Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan announced last week, that the Government of Canada will acquire 1,148 new C6A1 FLEX General Purpose Machine Guns (GPMG) from Colt Canada. This purchase demonstrates the government’s promise under the new defence policy to modernize, renew and restore Canada’s military with the tools needed to succeed in operations.

“The Government of Canada is committed to providing the Canadian Armed Forces with the modern equipment they need to successfully carry out operations at home and abroad,” Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan said in a statement. “This purchase will replace equipment that was procured over 30 years ago and will ensure that the CAF are properly equipped and continue to be ready for operations.”

A number of the guns purchased over three decades ago is no longer in service due to wear and tear while the others are reaching the end of their service life. This is a much-needed purchase that will equip the CAF with modern GPMG to support training and operations.

The new C6A1 FLEX features a durable polymer butt stock instead of the current wooden style and is designed to be carried by soldiers or attached to vehicles like the Tactical Armoured Patrol Vehicle (TAPV). The new machine gun comes with the option to attach pointing devices and optical sighting systems to increase operational effectiveness.

C6A1 Prototype. Credit DND.

The contract with Colt Canada is valued at $32.1 million (taxes included) and will result in approximately 13 new jobs and contribute to maintaining approximately 100 jobs at the company. The procurement includes related equipment such as a cleaning and repair kit, spare parts, and sling to carry the weapon.

The first batch of the new C6 is expected in September 2018 with the final delivery set for June 2019.