Today, we shine our spotlight on two Indian Troops carrying the Israel Weapon Industries (IWI) Negev Light Machine Gun (LMG). In the world of machine guns, light is a relative word. The Negev NG-5 weighs in at 16.9 lbs, about one pound lighter than the US M249 Squad Automatic Weapon.

An IDF soldier with an IWI Negev NG-7 is shown here during the Israel-Hamas war. Image Credit: Wikimedia


Meet the IWI Negev

The IWI Negev, also known as Negev NG-5, is a light machine gun manufactured by Israel Weapon Industries, previously known as Israel Military Industries Ltd. Developed in 5.56×45mm NATO caliber, the weapon is utilized by the Israeli Defense Forces and various other military units worldwide. In 2012, the Negev NG-7 was introduced, chambering the larger 7.62×51mm NATO round, enhancing its capabilities.

Development and Adoption

Originating in 1985 as a project to replace the Galil ARM, the Negev’s development was aimed at producing a reliable and versatile light machine gun. Officially adopted by the Israeli Defense Forces in 1997, the Negev has undergone rigorous testing and improvements over the years.

Operational Design

The Negev operates through a gas-operated, air-cooled mechanism with an open bolt and select-fire options, featuring a rotating bolt and a three-position gas regulator. Its design emphasizes reliability, particularly in challenging environments. The machine gun is equipped with a quick-change barrel, sporting a chrome lining and a slotted flash suppressor. Early models planned for a barrel suitable for lighter ammunition and a multifunctional muzzle device.

Aiming and Handling

For aiming, the Negev offers adjustable iron sights with a range of 300 to 1,000 meters and tritium inserts for night operations. The sight rail is affixed to the gun’s frame, maintaining accuracy over extended use. Some models of the Negev come with different stock configurations, including folding and adjustable types, enhancing its adaptability.

Bipod and Barrel Features

A key feature of the Negev is its bipod, which folds neatly under the handguard when not in use. Some variants also include a 45-degree forward grip for better control during assault situations. The barrel can be fitted with additional hardware, such as lasers or sights, and newer models offer Picatinny rails for even more customization.