The US Army has awarded a $13m contract to General Dynamics (GD) to produce mk19 grenade machine guns.

The 40mm mk19 grenade machine gun is an air-cooled, disintegrating metallic link-belt-fed, blowback operated, fully automatic weapon capable of firing a variety of armour-piercing grenades.

The 43.1in-long machine gun weighs 33kg, has a maximum effective range of 1,600m and can fire 60 rounds a minute.

Work will be carried out at GD’s armament and technical products site in Saco, Maine, and deliveries are expected to be complete by the end of 2011.

The $13m contract is a follow on from a deal signed in September 2008, which brings the total contract value to around $81m.