Philippines to purchase new 5.56mm Squad Automatic Weapons for Marines


A light machine gun providing fire suppression during operations. Photo c/o

The Philippine Navy (PN) is in the process of acquiring new 5.56mm Squad Automatic Weapons (SAW) for the Philippine Marine Corps, with the acquisition tender already ongoing.

The procurement, with a budget of PHP100 million (US$2 million) is being done through public bidding, with the tender closing on 24 August 2021. Delivery is expected to be completed within 300 calendar days from release of the project's Notice to Prceed (NTP).

According to Philippine defense page Philippine Defense Resource, the requirement for 160 units of new 5.56mm light machine guns with reflex optic sights, plus several 200-round box magazines and 30-round STANAG M16 magazines and other accessories.

The project specifications also mentioned that the SAWs should have rail interface per MIL STD 1913 or Picatinny Rail, with a gas-operated, rotating bolt operating system, striker-fired firing pin firing mechanism, and air cooled design.

The specifications also mentioned the weight of the new SAW to be between 6.0 kilograms to 8.16 kilograms, and an overall length between 800 millimetres to 1,041.40 millimetres.

It was mentioned also that the quantity was only enough to re-arm the Philippine Marine Corps' Marine Special Operations Group (MARSOG) or a standard Marine Battalion.

Currently the PMC has 1 Assault Armor Battalion and 12 Marine Rifle Battalions, utilizing the M60E3/E4 7.62mm light machine gun which is considered heavier and longer than the specified new 5.56mm SAW.

Aside from the M60E3/E4, the Philippine Marine Corps also operate the newer M60E6, as well as the FN Herstal Minimi 5.56mm SAW, both of which are operated by the MARSOG.

Another Philippine defense page, MaxDefense Philippines, believes that the IWI Negev NG5 from Israel is spot-on the technical specifications of the 5.56mm SAW acquisition project

[1] Philippine Defense Resource
[2] MaxDefense Philippines

Philippines to purchase new 5.56mm Squad Automatic Weapons for Marines Philippines to purchase new 5.56mm Squad Automatic Weapons for Marines Reviewed by Asia Pacific Defense Journal on August 23, 2021 Rating: 5

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