Last week the Pentagon awarded FN with a $13.45 million contract for a pair of M249 SAW variants for the U.S. Special Operations Command.
The South Carolina-based weapons manufacturer will provide SOCOM with the 5.56x45mm Mk46 and 7.62x51mm Mk 48 light machine guns. The contract also covers spare parts and other support services.
The Mk46 is a lightweight version of the classic M249 Squad Automatic Weapon, or SAW. With a 16.3″ barrel, polymer stock, and titanium bipod, the Mk46 weighs less than 16 lbs.
The 7.62x51mm Mk48 is often called the “Super SAW.” It features a longer 19.75″ barrel, weighs just over 18 lbs, and features many of the classic ergonomics of the M249.
The Department of Defense has announced that 85% of the contract will be performed at the FN factory in Columbia, South Carolina. The remaining 15% will be conducted at the Herstal, Belgium facility. The contract has an expected completion date in third quarter 2023.