German army to replace MG3 with MG5 machine gun


The MG5 will replace the MG3 as a medium machine gun. The fully automatic weapon enables short and long bursts of fire with a range of up to 1,000 meters.
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The MG5 succeeds the MG3 and at the same time heralds a new era of universal machine guns. (Picture source: Bundeswehr / Marco Dorow)


The Heckler & Koch MG5 (in the development phase also known as the HK121) is a belt-fed 7.62×51mm NATO general-purpose machine gun manufactured by German firearm manufacturer Heckler & Koch. The MG5 resembles the 5.56×45mm NATO Heckler & Koch MG4 light machine gun, which was adopted into German military service in 2005.

Work on the MG5 began, under the HK121 designation, shortly after the development of the MG4 light machine gun that Heckler & Koch initially presented as the HK MG43 at the MILIPOL 2001 trade show in Paris. A prototype of the HK121 was presented to a larger public by Heckler & Koch on the 14th day of the infantry in July 2010 in Hammelburg.

In June 2013, it was announced that Germany was testing and evaluating 65 samples and planned to buy at least 7,114 of the machine guns for the Bundeswehr during 2014–2017, in a deal that over time could grow to 12,733 HK5s.

The MG5 is intended as and started replacing the Rheinmetall MG3 in German service since 2015. According to the Bundeswehr, the MG5 is more accurate than the MG3. The effective range on a bipod is therefore greater. The MG5 reduced cyclic rate uses less ammunition and the user can adjust the stock to individual ergonomic preferences. By 2022 the MG5 should replace the MG3 in Bundeswehr service.

The MG5 shoots from the open locking position. As with the MG3, there is no cartridge in the chamber when the MG5 is loaded. The MG5 has a weapon barrel in the standard length of 55 centimeters, a bipod and a length-adjustable shoulder rest. It has a telescopic sight with four times magnification and a sighting device with a red dot.

For the development and use of a special bolt for training cartridges, the German Federal Government has allocated a budget of 7.3 million euros. The costs to integrate the MG5 in various tripod and weapon station mountings in German use are estimated at around 60 million euros.


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The MG5 succeeds the MG3 and at the same time heralds a new era of universal machine guns. (Picture source: Bundeswehr / Marco Dorow)


 

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