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Heckler & Koch HK121
Type General-purpose machine gun
Place of origin Germany
Service history
Used by See users
Production history
Designed 2010
Manufacturer Heckler & Koch
Produced 2010–present
Variants See variants
Cartridge 7.62×51mm NATO
Caliber 7.62 mm
Action Gas-operated, rotating bolt
Rate of fire 640/720/800 rounds/min
Muzzle velocity MG 5 A1: 840 m/s
MG 5 & MG 5 S: 810 m/s
MG 5 A2: 785 m/s
Effective range 600 m (bipod)
Maximum range 1,200–1,500 m (gun mount)
Feed system 50-round belt in drum container or 120-round belt in separate box
Sights Diopter sight[1]

The MG5 (formerly known as the HK121) is a general-purpose machine gun manufactured by Heckler & Koch. The weapon is intended as a replacement for the Rheinmetall MG3. The MG5 resembles the 5.56×45mm NATO Heckler & Koch MG4 light machine gun, which was adopted into German military service in 2005. In June 2013, it was announced that Germany was testing and evaluating 65 samples and planned to buy at least 7,114 of the machine guns for the Bundeswehr during 2014–2017, in a deal that over time could grow to 12,733 HK121s.[2]

Design details

The MG5 is gas-operated and chambered for the 7.62×51mm NATO round. The weapon's operation is almost similar to that of the MG4 light machine gun. The safety and three-position fire rate selector levers are ambidextrous, the butt stock can be folded depending on the variant, and numerous Picatinny rails allow installation of optical sights and other accessories. The quick-change barrel has a heat shield and a carrying/barrel exchange handle. A hot barrel can be replaced without protective gloves. The iron sights consist of a collapsible front sight and a height and windage adjustable rear diopter sight. The charging handle is on the right side of the weapon. For feeding, 50-round belted ammunition pouches or 120-round belted ammunition boxes can be mounted on the left side. The MG5 can be installed on all mounts and tripods originally developed for MG3 machine guns, using additional adapters.


Variant Overall length[A 1]
Barrel length
Weight[A 2]
MG5 (Universal) 1160 (960) 550 239 120 11.20 (3.00)
MG5 A2 (Infantry) 1060[A 3] 460 285 9.90 (2.50)
MG5 A1 (Mounted) 1055[A 3] 663 195 10.00 (3.24)
MG5 S (Special Forces) 1012[A 3] 550 239 171 12,10 (3,00)
  1. Overall length: Stock unfolded (Stock folded)
  2. Weight: Weapon (Barrel)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Fixed stock


  •  Germany: Fifteen Bundeswehr pre-production guns designated as MG5.[3] First batch of 1,215 MG5s ordered on 15 March 2015 for about €20 million.[4] The procurement process of 12,733 units, with a price tag of about €200 million, has been delayed due to accuracy concerns.[5]


  1. Weisswange, Jan-Phillipp; u. a (April 2010). "Handwaffen, Kampfmittel und Ausrüstung für den infanteristischen Einsatz" (in German). Bonn und Sulzbach: Report Verlag. 
  2. "...will der Bund von 2014 an bis zum Jahr 2017 mindestens 7114 Gewehre des Typs MG5 im Wert von 118 Millionen Euro kaufen. ... Später kann die Order laut Rahmenvertrag sogar auf bis zu 12.733 Maschinengewehre in einem Gesamtwert von rund 240 Millionen Euro anwachsen."

    "Heckler & Koch-Gewehre für die Bundeswehr" Retrieved 2013-07-27.
  3. Karin Zeger (2013-07-15). "Heckler & Koch: Großauftrag für Bundeswehr" (in German). Schwarzwälder Bote. 
  4. "H&K Troubles Continue: MG5 Under Scrutiny By German MoD". The Firearms Blog, 2015-06-10.
  5. "BREAKING: Delays Beset German MG5 Program, 7.62mm GPMG May Lack Accuracy". The Firearms Blog, 2015-09-09.

External links

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