IWI's Light Machine Gun Production Line

Matthew Moss
by Matthew Moss
IWI’s Negev Production Line (IWI)

Israel’s IWI recently made a significant flex with the posting of a photo of their Negev light machine gun production line. The photo features Negev LMGs for as far as the eye can see. Posted simply with the caption: “Just another day in the office, NEGEV production line”

If we take each rack as having 6 guns and, from the guy standing in the background on the right, if we assume the racks three levels then we can guess that in this photo there are perhaps 400 Negevs visible with many more likely out of shot.

The Negev has been the Israeli Defence Force’s primary light machine gun since 1997 with the 7.62x51mm NG-7 introduced later. The weapon is short-stroke gas piston-driven, belt-fed, select-fire with the NG-5 capable of having a dual field giving the option of belt or box magazine feeding – much like the FN Minimi (or M249 SAW).

An older example of the IWI Negev NG-5. Note the magazine well below the receiver to take STANAG mags and the added Pic rail colar on the barrel. The NG-5 has been in service with the IDF since the late 1990s (Zachi Evenor)

The weapons pictured are the updated Negev with top rail space (which has the standard adjustable rear sight) and rails mounted to the forend. They also have M4 style collapsing buttstocks. Next to each gun is a serialised spare barrel, with each barrel appearing to have a ‘-2’ suffix. It’s unclear if these are 5.56x45mm NG-5 SFs or 7.62x51mm NG-7 SFs, but I would guess that the guns in the foreground at least are the latter. The NG-7 SF has a 420mm or 16.5-inch barrel while the standard NG-7 has a 508mm barrel.

NG-7 SF Specs:

Caliber: 7.62X51mm
Rifling: 4 RH Grooves, 1:12″ twist
Barrel length (mm): 420 (16.5″)
Total length exstended (mm): 1,012
Total length retracted (mm): 942
Weight (Kg) (weapon only): 7.8
Rate of fire (approx. rd./min): 600~750 (position 1 & 2)

Matthew Moss
Matthew Moss

Managing Editor: TheFirearmBlog.com & Overt Defense.com. Matt is a British historian specialising in small arms development and military history. He has written several books and for a variety of publications in both the US and UK. Matt is also runs The Armourer's Bench, a video series on historically significant small arms. Here on TFB he covers product and current military small arms news. Reach Matt at: matt@thefirearmblog.com

More by Matthew Moss

Join the conversation
2 of 67 comments
  • Drakon590 Drakon590 on Dec 09, 2020

    Grab the negev soviet

  • VwVwwVwv VwVwwVwv on Dec 10, 2020

    All Israeli guns are tuned Copies of other designs, a country with a population smaller than NY City can't afford more. Designs of countries with the Financial Power and Industrial
    capabilities like the USA or Russia are out of reach for a nation smaller than
    Lake Michigan. I have asked Israeli soldiers what they think of this
    gun and they liked it, may be it is not the best, may be it
    is, but if they liked it, it does the job in the
    sands of Judea, soldiers know
    their guns best, they share the bed with their Gun.