A low-risk investment with high returns
Infantry weapons remain in service for decades. Many are used by reserve or home guard forces when withdrawn from front line units. Their configuration will evolve as upgrades are introduced, and guns suffer wear from use.
When a weapon is no longer repairable by replacing parts, it may be scrapped or put into long term storage. As budget constraints force difficult choices, armies have started to put more money and personnel into combat forces and less into “support” units, so there are fewer repair facilities and skilled personnel to undertake complex maintenance tasks. However, an almost worthless inventory can be transformed into high value operational equipment in a cost-effective manner, reducing the need to purchase new weapons.
A full range of services and projects
FN Herstal has always backed up its products with services that ensure long term customer satisfaction. One such service is help with Maintenance in Operational Condition. Services go from inspection and repair by replacing basic parts, reconfiguring weapons of earlier generations to the latest configuration, and more complex repair actions up to a full refurbishing project including renewing surface treatment. Projects can be limited to specific tasks on a certain number of guns, or can take on long-term maintenance of a fleet of weapons. The customer gets efficient and effective maintenance ensuring a high level of operational readiness for his weapons, and is freed from providing manpower to manage and work on maintenance, which does not need to be done by soldiers.
The exclusive FN® M2HB-QCB (Quick Change Barrel) design makes the barrel change easier, faster, and much safer. Older .50 Cal guns can be transformed by changing a few parts, supplied as a kit. FN MINIMI® machine guns can similarly be modernised with kits. The best time to apply these upgrades is during a complete overhaul of the guns.
Full quality assurance
Services provided can be extended to acceptance testing and certification as for new weapons, including inspection and test firing with test result data sheets, a certificate of conformity, and a guarantee covering the work carried out.
Responsible waste management
Weapons beyond cost-effective repair can be destroyed in a secure manner, unusable parts can become recycled plastic, aluminium or steel for a new life as raw materials.
A real-life example
Past projects include refurbishing and reconfiguration of Browning M2HB .50 Cal machine guns. Weapons manufactured during WW2 are still in store with many armies, but are too worn and unreliable for operational use. The guns were inspected, most selected for refurbishing, some stripped down to recover useable parts and sent for destruction. Useable guns went to the workshop, worn parts were repaired or replaced and surface treatment was renewed. The guns were reassembled using a conversion kit to transform them to the FN® QCB configuration. This project took old guns of an obsolete configuration and returned guns of modern configuration able to give years of reliable service.
Not only for FN® infantry guns
FN Herstal’s Maintenance in Operational Condition (MCO) Services can be applied to full range of the company’s own products, both infantry and weapon systems, and/or to weapons from other manufacturers.
FN® MCO services are part of a much larger, comprehensive program designated FN® ILS (Integrated Logistics Support), which covers a full spectrum of additional services, e.g., maintenance of the complete weapon system – including electronics, software, coding -, training, support and test equipment, and obsolescence management to name just a few. You will find full details about FN® ILS in a future edition of our Stay FN® Connected newsletter. Don’t want to miss it? If you are not yet subscribed, sign up now to our mailing list.
FN Herstal; a supplier with five-star credentials
Subcontracting work that is vital to the effective functioning of your force is a difficult decision, it is essential to have a reliable partner. When looking for someone to do armourer’s work, who better than a gun manufacturer with a rock-solid reputation, decades of experience, who may have designed and manufactured most of the weapons to be maintained?
FN Herstal is available to discuss your needs, and can make proposals tailored to specific requirements. Several European armed forces have projects in place, or are finalizing discussions to set up new projects.