IWI’s Negev Production Line (IWI)

Israel’s IWI recently made a significant flex with the posting of a photo of their Negev light machine gun production line. The photo features Negev LMGs for as far as the eye can see. Posted simply with the caption: “Just another day in the office, NEGEV production line”

If we take each rack as having 6 guns and, from the guy standing in the background on the right, if we assume the racks three levels then we can guess that in this photo there are perhaps 400 Negevs visible with many more likely out of shot.

The Negev has been the Israeli Defence Force’s primary light machine gun since 1997 with the 7.62x51mm NG-7 introduced later. The weapon is short-stroke gas piston-driven, belt-fed, select-fire with the NG-5 capable of having a dual field giving the option of belt or box magazine feeding – much like the FN Minimi (or M249 SAW).

An older example of the IWI Negev NG-5. Note the magazine well below the receiver to take STANAG mags and the added Pic rail colar on the barrel. The NG-5 has been in service with the IDF since the late 1990s  (Zachi Evenor)

The weapons pictured are the updated Negev with top rail space (which has the standard adjustable rear sight) and rails mounted to the forend. They also have M4 style collapsing buttstocks. Next to each gun is a serialised spare barrel, with each barrel appearing to have a ‘-2’ suffix. It’s unclear if these are 5.56x45mm NG-5 SFs or 7.62x51mm NG-7 SFs, but I would guess that the guns in the foreground at least are the latter. The NG-7 SF has a 420mm or 16.5-inch barrel while the standard NG-7 has a 508mm barrel.

NG-7 SF Specs: 

Caliber: 7.62X51mm
Rifling: 4 RH Grooves, 1:12″ twist
Barrel length (mm): 420 (16.5″)
Total length exstended (mm): 1,012
Total length retracted (mm): 942
Weight (Kg) (weapon only): 7.8
Rate of fire (approx. rd./min): 600~750 (position 1 & 2)

Matthew Moss

Matthew Moss


TFB – Assistant Editor
OvertDefense.com – Editor

Matt is a British historian specialising in small arms development and military history. He has written for a variety of publications in both the US and UK, he also runs www.historicalfirearms.info, a blog that explores the history, development and use of firearms. Matt is also co-founder of www.armourersbench.com, a video series on historically significant small arms.
Here on TFB he covers current military small arms news.

Reach Matt at: [email protected]

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