The Ministry of Defence is in the process of awarding a contract, valued at £40 million, to FNH UK Ltd for the Mid Life Improvement (MLI) of the UK Armed Forces Commands’ in-service Heavy Machine Guns (HMG).

This initiative was detailed in a Voluntary Ex-Ante Transparency (VEAT) Notice.

The notice outlines the scope of the project: “This contract will enable the Authority to undertake the Mid Life improvement requirements for the Heavy Machine Gun (HMG) that will ensure the UK Armed Forces Commands can meet their enduring and future capability needs.”

FNH UK Ltd, identified as the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) and Design Authority (DA) of the HMG, is recognised as the sole entity equipped for this project. The notice explains, “FNH UK Ltd are the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) and Design Authority (DA) and are the only economic entity with access to the necessary technical information, knowledge and expertise, for the HMG comprised in this contract.”

The justification for awarding the contract to FNH UK Ltd is further elaborated: “FNH UK Ltd are the only economic entity with the capability and access necessary to provide the required technical support to ensure it complies with the Authority’s specification, maintains the operational performance and effectiveness of the weapon system, and ability to underwrite the integrity of the modifications to the weapons systems as a result of a safety investigation.”

The contract, expected to span over five years, will involve subcontracting opportunities, focusing on repair and maintenance services of firearms and ammunition.

Tom has spent the last 13 years working in the defence industry, specifically military and commercial shipbuilding. His work has taken him around Europe and the Far East, he is currently based in Scotland.
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

22 Comments
oldest
newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
John Clark
John Clark
16 days ago

Mid life improvement programme!!

The M2 is 90 years old, so I assume we are planning a 180 year service life?

Manroy (now Fn UK) developed a quick detachable barrel for the M2 and then realised why Browning didn’t offer this to start with!

All fun and games, still an incredible piece of kit for a geriatric old fart…..

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
16 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

Well it’s in good company considering 50 year old Bushmasters are currently toasting T-90s.
oh and a friend of mine did the original production drawings for the Rarden in the late 60s and he’s about to hit 84.

Last edited 16 days ago by Spyinthesky
John Clark
John Clark
16 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Excellent, the old Rarden is is a meaty old piece of kit, surprisingly big when out of the vehicle , despite being clip loaded, it could deliver quite the punch with a well trained British Army crew behind it.

The Ukrainians have certainly put their Rarden equipped Scimitars to good use with shoot and scoot missions, playing shotgun to 4×4 equipped anti tank teams and their traditional forward recon role of course.

BobA
BobA
15 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

The quick change barrel worked really well for us on HERRICK.

John Clark
John Clark
15 days ago
Reply to  BobA

They got there in the end Bob, but the engineering staff realised why Browning never did it originally!

The different materials involved in a quick change mechanism caused lots of development issues…

Coll
Coll
16 days ago

I wonder if those SMASH 2000L scopes could be put on the HMGs.

John
John
16 days ago

Only £40 million? lol

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
16 days ago
Reply to  John

Agreed. I wonder how many HMGs we have got? £40m sounds a huge amount of ‘wedge’ for an upgrade.

DaveyB
DaveyB
16 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Quite a few now I believe. The Navy are in the middle of replacing the M134 mini gun with the M2. As the M2 has significantly better stand off range and penetrative power. Though even when fitted to a heavy duty mount they still dance around the target. The good thing about the mini gun is due to the near constant tracer stream, it’s a lot easier to walk the rounds on to the target. The RAF are still sticking with the M134, GPMG and M60s. Though the new Model G Chinooks do come with the 50 cal option. Army… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
15 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Thanks Davey. M2 in RWS – talking about Boxer?

Airborne
Airborne
15 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

That was my thought, atm it’s the only Boxer option isn’t it? Maybe a GMG but not much else?

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
14 days ago
Reply to  Airborne

UK has ordered two tranches of Boxer – Tr1 is 523 vehs, Tr 2 is 100 vehs. Funding was put in place for 1,018 vehicles in total, but rumour control says that the full order for 1,018 may not be made. No idea why – the funding line is there. The army needs to equip 5 inf battalions(+ other arms & services) in the two ABCTs. In parallel with the Tr1 order of 523 vehs, an order was put in for Kongsberg RS4 PROTECTOR RWS. From the Kongsberg company datasheet it can take: Browning M2 and WKM-B (12.7 mm), M249… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
14 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Bigger RS6 which can take a cannon!

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
15 days ago

It’s very important being our first line of defence on Boxer.

Or, is it the only line of defence on Boxer 😂

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
15 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Well. I’d say only line of defence as the bean counters and penny pinchers won’t fit Trophy APS to all our armoured vehicles, which they most definitely should be doing.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
15 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

They most certainly do Mr Bell.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
15 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Meanwhile. The US Army’s first M10 combat vehicle is scheduled to be delivered in February, Janes learnt at Defence iQ’s International Armour Vehicles (IAV) 2024 conference held in London from 22 to 25 January. The first phase of low-rate initial production (LRIP 1) of the M10 began in the first quarter (Q1) of fiscal year (FY) 2023, following a USD1.4 billion contract award to General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) in June 2022. The company announced on 6 July 2023 that it had received a USD257.6 million contract modification for LRIP 2. Initial operational test and evaluation (IOT&E) is planned to… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
14 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

? Are you saying that Trophy APS is fitted to all our AFVs? It isn’t currently fitted to any in-service British AFV

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
15 days ago

Interesting story this one. £40 million is a lot of money to spend on heavy machine guns.
I think £40 million should ensure 10-20k browning HMGs are repaired, revamped and kept in pristine condition. That’s a lot of weapons and firepower.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
15 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

I very much doubt that we have 10,000 to 20,000 Browning M2 HMGs.

Exroyal.
Exroyal.
15 days ago

Herstal or FN definitely a leading company in their field so no issues there. My biggest issue is they are Belgian owned. Given the flip flopping at a political whim of late with their government in relation to export licences for submarine builds. They have no real army of their own and live in the Nato umbrella. There have been other times in the past where they have not been good partners. I think Slade Green will probably be the main site involved. What if for instance firing pins or extractors made in Belgium or not released because the Belgian… Read more »

Tom
Tom
12 days ago

Genuine question… £40 million of taxpayers money for what exactly?