Tactical Tailor

Dutch Military Intends to Replace Current Machine Guns with New Models

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.

Photo – Royal Netherlands Army

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.


6 Responses to “Dutch Military Intends to Replace Current Machine Guns with New Models”

  1. Eric B says:

    “They have stated a primary requirement of a medium-weight range up to 600m and heavy-weight up to 1200m.”

    Those ranges seem quite short. The FN MAG/M240 and the M2 both have max effective ranges beyond those listed, so I wonder why they are considering replacements that are less effective…range wise.

    Must be some quirk of procurement to lowball certain features.

  2. Ipkiss says:

    These are actually the same distances as the FN MAG and M2 are listed for (with us at least). And yes even with the MAG it’s quite easy to go up to 1200m. So we’re actually looking for replacements with the same specifications range wise.

  3. Georg says:

    I was actually the guy who did the initial research carried out for the DMO. My idea was to put together a modular, flexible mission-adaptable set-up referred to as “capability packages” whereby individual components (such as weapon base, barrel-configuration, ammunition, optics, rail-accesories) are selected and purchased(CoTS) to help create a package suited to the necessities of the unit/Area of Deployment/RoE.

    Essentially it would have been a SF-style approach to unit equipment which would have complemented the Dutch army’s intended downsizing and focusing on things such a peacekeeping and anti-piracy missions. For instance I had dedicated an entire section to the future uses and technological advances of modular weapons platforms, and the use of non-lethal capabilities.

    Unfortunately all my efforts were in vain because the DMO didn’t bother responding to any of my contacts, the project supervisor decided to abandon the approach entirely because it was “unusual” and they ended up using exactly the same weapons requirements they had before without bothering to read any of the operational experience literature i had managed to scavenge from sources amongst all coalition forces.

    This means they’re gonna do exactly the same shit they did before, and will encounter all the same problems they are having now.


  4. Drebin says:

    I hope America gets some Mag 58 parts kits out of this.