News, Armaments, Procurements

Nearly two hundred new machine guns arrive in Estonia

On the order of the Estonian Centre for Defence Investments (ECDI), the first delivery of machine guns reached Estonia, with nearly two hundred new machine guns having arrived. In March of this year, the ECDI signed a contract with Israel Weapon Industries (IWI) for the procurement of around 1000 new Negev NG7 machine guns for the Defence Forces and the Defence League.

The goal, when procuring the machine guns, was that they would meet the conditions required in Estonia. “We adapted the design of the stock of the machine guns, added heat protection to the barrel and increased the adjustment range of the bipod to ensure that the weapons meet our needs,” said Ramil Lipp, Armament Category Manager of the ECDI.

The approximate weight of the weapon is 8.8 kilograms and the effective firing range of the weapon is over 500 metres. The sighted firing range with iron sights is up to 800 metres. Modern accessories can be added to the weapon, for example, sights and lamps. Another important feature of the new machine gun is the possibility to also set the fire mode selector to semi-auto.

Lipp stated that the new Negev NG7 machine gun is semi-automatic, while also being stable and accurate in a variety of combat situations, including in difficult ambush or close-quarters battle situations. “The weapon is exceptionally lightweight, which allows for the weapon to also be fired from a standing position. The ergonomic design of the machine gun also allows for the weapon to be fired from a wide range of mounts, including on helicopters, land vehicles, and naval vessels.”

The new 7.62×51 mm machine guns are intended to be part of an infantry’s armament and will be used by units of the Defence Forces and the Defence League. “Instructors and weapons technicians with the Defence Forces and the Defence League will receive training from the weapons manufacturer in October of this year, after which they will begin training soldiers in their sub-units,” said Lieutenant Ahti Habanen, Chief Armourer of the Defence Forces. “The new weapons will enter service in the Defence 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. T he Negev NG7 is currently being used by several countries around the world, including the Israeli Defence Forces.

Hanna Heinnurm