The Canadian government is buying a little more than 3,600 machine guns to replace aging weapons in its stocks.
An earlier batch of new machine guns have already been delivered to some of the troops.
For this latest contract, the government is purchasing 3,626 new C6A1 FLEX General Purpose Machine Guns (GPMGs) from Colt Canada of Kitchener, ON. First deliveries of this batch of new GPMGs are anticipated in December 2020, with final deliveries in July 2023, the Department of National Defence noted in a news release. The value of the contract is $96.97 million but that includes taxes.
The guns feature a durable polymer butt stock instead of the current wooden style, according to the Department of National Defence.
Additionally, soldiers will be able to attach pointing devices and optical sighting systems to the new weapon to help increase their operational effectiveness.
The General Purpose Machine Gun usually sells to military forces for around $13,000. The DND says the cost for this purchase is around double because other gear and spare parts are being bought at the same time. “The total acquisition is 8,790 items, which includes 3,626 C6s and over 5,000 supplementary items, including a variety of spare parts, cleaning and repair kits, (and) slings to carry the GPMG,” DND spokesman Dan Le Bouthillier noted.
Some of the extra cost, however, is the premium to have the guns supplied by Colt Canada.
This was a non-competitive contract awarded to Colt Canada under the Munitions Supply Program. With the MSP, Canada has chosen to maintain the capability to produce military munitions and small arms domestically.
A number of the new weapons will be mounted on vehicles such as the Tactical Armoured Patrol Vehicle and the rest will be used to help replenish reserve stock, according to the DND.
The machine guns are to replace weapons that were purchased 30 years ago and are reaching the end of their service life. In July 2017 the Canadian government announced it was purchasing 1148 new C6A1 FLEX General Purpose Machine Guns from Colt Canada. The first batch of those guns has been delivered. Some are already in the hands of the soldiers.
The older C6 machine guns will eventually be taken out of service and declared surplus. “The eventual disposal plan will take into account the fact that the C6 GPMG is a prohibited firearm and various options will be assessed, including using them as in-classroom training aids for Canadian Armed Forces training schools, museum display, deactivation, sale, donation, or destruction through smelting,” the DND told Defence Watch.
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