General Dynamics [GD] Armament and Technical Products unit announced it will develop a lightweight .50 caliber (12.7mm) machine gun (LW50MG) weapon system under a $9 million contract from the Army Joint Munition and Lethality Life Cycle Management Command.

The contract will fund development of the gun and system components such as the tripod, vehicle adapter assembly and Blank Firing Adapter (BFA).

The LW50MG has significantly less recoil and is lighter than current weapons, a company statement said. It will be easier for warfighters to carry and will provide them with the potential for increased accuracy and lethality in combat.

Production and fabrication work will be performed at the General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products facility in Saco, Maine. Development work performed at the company’s technology center in Burlington, Vt.

“Our Lightweight .50 Caliber machine gun represents a new generation of weapon systems,” Robert Cavoretto, senior program manager of General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products’ gun systems, said. “It offers unprecedented mobile lethality to warfighters, giving them the critical edge.”

The Saco facility is the General Dynamics’ core production facility for single- and multi-barrel aircraft and crew-served weapon systems. The site provides complete production capabilities, from design and development to manufacturing, testing and integration. Products manufactured at the facility include the MK47 40mm Grenade Weapon System and the M2HB .50 caliber (12.7 mm) machine gun.