$16.9M for M240H Machine Guns as Army Re-equips Helicopters
Fabrique Nationale Manufacturing Inc. in Columbia, SC received a $16.9 million firm-fixed-price contract (W52H09-05-C-0122) for M240H aviation machine guns, egress kits, and M240H unique spare parts. While quantities were not specified, a September 23, 2004 contract (W52H09-04-C-0223) purchased 1,100 M240H machine guns and egress kits for $9.6 million. Delivery plans through 2007 call for almost 4,000 M240H guns to replace the 60s-era M60 7.62mm light machine gun aboard all Army, National Guard, and Reserve aircraft like the UH-60 Black Hawk and CH-47 Chinook helicopters.
The US Army Project Manager Soldier Weapons located at Picatinny Arsenal, NJ worked with Fabrique Nationale Manufacturing, Inc. to incorporate changes from ground vehicle version of the M240, including a new flash suppressor to work with night vision goggles and an improved mount for greater accuracy. The M240H is also 15 times more reliable than the M60, with 41,000 mean rounds between stoppages and 83,000 mean rounds between failures. The M240H egress kits convert the spade-trigger helicopter weapon to portable infantry configuration in 60 seconds.
Work on this sole-source contract will be performed in Columbia, SC and is expected to be complete by Nov. 30, 2006. The U.S. Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command in Rock Island, IL issued the contract.
FN Manufacturing Inc. in Columbia, SC also received a delivery order amount of $6.7M from the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command in Rock Island, IL, as part of a $29.8 million firm-fixed-price contract (W52H09-05-D-0080) for M16A4 rifles and M4 carbines.
Sources: DoD DefenseLink; FN web site; Company H, 4th Battalion, 7th Aviation Regiment’s “Chinook News”