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GPMG - General Purpose Machine Gun

The L7A2 GPMG, or 'GIMPY', is a 7.62x61mm belt-fed general purpose machine gun. The GPMG has been in service with the British military for decades.

The GPMG can be carried by foot soldiers (one per section) and employed as a light machine gun (LMG). For a time, the GPMG was phased out in this role in favour of the L110 Light Machine Gun and/or the L86 Light Support Weapon (LSW). Since 2019, however, the GPMG regained its place as the section's LMG.

The GPMG can also be mounted on vehicles, helicopter, boats and in fixed positions. When mounted on a tripod, the GPMG may be used in 'sustained fire' (SF) mode. In SF mode, the GPMG, with a 2-man crew, lays down 200 rounds-per-minute at ranges up to 1800 meters and, when fitted with a C2 sight, can engage targets not in direct line of sight. The 'beaten zone' suppressed by multiple GPMGs is phenomenal.

UKSF, Paras and Royal Marines put the GPMG on their WMIK Land Rovers and Jackal vehicles.. The SAS have been known to have up to 3 GPMGs mounted on one vehicle.

3 para with GPMG
A 3 PARA soldier armed with GPMG configured for personal carry - the bipod is folded beneath the barrel. There are typically one GPMGs carried per infantry section.
U.S. DoD photo


GPMG in SF mode
2-man British Army machine gun team operate a tripod-mounted GPMG in sustained fire (SF) mode. Infantry company's machine gun platoons may use SF GPMGs to lay down considerable suppression fires.
U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Walter E. van Ochten, 118th MPAD TNARNG


GPMG on Jackal
The commander's station of a Royal Anglian Regiment Jackal seen here fitted with a General Purpose Machine Gun.
U.S. DoD photo


GPMG mounted on warship
A crewman of HMS Mersey mans a GPMG mounted on side of the warship. Royal Navy vessels may deploy the GPMG ina force protection role, guarding against small surface threats. Note the EOTEch holographic sight fitted to the weapon.
Image by LPhot Rory Arnold | © UK MOD / Crown Copyright 2021
Used under Open Government Licence


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