South Korea is set to produce an indigenous machine gun system that can fire air-bursting munitions with laser-target acquisition and optoelectronic fire control.

A total of $22m has been committed for research and development of the 2,000m-range machine guns, according to the Defence Acquisition Programme Administration (DAPA).

DAPA has chosen S&T Daewoo as the preferred bidder for systems integration and gun development, EO System for fire control development and Hanwha Corp. for munitions.

South Korea has already developed airburst rifles which use a semi-automatic 20mm smart grenade launcher, an underslung assault carbine firing, a standard 5.56mm Nato round, a top-mounted computer-assisted sighting system with integrated laser rangefinder and thermal infrared night-vision capabilities.

The airburst machine guns are set to be deployed by 2015.

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