The Government of Canada has purchased of 3,626 new C6A1 FLEX General Purpose Machine Guns (GPMG) from Colt Canada for the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan announced.
The contract, worth $96.97 million, was awarded under the Munitions Supply Program (MSP) administered by Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC). The procurement includes related equipment such as a cleaning and repair kit, spare parts, and sling to carry the weapon. This acquisition supplements the 1,148 C6A1 FLEX machine guns that were acquired by Canada in 2017.
“The purchase announced….will ensure that the Canadian Armed Forces continue to have a modern and reliable weapon to support training and operations”, according to a statement from Canada’s Department of National Defence.
First deliveries of the new GPMGs are anticipated for late-2020, with final deliveries anticipated in 2023.
“This needed investment continues our government’s commitment to provide the Canadian Armed Forces with the modern equipment they deserve. This purchase will provide the necessary tools to the women and men who serve, so they can do the important work we ask of them. As Strong, Secure, Engaged promised, our government continues to modernize military equipment for our troops”, said Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan.
As the Canadian Armed Forces’ current Belgian-designed C6 machine guns (Canadian variant of FN MAG designed by Fabrique Nationale (FN) Herstal) were procured over 30 years ago, the replacement of those removed from service due to wear and tear, and others that are reaching the end of their service life was essential.
The new C6A1 FLEX is designed to be carried by soldiers or attached to vehicles such as the Textron Tactical Armoured Patrol Vehicle (TAPV). The new fully-automatic guns are air-cooled and gas and spring-operated.
The new machine gun will feature a durable polymer buttstock instead of the current wooden stock. Additionally, soldiers will be able to attach pointing devices and optical sighting systems to the new weapon to help increase their operational and tactical effectiveness.