Turkey has announced the mass production of its first domestical produced heavy machine gun, the PMT 12.7mm. President of Turkish Defense Industries Ismail Demir shared the news on his social media accounts, saying:
“6-7 years ago, Turkey did not even have a rifle. Then we started producing various calibers of infantry rifles. In fact, we have begun to manufacture the high-caliber weapons on which they attempted to impose an embargo. Our 12.7mm machine gun is also designed to fire rapidly on a variety of platforms. We have begun mass production of our 12.7mm machine guns, after successfully completing the qualification processes. Deliveries to our security forces will continue as production ramps up. This means that our security forces have far superior weapons to their foreign counterparts. Thank you to everyone who took part.”
The PMT 12.7mm, also know as the CANiK M2 QCB 12.7mm Machine Gun, was developed as a part of the PMT project, which SYS carried out under the direction of the Turkish Presidency of Defense Industries (SSB) and was launched in 2018. Developing a domestic system to take the place of the American M2s in the Turkish Armed Forces inventory was the project’s primary goal. In this context, a 2-year design study was conducted by a 10-person R&D team at CANiK.
Another team worked concurrently on the industrialization of the design. In the second part of 2020, the PMT 12.7mm project’s prototype production and testing were completed. During the qualifying procedure of over 1 million rounds, the CANİK M2 QCB successfully passed high pressure, accelerated rain, salt mist, low and high temperatures, icing, and chemical testing.
The CANİK M2 QCB is based on the .50 caliber (12.7×99mm) US M2 Browning, one of the longest serving and most combat-tested heavy machine guns in the world. The M2 was developed by John Browning around the conclusion of World War I, and the United States has utilized it extensively as a vehicle weapon and aircraft armament since the 1930s. The M2 has established itself as a dependable, efficient, and effective weapon, having been used in active combat in a wide variety of conditions and methods for nearly 90 years, remaining virtually unchanged during that time. The alterations made to the weapon’s fundamental design consist of modifications to fulfil the requirements for use on various air and ground vehicles. As a result, the CANiK M2 QCB emerges as a traditional design that has been tested and proven in actual combat and modified to meet the demands of present-day and future battlefields.
In regards to the improvements CANİK have made the company claims that the gun has a firing pin, ejector, and barrel with twice the lifespan of its competitors. These three parts of the weapon are also the ones that wear the most with use.
The company also claims that the weapon’s operational performance in harsh environmental and demanding conditions has also improved as a result of the materials used and design adjustments made to it. The ability to put a variety of optical and lighting equipment on the machine gun is another improvement.
The CANiK M2 QCB 12.7mm is an air-cooled, short recoil, belt-fed heavy machine gun with a quick-change barrel that can be mounted on a tripod or integrated into various air, ground, and naval platforms. Equipped with a reversible charging handle, reversible belt-feeding system and single and automatic firing options, the gun weighs approximately 38 kilograms (not including the flex chute, ammo box and tripod) and has an overall length of 165 centimeters. The weapon can fire 450–600 rounds per minute and can effectively engage targets 1,830 meters away. It is compatible with all types of 12.7×99mm NATO standard ammunition. Its effective range, however, can increase from 1,830 meters to 6,800 meters if used in conjunction with an advanced fire control system.
The CANIK M2 F version, a version of the AN/M2 aircraft weapon with a higher firing rate, was also seen in video and will also be introduced by the company. The M3, a version with an even higher firing rate, will be available in the first quarter of 2023.