The Dutch military intends to replace weapons in a class referred to as supporting small caliber weapons or kleinkaliberwapens (KKW) in Dutch, these are weapons below 20mm. Specifically, they are replacing both medium-weight (Middelzware ondersteunende KKW (MOW)) and (Zware ondersteunende KKW (ZOW)) heavy-weight machine guns commonly known as the FN MAG and Browning .50 because of age and rising maintenance costs. The currently issued weapons date back to the 1960s and have seen extensive use in the Afghanistan conflict.
They have stated a primary requirement of a medium-weight range up to 600m and heavy-weight up to 1200m. Because these are new weapons they will also be required to meet other specific requirements for use on vehicles or vessels such as coax mounting.
The Dutch are looking at 2100 medium-weight guns along with 955 fast aiming sights and 280 NVD sights as well as 840 heavy-weight with 248 fast aiming sights and 575 NVD’s. These replacement numbers are not a one for one replacement but rather are in line with their current force structure.
It is noteworthy that they intend is to buy off-the-shelf. Since the whole project is targeted to stay under 100 million Euros the Defense Material Organisation (DMO) will be mandated to carry out this project. They currently plan to issue a tender in 2014 and be fully equipped by 2017.