Georgian Armed Forces intend to replace their Russian-made PKM machineguns with M249, the U.S. analog of the weapon. Georgia’s Defense Ministry reported that on May 30.
‘A demonstration of U.S.-made M249 machinegun took place at the NATO-Georgia joint training and evaluation centre in Krtsanisi. Georgian defense minister Levan Izoriya and U.S. ambassador Ian Kelly joined the event,’ the authority said.
The demonstration took place within the visit of Rose Gottemoeller, NATO Deputy Secretary General, who came to Georgia during the spring session of NATO Parliamentary Assembly.
M249 is the American adaptation of the Belgian FN Minimi, a light machine gun manufactured by the Belgian company company FN Herstal. The M249 is manufactured in the United States by the local subsidiary FN Manufacturing LLC in South Carolina and is widely used in the U.S. Armed Forces. The weapon was introduced in 1984 after being judged the most effective of a number of candidate weapons to address the lack of automatic firepower in small units. The M249 provides infantry with the high rate of fire of a machinegun combined with accuracy and portability approaching that of a rifle.