The U.S. Special Operations Command is purchasing new MK46 and MK48 light machine guns, the U.S. Department of Defence announced on Friday.
On 31 August, the U.S. Department of Defence (DoD) announced in a statement that FN America LLC is awarded a $13,4 million contract for the production of MK46 and MK48 light machine guns, spare parts and engineering services in support of U.S. Special Operations Command.
Work is expected to be completed in August 2023 and will be performed in Columbia, South Carolina (85 percent); and Herstal, Belgium (15 percent).
FN America, LLC, is a U.S. subsidiary of FN (Fabrique Nationale) Herstal, S.A., a global leader in the development and manufacturing of high-quality, reliable firearms for military, law enforcement, and commercial customers worldwide.
The MK46 is a belt-fed lightweight machine gun It is a variant of the M249 SAW light machine gun that has been designed by Fabrique Nationale (FN) to be as light and compact as possible and was tailored specifically for use by United States special operations forces (SOF).
According to the FN America, the MK46 light machine gun has been designed by FN to be as light and compact as possible and was tailored specifically for use by SOF.
The machine gun uses 5.56x45mm ammunition that makes for a logistically-friendly complement to the M4 Carbine and M16 assault rifles. Additionally, the larger Mk 48 itself complements the Mk 46 when the larger rifle-caliber 7.62x51mm cartridge and its longer-range penetrative capabilities are required.
As for MK48, is is lightweight belt-fed machine gun, firing 7.62×51mm NATO cartridges from a disintegrating belt of ammunition. In use by U.S. special operators, it was designed to be light and compact enough to keep up with fast-moving troops as they maneuver on and close with the enemy.
The Mk 48 has been developed in conjunction with the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), which has adopted the weapon and started its fielding process, beginning with special operations units.