I wanted to do a big post on the M2 machine gun and the failure to find a replacement for it after last week’s announcement that the US Army was going to be ordering (mentioned in Linkzookery) nearly 30,000 new M2s. I wanted to follow up on March’s Still looking for a new Ma Deuce. The alternatives just haven’t got it done.
Well, Strategy Page beat me to it: Irreplaceable.
UPDATE: In the comments:
The lightweight .50 only has one realistic application – use on a lightweight remote weapons station, where you don’t have the weight budget to absorb the recoil of an M2. Otherwise, it’s an unnecessary capability. The .50 machine gun will always, and should always, be a mounted (or fixed site) system. The days of the dismounted .50 maneuvering on the modern battlefield are gone. Why? Because no matter how much you lighten the gun, you still don’t have the weight budget to hump 100-round cans of .50 ammo around, and the ammo ain’t getting any lighter. The 20 lbs different between the two guns is negligible in a mounted role (remote weapons stations aside). So the light weight argument for the XM312 is a red herring.