 MG that is as ergonomical correct as possible.
      240 is too heavy, as it’s only 2 Pounds lighter than the MG3.

  • Nicholas Mew

    UKM-2000

    • Paweł K. Malicki

      More like this one:

    • Esh325

      I think the PKM and its various upgraded incarnations have a lot of merit still, but I don’t think the Danish would adopt the same machine gun the Taliban used on them in Afghanistan. And Denmark would NEVER adopt what is a basically Soviet design, considering the relations they had during the cold war. The Soviets referred to Denmark as a “weak chain in the link”. Politics and symbolism have more to do with weapons acquisitions than most people think.

      • DiverEngrSL17K

        Too bad, and for all the wrong — and impractical — reasons if what you are saying regarding national pride is correct. While I respect and fully support Denmark’s right to exercise it’s judgement as it sees fit regarding acquisition of a new GPMG ( or any other weapons system for that matter ), it is not going to change the fact that the PKM, or its derivatives, are some of the very best and most practical 7.62mm GPMG’s in the world, bar none.

        • Too Old for This Crap

          Far more important for a small country that is a member of an alliance is to adopt a weapon that is fully compatible with those of its allies.

          The Danes should laugh out loud at the desperate hucksters from US Ordnance and send them and their polished turd packing.

          Then they should let the Bundeswehr play Beta-tester for the HK121 — maybe it’ll work out better than the G36 has? — and adopt the MAG58/M240 that damn near everyone else in NATO (and many of the “neutrals” as well) has successfully used for decades.

          • DiverEngrSL17K

            Good point. The standardization would be an important step towards adoption of an already excellent, proven GPMG.

        • FourString

          Yup, that’s the same reason why lots of SWAT/Police in the States tend to avoid AK variants in favour of M4/AR-15′s as patrol rifles. Since the Taliban (despite the fact that our allies in the middle east also use Kalashnikov derivatives) and former Soviet Union have them as basically standard issue, the image it connotes certainly doesn’t look good to the average citizen that knows a bit less about firearms. Like, say there’s an advantage to the bigger punch / thud of the slower intermediate rifle cartridge such as the 7.62x39mm in a particular situation. Still wouldn’t be prudent, culture wise I suppose, to carry around in front of American civilians. Anyway, that’s my guess.

          However, it could also have to do with AK’s being less accurate straight out of the box (gotta mod it to extend sight radius, swap out handguards for rails, swap out rear dust cover for a hinged picatinny railed milled dust cover, add an aperture rear BUIS to the rear of that new railed dust cover, change the factory stock for an adjustable stock with a good cheek comb, and so forth).

          Anyway that’s my little rant/speculation on the whole rifle image / “not made here” subject matter heh

  • schizuki

    Denmark seems like one of those countries that has an army because… well, everybody is supposed to have an army. Seems like an Air Force and a Coast Guard would fill all their needs. Must be a NATO obligation? Good for them.

    • Christian Hedegaard-Schou

      It’s possible that they’re also still a little bit bitter about being rolled into by the Nazi’s in WWII. My grandmother was part of the underground resistance there, delivering pamphlets and propaganda hidden in the basket of her bicycle. She’s not very fond of the Germans to this day.

    • The Forty ‘Twa

      I have nothing but good things to say about the Danish army, excellent soldiers.

    • Draken

      Ask the 150 serb soldiers killed in Operation Hooligan bashing or the Taliban if they agree. Or maybe the US and British soldiers who’ve served alongside Danish troops in Afghanistan…

  • Geoff a well known Skeptic

    I hope the M-60 variant has cured the magic disintegrating rivet problem. Geoff Who sent a lot of M-60s on a one-way trip to Red River.

    • Too Old for This Crap

      And that crumbling bolt tower problem, and that flimsy feed tray problem, and…

  • Spencedaddy

    as one of the few people on this blog who can speak Danish…..where the hell do I sign up to be involved in this kind of stuff with the Danes!

    • Yellow Devil

      I guess you can start by enlisting with their Army.

  • Goran Sablic

    I am pleased to see
    way how Danish Army test new maschine gun ,on scientific way.

  • Lance

    Id keep the MG-3 for vehicles and and tanks. The rate of fire is unmatched by any new MG. Id think going to the M-240 or the new M-60s be best way to go if you have to go to something else.

