$5.5M for M60 Machine Guns (Update: to Colombia)
Small business qualifier U.S. Ordnance Inc. in Reno, NV received a $5.5 million sole-source, firm-fixed-price contract for M60E4 7.62mm light machine guns. The M60E4 represents significant reliability and user-friendly improvements over the M60, M60D, and M60E3. The series consists of two configurations: LMG (ground) and mounted (aircraft and boat).
Although this was not mentioned in the DoD DefenseLink release, a reader at Murdoc Online did some further digging to find the contract itself, and notes that the weapons are actually destined for Colombia’s Marines. Good catch.
The M60E4 machine gun weighs 22.5 lbs empty, vs. 27 lbs empty for the FN M240 7.62mm GPMG in use by the U.S. Army and Marines. Its improved ruggedness and reliability over Vienaam-era M60s, lower weight than the M240, and the special operations community’s preference for 7.62mm belt-feds that lay down a heavy, constant barrage and establish firepower and caliber superiority are all apparently making the “Commando” version of this weapon popular with Special Operations personnel. DefenseReview.com offers a review.
U.S. Ordnance is licensed by General Dynamics subsidiary Saco Defense to be the exclusive manufacturer and sole distributor for all models of the M60 Series machine gun and spare parts. Work will be performed in Reno, NV and is expected to be complete by Dec. 20, 2005. The U.S. Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command in Rock Island, IL issued the contract (W52H09-05-C-0229).
)(Originally published July 7/05)