Siobhan Cassidy
2 minute read
1 Oct 2016
5:30 am

Denel’s new machine gun hits bulls-eye

Siobhan Cassidy

The state arms-manufacturer said the new weapon represents a major leap forward in weapons design, weighing 20% less than its predecessor.

A Browning 50 calibre machine gun at the SANDFs stand showcasing all their capabilities at the Rand Show in Nasrec, 18 April 2014. Picture Neil McCartney

A challenge to three young engineers to improve on an infantry soldier’s most trusted ally, the machine gun, has resulted in an almost 20% lighter weapon that is already being offered to current and prospective international clients, Denel said yesterday.

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A spokesperson for the arms company said the three young employees of Denel Land Systems (DLS) – Dakalo Nekhumbe, Phindile Mashaba and Marumo Talane – took enthusiastically to the challenge to make the machine gun lighter and easier to handle without compromising firepower or reliability.

The company said the three, who are products of the Denel Engineering Academy, applied “outof-the-box thinking”. The result of their efforts was a new generation, lightweight machine gun – the DMG-5 – which made its debut at the recent Africa Aerospace and Defence show at the Waterkloof Air Force Base.

Denel said the weapon’s innovative and revolutionary features immediately attracted attention among visitors from the global defence media, industry and the public. The Denel spokesperson said they expected to start deliveries of the DMG-5 in early 2017.

Denel said soldiers on the move rely on the sustained firepower offered by a machine gun, but such weapons can be heavy. The existing SS77 manufactured by Denel met requirements regarding firepower, durability and reliability. But soldiers and weapon designers were always searching for improvements – in this case a machine gun that was lighter to carry and easier to handle – without compromising on firepower and accuracy.

Stephan Burger, CEO of Denel Land Systems, said Mashaba, Nekhumbe and Talane met the challenge “with great enthusiasm and professionalism”.

Denel said the new weapon represents a major leap forward in weapons design. A weight reduction of almost 20% had been achieved: the DMG-5 tips the scales at a mere 8.3kg compared with the 10.3kg of the standard SS77.

Among the design changes is a new barrel design, new cocking handles, new flash hiders, and lightweight trigger housing. With each change in design precious grams were shaved off the weight without compromising on stability and durability.

Africa News Agency