The General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG) has been around since the mid-1930s when the Germans introduced the MG34 series (detailed elsewhere on this site). This air-cooled, belt-fed weapon was used in a myriad of roles for the Germans: at the squad-level, as fixed, defensive airspace-denial weapons, on vehicles and in aircraft. This multi-faceted functionality lent itself well to the changing requirements of war and made the MG34, and its successor the MG42, a classic weapon of the war.
The GPMG remains a staple of modern militaries through examples like the American M60 and M240, the Soviet-Russian PK and the Belgian FN MAG. For the Republic of Korea Army of South Korea, S&T Motiv produces the "K12" GPMG. It was unveiled in prototype form as the XK12 in 2009 and entered serial production in 2012 (still ongoing). The K12 was adopted to succeed the aging line of imported and locally-produced M60 GPMGs in service (produced locally under license by Daewoo).
The K12 is chambered for the readily-available 7.62x51mm NATO rifle cartridge which gives good penetrative power at range. The weapon has a range of about 800 meters and can achieve a rate-of-fire between 650 and 950 rounds-per-minute. Feeding is by way of a disintegrating belt making the K12 a true machine gun system.
The rectangular receiver makes up much of the bulk of the weapon. At rear is fitted a sliding (collapsible) shoulder stock as well as spade grips. Under the receiver is also a pistol grip so the weapon can be quickly converted to any needed role desired. The barrel is of a quick-change design and extends out over the front of the weapon in traditional fashion. Under the barrel is the gas cylinder which allows for regulation of pressures that affect the rate-of-fire. Iron sights are fitted over the receiver and barrel but a section of Picatinny rail seated over the receiver supports installation of an optics set. Additional rails are seen at the sides of the barrel/gas cylinder position. A hinged, folding bipod is carried under the gas cylinder so the weapon can be quickly turned into a mobile light machine gun. Otherwise the weapon can be sat upon a pintle mounting on vehicles and in helicopters or installed on a heavy duty tripod for sustained fire in the fixed defense role.
The "XK-12C1", a derivative of the K12 family, is an in-development co-axial tank / vehicle version of this same gun. A heavier barrel has been introduced for sustained fire as has a solenoid actuated trigger system for firing from within a vehicle. These will replace M60C GPMGs currently in service with the Republic of Korea Army.
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Capable of suppressing enemy elements at range through direct or in-direct fire.
1,234 mm 48.58 in
560 mm 22.05 in
26.46 lb 12.00 kg
Iron Front and Rear; Optional Optics.
Gas-Operated; Rotating Bolt; Belt-Fed; Full-Automatic Fire Only
Rounds are automatically ejected from the breech, a new cartridge stripped from the feed and set in the chamber, and rounds are continuously fired so long as the trigger is pulled and an ammunition supply exists.
System utilizes internal mechanism to lock the breech or rear barrel assembly prior to firing.
Gas-operated system is featured, typically involving a gas cylinder and rear-driven piston directing energy to the bolt component.
(Material presented above is for historical and entertainment value and should not be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation - always consult official manufacturer sources for such information)
Rounds / Feed
*May not represent an exhuastive list; calibers are model-specific dependent, always consult official manufacturer sources. **Graphics not to actual size; not all cartridges may be represented visually; graphics intended for general reference only.
2,625 ft (800 m | 875 yd)
2,755 ft/sec (840 m/sec)
K12 - Base Series Designation
XK12 - Prototype Designation
XK12C1 - In-development tank/vehicle co-axial machine gun variant with heavier barrel assembly and solenoid activation.
Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns / operations.
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