SEOUL, Dec. 15 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korea on Wednesday started deploying new 7.62 mm-caliber machine guns to the Army under a project to replace the existing decades-old equipment and reinforce combat capabilities, the arms procurement agency said.
The K-16 machine guns will supplant K-3 and M60 guns as a bedrock asset of the military’s fire power, the first such replacement in three decades, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) said.
The K-16 gun’s operational range is 30-percent longer than the K-3 gun and its destructive power is about double that of the K-3, according to DAPA. The military plans to deploy them to all armed services by 2024.
The new machine guns will be supplied along with thermal weapon sights, which will allow troops to accurately detect targets even at nighttime or foggy conditions, the administration said.
SNT Motiv Co., a local defense firm, developed the K-16, while the thermal scope is supplied by Eo System Co. under the procurement project estimated at 124.2 billion won (US$104.7 million).
“With significantly enhanced power, range, and reliability, the 7.62mm machine gun-II and companies’ first thermal scopes will improve the combat capabilities of small units,” the DAPA said in a press release.