H&K’s New Machine Gun


Paris — Heckler & Koch displayed its new HK 121 MG here at Eurosatory 12. It’s a 7.62mm version of  its MG4 light MG. The HK 121 comes on the heals of Israel Weapon Industries release of its NG7 7.62mm Negev LMG.

It’s hard to tell much about it from the show floor, except that the HK 121 weighs in at approximately 24 pounds, which is a noticeable seven pounds heavier than the NG7. It’s also six pounds heavier than FN’s MK 48 LMG.

Oh well, it weighs slightly less than the Germany Army’s MG3, the MG H&K officials hope to replace with the 121. It  has a cyclic rate 600 to 800 rounds per minute. Like the MG4, its stock folds to the left side of the weapon.

About the Author

Matthew Cox
Matthew Cox has been a defense reporter since 1998 and is an associate editor for Military.com. He traveled to Afghanistan and Iraq numerous times from 2002 to 2008, covering infantry units in combat. Matthew was an infantryman in the 82nd Airborne Division.

12 Comments on "H&K’s New Machine Gun"

  1. Looks like HK married a Negev with a M-240! Id still keep the old MG-3 for a fixed weapon since its firepower cant be beat even by new MGs. Id would see this for mobile German infantry though.

  2. People forget that a MG´s weight is closely connected to its durability. This one is going to replace 1000´s of vehicle mounted/coaxial MG´s of the german army eventually, so lifetime of parts is pretty imortant here. NG7 may be lighter, but that comes at a cost.

  3. Technoweapon | June 11, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Reply

    TheDude is correct. Unless new materials have been created that I haven't heard about then these weapons will suffer. I'm always beating my drums about materials. Focus on them! Make stronger, lighter, resilient metals! Maybe I'm just ahead of my time but this isn't 1960. Weapons shouldn't be half the weight they are now.

    Excuse the babbling. The weapon looks great. Love the folding stock. And I'm a fan of the ability to have mounted/dismounted heavy weapons.

    God I hate that word. Heavy

    • I take it none of the commenter's above are 0331's (or Army equivalent) who have to hump the gun while wearing full combat load. I always find it amusing all the articles on this website for new gear/gadgets and the manufacturer's reps talking about how great and practical their new product is. Sure it's lightweight and no big deal when you're standing around an office room. Now add your plate carrier/OTV/MTV, your SAPIs, your kevlar, your ammo, your comm gear, your NVGs, your pouches, your IFAK and tourniquet, your water source….

  4. Greetings, i agree with TheDude as well. Heckler & Koch is aiming the HK121 squarely on the market to replace vehicle koax and RWS mounted MG3's. That means those in all MBT Leopard 2 and IFV Marder and Puma – not squad level. Rheinmetall was asked by the german army to remanufacture spares for the MG3 – so stock levels of spares for MG3's are already depleting.

  5. HK is dangerously close to jumping the shark.

  6. The MG3, aka the WWII MG42 was arguably the best light/medium mechinegun of WWII and is still a great weapon. Sometimes its hard to improve on perfection. You can tweek around the edges, but the basic platform is hard to beat.

  7. preach on brother, I know I wouldn't want to hump that for an extended period of time. 24lbs combined with all your gear would be hard as **** on your body.

  8. Pkm remains king I guess.

  9. Uh just one thing Matt it was demoed about 18 months ago——

  10. True that MG3 puts alot of lead down the range and its great for large groups of people.
    The downside of MG3 is that it is a area weapon, it isnt as accurate as FN MAG, 240 and etc. its also heavy, to high rate fo fire and its hard to clean.

    I would love to see 121 MG to take over for MG3 and FN MAG here in Norway.

  11. Can you be more specifics?

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