  • Zarkus

    The other submitted MG’s for testing were the Vector SS77 by Denel Land Systems, IWI Negev NG7, FN Minimi 7.62 & FN MAG by FN Herstal.

    • El Duderino

      Looks like their bribes just weren’t big enough…

  • Nathaniel

    The Echo 6 looks quite slinky in that tan scheme. I admit I’m rooting for it, if only because I’d like to see HK unhorsed in a Scandinavian contract for once.

    • DiverEngrSL17K

      While I certainly respect your opinion and judgement on this, the real bottom line, regardless of perspective on either side, is how well the weapon system in question works and how cost-effective it is ( assuming it performs at or above expectation ), as well as how well it can be integrated into present and projected military requirements ( logistics included ).

  • Graham 1

    Oh god, I thought he was shooting at range personnel at the 2:27 mark in the video

  • IXLR8

    Gratuitous HK porn…. I love it!
    Oh, and the M60 is OK too…

  • Paralus

    and neither choice is as elegant as the MG3.

    I am surprised Rheinmetall never though to update it and lower the weight a couple of pounds.

  • fred

    Mmm perhaps they should look at these..

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IMI_Negev

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      Love them!

  • Joshua

    I wonder if the HK is the same price as they were for the Germans. I believe it was around $25,000 per 121. I could be off a little but pretty sure that is close to what it was.

    • Zarkus

      Wait, what!?

      • Joshua

        If my memory serves me right, when the Germans purchased their HK121′s the contract had them around the $25,000 price range.

      • Joshua

        Yep found it, for 7,114 HK121′s the cost was $157million, which comes out to around $22,000 per 121.

        • The Forty ‘Twa

          Looking at that as the cost per unit is misleading, these contracts usually include all sorts of extras such as parts, teaching for those working as gunsmiths and so on. I’d be very surprised if all the Germans got for that much was the weapons.

  • big daddy

    I really cannot give a complete opinion because my experiences are with the M60. It was not that heavy and was short in length, that was it’s good points. The bad points are too numerous to mention here. If they fixed some of the issues than by all means it is one of the best infantry GPMGs. The M60 is short and compact, almost a bullpup with the trigger group under the feed. It’s simple, if the performance and ease of use is on par with a M240 or HK121 the M60 is the better infantry MG. For mounting on vehicles or a tripod the M240 is the way to go, period. I have read a few things in the negative about the HK. The MG3 is also a good mounted GPMG but nothing beats the accuracy of the M240. Better accuracy = less need for higher rates of fire, especially with the optics available today. That makes the MG3 and the high rate of fire concept outdated. No matter what they do the design of the M240/MAG cannot be made light enough for infantry use. The HK121 is obviously based on the FN designed MAG and possibly the Minimi, HK does produce a version of the MAG.

    • snmp

      FN Minimi 7.62 (308) / MK 48 MOD 1 are in service in many NATO countries (US, UK, NZ, France ….)

    • Rythm Divine

      MGs are area weapons, not sniper rifles. And for this role a high rate of fire is very usefull. The MG3 can deliver perfect single shots at 1200 meters when vehicle mounted, i have done it myself. I quite prefer it to the M240 as it is a more evolved designed, despite being older. The M60 I only testfired and i didnt like the low rate of fire.

    • Too Old for This Crap

      The way to fix an M60 involves two simple tools.

      An 8-pound sledge to smash the M60 into a compact package for recycling, and a box-cutter for opening the box that a new M240 comes in.

  • 朝花夕拾

    Wow, the M60E6 looks so slick and sexy.

    My country’s army could use some new machine guns. Our boys have been clinging on to decades-old M60s that saw action in Vietnam…

  • idahoguy101

    How is the MG3 obsolete? Wouldn’t replacing worn out MG3s with new opens be less expensive?

  • Mindless

    I wonder why HK didnt show up with the M27 IAR

    Does anybody know if its a peace of crap ?
    i dont know much about the weapon but i mean its 5.56 it looks just like any other rifleman’s rifle and when the fun switch is on the bolt stays back ( open bolt design )

    i thought that would be a good idea since they want something for urban warfare

    • Draken

      It’s a piece of crap…

      • Mindless

        oh well here we go :D

        Thanks for sharing

  • The Forty ‘Twa

    They went with the M60. I can’t find an English language source though.