The F89 is the Australian designation for the FN Minimi, which appears as the M249 SAW in the US inventory.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited:
Credit: Right side view of the Lithgow F89 light machine gun
Credit: Close-up detail view of the receiver on a Lithgow F89 machine gun; note box magazine in feed
Credit: Close-up view of the barrel on a practice Lithgow F89 machine gun
The Australian F89 light support machine gun is a derivative of the successful Belgium FN Minimi system, which has since been adopted into service by the United States of America, Italy, Belgium and Australia. This particular version of the FN Minimi is more similar to the United States production version better known as the M249 SAW (Squad Automatic Weapon) than the original base FN model. This particular F89 also varies from the FN model by incorporating Australian production techniques.
Classified as a light machine gun, the F89 fires the Australian SS109 cartridge. The weapon system is called upon to provide portable sustained and suppression fire for mobile fire teams. The system is fitted with a bipod for stationary support fire and can operate from a 30-round box magazine or a choice of 100-count or 200-count disintegrating link belts. No modification is needed in any use of ammunition feeds. Muzzle velocity of the system is reported at 3,000 feet per second with a cyclic rate of fire at 725 rounds per minute. In the sustained fire role, the system is capable of 850 rounds per minute.
Manufacturing Lithgow Small Arms - Australia
- Fire Support / Suppression / Defense
1,038 mm (40.87 in)
15.17 lb (6.88 kg)
Gas-Operated; Automatic Fire Only
3,281 ft (1,000 m; 1,094 yd)
F89 - Australian designation of the Belgium FN Minimi light machine gun.
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