|Rate of fire, rounds/min||Up to 600 rounds per minute|
|Feed||Dual linkless feed|
Rheinmetall RMG 50 machine gun is a new development of the famous German company Rheinmetall Defense AG. It is intended to replace the venerable Browning M2HB heavy machine gun in certain vehicle applications, on armored vehicles and in helicopters, in manned or remotely operated turrets and mounts. It is intended to provide higher reliability and accuracy, and easier maintenance, as well as greater tactical flexibility. Development of the Rheinmetall RMG 50 machine gun commenced in 2008, and at the time of this writing (late 2011) this weapon already entered factory testing stage. It is currently scheduled to enter mass production and pass German Army acceptance tests by 2013-2014.
Rheinmetall RMG 50 machine gun is an electrically operated, externally powered weapon. It uses internal electric motor which operates bolt group via gearbox-driven crank. Due to its externally controlled nature, Rheinmetall RMG 50 machine gun can fire in either open- or closed-bolt mode, easily selectable by a flick of the switch, and in almost any desirable rate of fire (cyclic), up to 600 rounds per minute. The single-shot, closed bolt mode of fire is called "sniper mode” by Rheinmetall, as it allows engaging stand-alone targets with high level of precision, minimizing risks of collateral damage. Thanks to its built-in electronic round counter, RMG 50 also can fire bursts of any pre-determined length (i.e. 3 or 5 rounds per burst). It is equipped with air-cooled, quick change barrel with chrome-lined bore. The barrel and bolt systems are designed to be extra-strong, so the new machine gun will fire any type of existing .50 BMG / 12.7×99 ammunition plus new, "super-power" 12.7mm ammunition which is also being developed by Rheinmetall. This new "super 12.7mm" ammunition is claimed to accelerate 50-gram bullet to muzzle velocity close to 1,000 m/s (standard .50 BMG is nominally rated as 46 gram bullet with 860 m/s muzzle velocity). As of present, Rheinmetall RMG 50 machine gun is developed for dual, linkless feed, which uses built-in conveyors operated by gun electric motor to feed cartridges from ammo containers and then replace fired cartridge cases back into containers. Gun is also not equipped with any sighting equipment or manual firing controls, which should be provided by a host vehicle mount.