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EDF, Defense League getting new Israeli Negev NG7 LMGs this year

Around 1,000 IWI Negev NG7 LMGs will reach the EDF and Defense League by the end of this year.
Around 1,000 IWI Negev NG7 LMGs will reach the EDF and Defense League by the end of this year. Source: RKIK

The Estonian Defense Forces (EDF) and the volunteer Defense League (Kaiteseliit) will be receiving new light machine guns, "Aktuaalne kaamera" reported Thursday.

The new weapons, around 1,000 Israel Weapon Industries (IWI Negev NG7 light machine guns (LMGs) will replace the MG3 and KSP-58 machine guns currently in use, by the end of the year end.

The Estonian state has a procurement relationship with Negevs going back nearly 30 years.

Ronen Hamudot, SK Group marketing and sales manager, representing IWI in Estonia, told AK that: "We started in 1994, when we delivered the first 5.56 mm Negev machine guns to the Estonian Ministry of Defense, together with Galil automatic rifles.

"Following this, we made improvements to the 5.56 mm NG5 Negev machine guns and Galil automatics already in use in Estonia. Then we participated in the public tender, which was announced about a year ago," Hamudot went on.

Israel's own IDF uses the weapon, as does Ukraine, Vietnam, Brazil, India and several other countries' militaries.

Magnus-Valdemar Saar, director general of the Estonian Center for Defense Investment (RKIK) signed the relevant contract Thursday.

Postimees' English-language page reports that of six original bidders to the tender, two were shortlisted, one of which was IWI.

Named after the Israeli desert and with a 7.62x51mm (standard NATO) caliber, and an effective range of at least 500m, the weapon (see cover image) is semi-automatic and exceptionally light (8.8kg) and can be fired from a variety of platforms, ranging from helicopters, land vehicles and naval vessels and more, the paper says.

The old Negev NG5s are reaching the end of their life cycle and are no longer in production

Last year, approximately 1,500 automatic weapons were delivered for 16 million euros, new sniper rifles are in the procurement, the test firings of which took place this week.

Israel first procured Negev LMGs from Israel in 1993

The earlier NG5 model is still in use with the EDF's Scouts Battalion (S)

EDF veterans found the weapon, at least the older model, effective, though that one could be fired both using a magazine and belt-fed ammo; the newer version is belt-fed only, which in any case had fewer reliability issues than the old magazines, EDF Sgt. Mario Nõlvak told AK.

Other modifications for the EDF and Defense League versions of the weapon include an adjusted stock design and changes to the scopes.

The full consignment of Negev NG7s is due in-country by year-end.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

Source: 'Aktuaalne kaamera', Postimees

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