Light Machine Guns

The IDF uses two primary LMG:

  • FN MAG 7.62 mm used for vehicle mounted and stationary application.

  • IWI Negev 5.56 mm LMG for man portable applications.

The MAG entered service in the IDF in the mid 1970's. In the mid 1980’s, as a following the Peace of Galilee War in 1982, the IDF realized it needed a light weight LMG that would replace the MAG for man portable applications. As the Negev was still on the drawing board at the time, the IDF was interested in procuring the Minimi which was already operational with other armed forces worldwide. The Minimi was successfully tested with the IDF and was scheduled for mass issue.

However, desired to field an Israeli made weapon resulted in the IDF waiting several years until IMI completed development of the Israeli made Negev. As an interim solution, during the 1980's and 1990's, the IDF SF units were issued equipped with Minimi, RPD and PK.

Eventfully, the Negev was introduced in 1997 replacing the MAG, RPD, PK and Minimi as the IDF standard issue man portable LMG.

The former Israeli Prime Minister, Ehoud Barak, then the IDF Chief of General Staff, test firing an early prototype of the Negev in 1992. Note that the weapon in photo is an pre-production prototype model lacking the barrel adapter for ITL AIM1/D found in the production version.

Weapons Guide