The Spanish Army (ET) has a short-term program to improve the firepower of its units, a provision that provides for the acquisition of a diverse range of weapon systems. The so-called Specific Light Weapons Acquisition Plan ET 2021-2024 aims to strengthen a range of capabilities, expand the deployment of some light weapons systems and incorporate new models that are already clearly required by different units and groups.
The logistics department responds to an official question we have asked and informs us that the ongoing actions include the inclusion of weapon systems characterized by great firepower: in particular machine guns.
There are two work areas in which solutions other than those already in operation are to be integrated. These now include the light solutions with 5.56 x 45 mm, the medium ones with 7.62 x 51 mm and the heavy ones with 12.70 x 99 mm. The latter are taking steps to complete the current provision, which is specifically aimed at armored vehicles and aircraft. The current Browning M2HB (High Barrel), many of which already contain a quick barrel change provision, has been in use for many years and, despite the fact that lots have been received, there is a clear need to renew some of the existing lots had and replaced them with more current concepts of the same. For example, FNH (Fabrique Nationale Hestal), which it manufactures in its Belgian plant in Liege, offers solutions that are more in line with what is fashionable today.
The purchase of heavier machine guns is accompanied by the arrival of others who could also fire the same or different lighter cartridges that the Air Force ET (FAMET) transport helicopters could be equipped with. The aim is to expand the range of weapons already available with new large firepower weapons, including concepts with the multi-caliber minigun already included in the Navy Air Weapon. The volume of fire is very interesting for influencing the immediate suppression of a particular threat.
A third advance that should be completed in two or three years is betting on a new model of medium machine gun. Apart from some FN MAG and M60 in the FAMET today, the efficient and solid but old MG42 / 58 is the one that has more diffusion. Although it is widely accepted, it is a model with decades of continuous use.
One of the options being considered for the swap is the Heckler & Koch MG5 – we mustn’t forget that the ET already works with the same manufacturer’s lightweight MG4s and that the MOE is already getting them – even though we know that if so, we will bet on a lighter model that will focus on the needs of specific groups such as paratroopers or legionnaires or even the MOE. It is important to state that these purchases are escorted as it is already a reality today that you will be needed with state of the art onlookers, daytime and infrared laser lighting systems. On some models, you can even add a silencer to your muzzle to reduce the noise made by your shots and for maximum discretion. (Octavio Dec Cmara)
Photo: The arrival of the NH90 helicopters at III. Maneuver helicopter battalion in Agoncillo resulted in the reception of the new M3M heavy machine gun from FNH. (Octavio Dec Cmara)
It has been speculated from various areas that the HK MG5 was the natural replacement for the MG42 / 58, so that the immediate purchase of a batch of it that is complementary to the batch already requested by the MOE cannot be ruled out. (Octavio Dec Cmara)
The use of Browning M2 heavy machine guns is widespread, and old and worn-out machine guns need to be replaced with new ones. (Octavio Dec Cmara)
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