The Negev is an Israeli 5.56mm machine gun (LMG) developed by Israel Military Industries Ltd. (now Israel Arms Industries) as a replacement for the 5.56mm Galil machine gun, which tilted due to overheating. Design work on a new product lasted from 1985 to 1990, until the weapon went through the necessary testing phase before it was adopted by the Israeli army in 1997. The Negev is still the standard machine gun of the Israeli army today (2013).
Manufacturing is now under the Israel Arms Industries Ltd (IWI) brand. In production since 1995.
The Negev relies on automatic pneumatic action, using the rotating bolt function to achieve a prescribed rate of fire of 850 to 1,150 rounds per minute (one regulator allows three presets). In a pneumatic system, the gun uses gas released on the barrel to move a short-stroke piston located below the barrel.
Operation is further controlled by a semi/fully automatic selector switch. The Negev features a chrome quick-change barrel assembly with a slotted flash suppressor for concealed, sustained fire, and an integrated carry handle to aid in changing overheated barrels. The firing of rifle grenades required modifications, so a multifunctional muzzle device was later developed.
Iron sights are closed and consist of an adjustable front post for height and wind resistance. The rear opening sight features a height adjustment drum that can be easily rotated with two fingers to allow range adjustment from 300 meters to 1,000 meters.
In night combat, the weapon is equipped with Betalight tritium gas rounds - one that can be mounted on the front sight and two that can be mounted on the notched sights below the standard sight. The barrel can also be fitted with optional mounting hardware, allowing the Negev to deploy a laser designator or reflex sight.
The machine gun has a side-folding metal side rest (right gusset) and a detachable bipod attached to the foreguard. Israeli Army personnel asked the IMI to make the weapon "vehicle-friendly" so that the receiver would have hooks to attach the weapon to the vehicle's cradle.
The Negev chamber fits the standard 5.56x45mm NATO cartridge and is optimized for the SS109 cartridge. During field maintenance, the weapon is divided into six main groups: barrel, stock, gun mount, bolt action, bipod, and recoil mechanism. All parts, including quick-change barrels, are fully interchangeable. In addition to the 200-round metal chain strap that comes standard, the NEGEV LMG can be issued from a 150-round magazine (inserted into the magazine well), a 35-round box magazine (from the Galil assault rifle). , a standard STANAG-style 30-round detachable magazine (from the M-16 rifle - by using an adapter) and a 12-round "blank" magazine when firing rifle grenades.
The Negev NG7, a new shape introduced in 2012, now holds the standard 7.62x51mm NATO rifle cartridge for improved range penetration.
The Negev evolved from its basic LMG form into the 1998 Negev Commando, a lightweight, compact version with a shorter barrel of 13 inches and an overall length of 26.8 inches. The command was later renamed Special Forces Negev (SF), possibly also known as "Assault Negev".
Negev exports to Colombia, Costa Rica, Estonia, Georgia, India, Mexico, Paraguay, Poland, Thailand and Vietnam. To date, it has had significant combat service with the Israeli army, including the 2006 Lebanon War.
- Fire Support/Suppression/Defense
1020 mm (40.16 in)
460 mm (18.11 in)
Adjustable front and rear irons; optional optics
Gas powered; rotating bolt; selective fire
3,000 feet-per-second (914 meters-per-second)
3,280 ft (1,000 m; 1,093 yd)
Negev LMG - Base Series Designation; light machine gun form chambered for 5. 56x45mm NATO cartridge; adopted in 1997.
Negev NG7 - Chambered for the 7. 62x51mm NATO cartridge; appearing in 2012.
Negev "Commando" ("Assault Negev" / "Negev Special Forces - SF") - Shortened, lightened form of the base LMG; primarily issued to special forces elements.