FN Herstal, a Belgian designer and manufacturer of small caliber weapons and weapon systems, has announced that it was recently awarded a multiyear contract by the Norwegian Ministry of Defense for the production and provision of up to 4,000 7.62x51mm NATO caliber FN Minimi Mk3 (3rd generation) light machine guns and associated initial spare parts over a 7-year period, and for maintenance and support equipment over a 20-year period.
According to the company, this decision concludes a program initiated by the Norwegian ministry more than two years ago that included a series of technical evaluations and commercial negotiations in which FN Herstal competed against three American suppliers. Norway thus becomes the 37th country to select and standardize the FN Minimi 7.62 for its armed forces.
FN says that the decision is the latest proof of the trust placed in the company by Norway's Defense Ministry, which in 2010 awarded the company a sizeable contract, for the supply of first-generation 5.56x45mm NATO caliber FN Minimis, for the first time. It also marks a major success for FN not only due to the contract's size, but also because it confirms FN's position as the partner of choice for European and NATO armed forces, according to the company.