In the 1980s, the Taiwanese government made a concerted effort to produce an increasing amount of indigenous weapons to fulfill growing military requirements and thusly lessening reliance on importation of foreign weapons. Looking to upgrade stocks of their light machine guns (including locally-produced American M60 and older M1919 types), the government ordered copies of the FN Minimi. After some intense study of the Belgian design, the Taiwanese defense industry revealed the similar indigenous T75 Light Machine Gun to overtake existing types in the squad support role. Design work on the T75 began in 1983 and spanned into 1985 to which production began in 1987 out of the 205th Armory. The T75 then began formal service in 1992 and today remains the standard squad automatic weapon of the Republic of China Army (Taiwan). Sources dictate that the T75 is nothing more than a slightly modified unlicensed copy of the FN Minimi itself.
Outwardly, the T75 LMG showcases an appearance not unlike that of the Belgian design which undoubtedly influenced its development. One of the key differentiating features is its use of an M60-style bipod. The stock is made of durable steel and is tubular in its general shape. The weapon is chambered for the 5.56x45mm NATO cartridge and is fed via a 200-round disintegrating link belt (reports vary on acceptance of M16-style STANAG magazine use). The action is centered around the tried and true gas-operation which allows for variable rates-of-fire between 600 and 900 rounds per minute. The gas cylinder is fitted under the barrel in a conventional fashion and shrouded over by a forend assembly. A carrying handle is fitted off of the right side of the receiver. The weapon is managed through a traditional pistol grip/trigger unit under the receiver rear. Iron sights are provided while effective range is approximately 800 meters. Overall weight is 7.5 kilograms with an overall length of 1110mm. While the T75 is generally issued for support fire at the squad level (with its standard bipod), the weapon has also been designed to accept a heavy duty tripod for the sustained fire role.
A version of the T75 intended for special operatives is known to have a shorter barrel assembly and folding stock, the latter feature collapsing over the left side of the receiver. Both qualities allow for a more compact form.
It is noteworthy that the FN Minimi makes up the squad automatic weapon role for various countries including the US (as the M249 SAW), Canada (as the C9) and Australia (as the F89).
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