The US Army has awarded a $32m contract to provide M240B machine guns to small arms manufacturer Colt Defense.

The M240B is a belt-fed, air-cooled, gas-operated, fully automatic machine gun that fires from the open bolt position and can be mounted on a bipod, tripod, aircraft or vehicle.

The gun supports the rifleman in both offensive and defensive operations, providing a heavy volume of close and continuous fire needed to accomplish the mission with controlled and accurate fire.

Work under the contract will be carried out in Connecticut, US, and is expected to be complete by 31 October 2015.