Country of origin
12.7 x 99 mm (.50 BMG)
Weight (unloaded, without feed chutes and tripod
1 778 mm
Cyclic rate of fire
400 - 600 rpm
Practical rate of fire
80 - 100 rpm
Range of effective fire
1 830 m
The STK 50MG
is a Singaporean heavy machine gun. It was created and designed in
the 1980s by Chartered Industries of Singapore (CIS) in response to
requests made by the Singaporean Ministry of Defense in order to
machine guns that were used by the Singaporean Armed Forces (SAF).
The idea was to ease the logistics and supply chains of SAF
while using a new heavy machine gun, chambered for readily available
.50 BMG ammunition. CIS engineers studied the cancelled American
Dover Devil general purpose heavy machine gun project, which had
modular design and could be used for any situation in the
battlefield. Though the CIS engineers relied on modern production
techniques. The new Singaporean heavy machine gun was introduced in
1988. Initially this weapon was marketed as the CIS 50MG. However in
1999 the CIS was acquired by Singapore Technologies Engineering and
merged into Singapore Technologies Kinetics (STK). So the name of
this weapon was changed. Letters "STK" in the designation denote the
company, number "50" denotes "50 caliber" and letters "MG" denote
that it is a "Machine Gun". Sometimes this weapon is simply referred
as STK 50. In Singapore this heavy machine gun is being used in all
service branches of the SAF and with the Police Coast Guard. The SAF
uses it with infantry, armored/unarmored vehicles and on naval
vessels. The Police Coast Guard primarily uses it on their patrol
craft boats as a primary weapon against ships or other water
vehicles that intrude on Singaporean territorial waters. Meanwhile,
the STK 50MG has been exported to Bangladesh and Nigeria. Both
countries use them on their navy ships and vessels. This weapon is
also license-produced in Indonesia and Myanmar.
The STK 50MG
is a gas-operated, air-cooled, belt-fed machine gun. It operates
with dual gas pistons positioned in two gas tubes on both sides of
the barrel. A rotary bolt with multiple radial lugs is used to lock
the barrel in place, removing the need to use headspace adjustments.
The open bolt design is meant to reduce the situation where a
“cook-off” event happens whenever the machine gun is being used. The
adoption of the constant-recoil system, based on the Ultimax 100
light machine gun series, allows the STK 50MG to be fired
It operates in either semi-auto or full-auto mode, which can
be chosen by using a push type selector near the trigger group. With
dual feeds present, it allows the gunner to easily change which ammo
to use with the weapon. All types of .50 BMG ammunition, including
ball, Saboted Light Armor Penetrator (SLAP) which is commonly used
with autocannons, and M1A1 blank rounds, can be used.
quick-change barrel is present, allowing the gunner and another
operator to quickly change the barrel within seconds without relying
on adjusting the headspace. It has a carrying handle mounted on top
to allow ease of transporting it. The spade-type grips are at the
back with the thumb trigger.
The STK 50MG can be used with the M3, lightweight or
anti-aircraft tripod with a sight bracket mounted on top of the
receiver. A pintle mount is used for utility/logistic vehicles and
ships. A softmount option is available for vehicles that have this
mount option, giving the gunner accuracy and good control on the
weapon. A ringmount can be used for any utility/logistics vehicles.
Furthermore, it can also be used with a STK 40/50 cupola weapon
station for mounting on armored personnel carriers or infantry
fighting vehicles as a standard weapon. A Remote Control Weapon
Station option is also available for the gunner to use it without
being exposed to gunfire and other harmful elements.
sight can be mounted on top to provide effective shooting on
stationary or moving targets. A night vision sight can be mounted on
top for shooting in low light conditions.
The STK 50MG
is usually issued with a cleaning kit, a gun log book and an
operator’s manual as standard. Optional equipment includes a spare
barrel, gun cover, the reflex/night vision/sight, ammo box bracket,
sight adaptor, blank firing adaptor and a tripod adaptor.
STK 50MG has no direct variants, the weapon has been produced under
licensing agreements. Indonesia has adopted it as the Pindad SMB-QCB
(Senapan Mesin Berat-Quick Change Barrel) under PT Pindad. According
to Indonesian defense articles, Indonesia acquired the rights in
2002. Myanmar has adopted it as the MA-16 (Myanmar Army-16) under
the Directorate of Defense Industries.
SMB-QCB (Senapan Mesin Berat-Quick Change Barrel) is the Indonesian
license-produced version of the STK 50MG. According to Indonesian
defense articles, Indonesia acquired the production rights in 2002.
In Indonesia, it is used as the standard heavy machine gun for the
Tentara Nasional Indonesia – Angakatan Darat (Indonesian Army).
(Myanmar Army-16) is a Myanma designation of the STK 50MG. Myanma
sources indicate that it is based on the STK 50MG, but there is no
evidence to suggest it. The Tatmadaw Kyee (Myanmar Army) has adopted
it and is in the process of replacing their Browning M2s in service.
Article by Mark Soo
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