Coaxial weapon system
The FN HERSTAL M3P machine gun is specifically used in the US Boeing Avenger surface-to-air missile system mounted on the AM General HMMWV (4x4). The weapon is mounted externally on the right side of the turret and fired by remote control from within the turret. It is fed from a box holding 250 rounds of ammunition.
Key features of this weapon are: the rate of fire is stabilised between 950 and 1,100 rds/min; a flash hider has been fitted to improve accuracy and reduce the infrared signature; solenoid firing; round counter; and a chrome-plated barrel. Depending on the specific application, both left- and right-hand feed is possible without additional parts.
For the Boeing Avenger application, the system consists of six key components: one 12.7 mm M3P machine gun; elastic cradle to reduce the recoil force; 250 round box of ammunition which is quick to reload; a flexible ammunition chute; remote charger which eliminates all cook-off risks and uncontrolled firing; and harmonisation mechanical interface allowing quick and accurate harmonisation both in azimuth and elevation. The Avenger air defence system is in service with the US Army and Marine Corps and has recently entered service with Taiwan. By mid-1999, total production of the 12.7 mm M3P coaxial machine gun for this application amounted to over 1,000 units.