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The Daewoo Precision Industries K3 is a South Korean light machine-gun. It is the third indigenous firearm developed in South Korea by the Agency for Defense Development, following the Daewoo Precision Industries K1 submachine gun and Daewoo Precision Industries K2 assault rifle. It is manufactured by Daewoo Precision Industries, current S&T Motiv.[1] The K3 is capable of firing both 5.56×45mm NATO and .223 Remington rounds like the K2 assault rifle. The K3 light machine gun entered service since 1989, replacing M60 machine gun from frontline use.[2]

Daewoo Precision Industries K3
Daewoo K3 machine gun 0.jpg
Daewoo Precision Industries K3
TypeLight machine gun
Place of originSouth Korea
Service history
In service1991–present
Used bySee Users
Production history
Mass6.85 kg (15.10 lb)
Length1,030 mm (41 in)
Barrel length533 mm (21.0 in)

ActionGas-operated, rotating bolt
Rate of fire900 rounds/min
Muzzle velocity915 m/s (3,002 ft/s)
Effective firing range800 m (K100)
460 m (KM193)
Maximum firing range3,600 m (K100)
2,650 m (KM193)
Feed system200-round disintegrating-link belt, 70-round box magazine (rare) or 30-round NATO STANAG magazine
SightsIron sights



A South Korean soldier with a Daewoo K3 in March 2004.

The K3 is a light machine gun resembling the FN Minimi and uses a standard 5.56×45mm NATO cartridge. Its greatest advantage is that it is lighter than the M60 and can interchange cartridges with both the K1A and K2. The feed can come from either a 30-round box magazine or a 200-round metal link belt. It can be used with a bipod for the Squad Automatic role, and fitted with a tripod for sustained fire support.

The rear sight is adjustable for elevation and windage, and the foresight can be adjusted for elevation for zeroing. The barrel has a built-in carry handle for ease of changing the barrel. The gun is gas operated, with a rotating bolt.

The weapon system was not designed for customization, due to the fact that most soldiers of the South Korean military will not see extended use of their weapons.

By 2015, ROK forces were looking to obtain a new LMG, as the K3 was suffering from age and reliability issues. S&T Motiv is attempting to win the contract by modernizing the K3 with a side-folding adjustable stock, an integral MIL-STD-1913 rail on feed cover, detachable side and underside rails, a carbon fiber heat shield over barrel, an improved muzzle brake/flash hider, folding iron sights, and an upgraded feed system.

The same improvements would also be applied to the shorter "Para" version.[3] As of 2019, it has not been adopted for general service, but it was has been suggested that special forces unit could use it.[4]

K3 Para at IDEX 2017

Foreign salesEdit

One example of the K3 was purchased by South Africa in 2006, and two examples were purchased by Thailand in the same year.[5] A controversy broke out 2007 in the Philippines when the country's Armed Forces initially selected the FN Minimi rather than picking the K3 or the 5.56 mm Ultimax from Singapore. The AFP's Modernization Program was attacked for showing favoritism towards a Western firearms company over Asian arms manufacturers.[6]

Ultimately, 6,540 K3s 5,883 K3s were acquired by the Philippine Army for their SAW requirement.[7] 5,883 units were first shown in public on February 18, 2008, together with 603 newly delivered Kia KM-450 trucks.[8]


  • XK3: Experimental prototype.
  • K3: Standard mass-produced variant.
  • K3Para: Shortened version of K3 with RAS and minor modifications. First revealed in 2015.[9]


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Business Outline, Defense Business". S&T Daewoo. Archived from the original on 2010-02-06. Retrieved 2010-07-01.
  2. ^ "K계열 6가지 소총 직접 쏴보니".
  3. ^ ADEX 2015 -, 5 August 2016
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b c Daniel Watters. "The 5.56 X 45mm: 2006". Gun Zone. Archived from the original on 2011-03-01. Retrieved 2009-05-23.
  6. ^ [site= "News"] Check |url= value (help). Retrieved December 28, 2016.[dead link]
  7. ^ [1][permanent dead link]
  8. ^ a b Philippine Army. "Army Troopers Newsmagazine Vol.2 No.9" (PDF). Philippine Army. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-27. Retrieved 2010-06-20.
  9. ^ "ADEX 2015: South Korea shows new light MG - LWI - Land Warfare - Shephard Media".
  10. ^ "K3 Light Machine Gun – Bangladesh Military Forces –".
  11. ^
  12. ^ "[현장르포] 30년만에 무분규 임금타결 S&T대우".
  13. ^ 14:37, 파이낸셜뉴스 입력: 2011 11 01 14:37 수정: 2011 11 01 (1 November 2011). "한화-S&T대우, 인도네시아에 국산 K3기관총 수출".
  14. ^ "Kopassus & Kopaska - Specijalne Postrojbe Republike Indonezije" (in Croatian). Hrvatski Vojnik Magazine. Archived from the original on 2010-08-22. Retrieved 2010-06-12.
  15. ^ "MG 27-e". Archived from the original on 2006-10-03. Retrieved 2006-09-29.

Further readingEdit

  • Jane's Infantry Weapons. 2002.

External linksEdit