First New Negev NG7 Machine Guns Arrive in Estonia

Matthew Moss
by Matthew Moss
First New Negev NG7s Arrive in Estonia (Estonian Ministry of Defense)

IWI have delivered the first batch of Negev NG7 machine guns to Estonia. The contract for the new 7.62x51mm Negev NG7s was signed in March 2023, the new guns will be issued to both the Estonian Defense Forces and the Estonian Defense League. The guns will replace the MG3s and KSP 58s (Swedish FN MAGs) which are currently in Estonian service.

IWI @ TFB:

Estonia began its search for new general purpose machine guns at the same time as Lithuania, which is also believed to have evaluated the Negev NG7. Lithuania, however, selected the FN Minimi 7.62 Mk3 and has also just received its first batch of machine guns. The Estonian defense forces will begin fielding the new guns in early 2024.

First New Negev NG7s Arrive in Estonia (Estonian Ministry of Defense)

Here’s the Estonian Ministry of Defense’s announcement in full:

Almost a few hundred new machine guns arrived in Estonia

On the order of the National Defense Investment Center (RKIK), the first delivery of machine guns arrived in Estonia, nearly a few hundred new machine guns arrived. In March of this year, RKIK signed a contract with the Israeli state company Israel Weapon Industries (IWI) for the procurement of about a thousand new Negev NG7 machine guns for the Defense Forces and the Defense Union.

When procuring machine guns, there was a desire that they meet Estonian conditions. “The design of the machine guns was adjusted, heat protection was added on top of the breech, and the adjustment range of the forend was increased so that the weapons meet our needs,” said Ramil Lipp, category manager of RKIK armaments .

The approximate weight of the weapon is 8.8 kilograms, and the effective firing range of the weapon is over 500 meters. Target shooting distance with iron sights is up to 800 meters. The weapon can be equipped with modern accessories, such as various sights and lamps. Also important for the new machine gun is that the fire adjuster can also be set for single shot firing.

Lipp said that the new Negev NG7 machine gun is semi-automatic, and it is stable and accurate in various combat situations, including difficult conditions involving ambush or close range. “The gun is exceptionally light, and it also allows you to shoot the gun in an upright position. The ergonomics of the machine gun allows the weapon to be fired from various bases, including helicopters, land vehicles and naval ships.”

The new 7.62x51mm machine guns are intended for the section’s armament and will be used by units of the Defense Forces and the Defense League. “Instructors and weapons technicians of the Defense Forces and the Defense League will receive the weapons manufacturer’s training already in October of this year, after which they will start training soldiers in their subunits,” said Lieutenant Ahti Habanen, chief gunner of the Defense Forces. “The new weapons will be used in the defense forces in the first half of 2024.”

The new Negev NG7 machine guns will replace the MG3 and KSP-58 machine guns currently in service. The Negev NG7 is in use in several countries around the world, including the Israel Defense Forces.

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

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