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STK 50MG

Heavy machine gun

STK 50MG

The Singaporean heavy machine gun was patterned after a cancelled American Dover Devil

 
 
Country of origin Singapore
Entered service 1988
Caliber 12.7 x 99 mm (.50 BMG)
Weight (unloaded, without feed chutes and tripod adaptor) 30 kg
Length 1 778 mm
Barrel length 1 143 mm
Muzzle velocity 890 m/s
Cyclic rate of fire 400 - 600 rpm
Practical rate of fire 80 - 100 rpm
Magazine capacity Belt-fed
Sighting range ?
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 start replacing Browning M2 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 accurately.

   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.

   A 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.

   A reflex 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.

   While the 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.

 

Variants

 

   Pindad 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).

   MA-16 (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.

 

Mark Soo

   Article by Mark Soo

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STK 50MG

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STK 50MG

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STK 50MG

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STK 50MG

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STK 50MG

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STK 50MG

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STK 50MG

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