South Korean army starts deploying new K16 7.62mm machine guns

According to Yonhap news agency and the Korea Herald, South Korea on December 15 started deploying new 7.62 mm-caliber machine guns to the Army under a project to replace the existing decades-old equipment and reinforce combat capabilities, the arms procurement agency said. The K16 machine guns will supplant K3 and M60 guns as a bedrock asset of the military's firepower, the first such replacement in three decades, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) said.
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The K16 7.62mm machine gun in the center of the picture. (Picture source

K16's basic model can be used to suppress massed troops during close combat. The K16E coaxial model is operated to support the close combat of mechanized units. A coaxial machine gun is fitted to a coaxial mount as a secondary weapon besides a vehicle's main weapon. The K16D model is mounted on tanks, armored vehicles, helicopters, and ships.

Lim Chang-won reports that the shipment of K16 guns came after a ceremony at SNT Motiv's headquarters in the southern port city of Busan on December 15 under a contract with the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA), a state arms procurement agency. K16 machine guns are equipped with exchange handles to facilitate the exchange of gun barrels. It is designed to reduce shooting flames by applying an open flash deflector.

The SNT Motiv K16's operational range is 30-percent longer than the K3 and its destructive power is about double that of the K3, according to DAPA. The military plans to deploy them to all armed services by 2024. The new machine guns will be supplied along with thermal weapon sights.

SNT Motiv Co., a local defense firm, developed the K-16, while the thermal scope is supplied by Eo System Co. under the procurement project estimated at 124.2 billion won ($104.7 million).

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The three types of K16 machine guns inducted in the South Korean armed forces. (Picture source: DAPA)


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