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The Negev is a 5.56×45mm NATO light machine gun developed by the Israeli firearm manufacturer, Israel Weapon Industries (IWI) (formerly Israel Military Industries Ltd. (IMI) of Ramat HaSharon).

IDF Negev
A left-side view of the IWI NEGEV
TypeLight machine gun
Place of originIsrael
Service history
In service1997–present[1]
Used bySee Users
WarsAl-Aqsa Intifada
2006 Lebanon War
Gaza War
War in Afghanistan (2001–present)
Operation Protective Edge
War in Donbass
Production history
DesignerIsrael Military Industries (IMI)
ManufacturerIsrael Weapon Industries (IWI)
(Formerly: Israel Military Industries), made under license by Punj Lloyd Raksha Systems[2][3]
VariantsSee Variants
Mass(Weapon Only)
7.6 kg: NEGEV
7.65 kg: NEGEV SF
7.95 kg: NEGEV NG-7
7.8 kg: NEGEV NG-7 SF
1,020 mm Stock Extended
810 mm Stock Folded
890 mm Stock Extended
680 mm Stock Folded
1,100 mm Stock Extended
1,030 mm Stock Folded
1,012 mm Stock Extended
942 mm Stock Folded
Barrel length460 mm (18.11 inch): NEGEV
330 mm (12.99 inch): NEGEV SF
508 mm (20 inch): NEGEV NG-7
420mm (16.5 inch): NEGEV NG-7 SF

ActionGas operated, rotating bolt
Rate of fireNEGEV and NEGEV SF:
850–1050 RPM (Regulated position 1 for Magazine Fed)
850–1050 RPM (Regulated position 2 for Belt Fed)
950–1150 RPM (Regulated position 3 for Belt Fed Extreme Conditions)
600–750 RPM
Muzzle velocity3,002 ft/s (915 m/s): NEGEV
2,789 ft/s (850 m/s): NEGEV SF
Effective firing range300–1000 m sight adjustments (NEGEV)
300-800 m sight adjustments (NEGEV SF)
Feed systemNEGEV and NEGEV SF:
150-round M27 ammunition belt, 35-round box magazine, or STANAG NATO magazines
100- and 125-round NATO standard belts
SightsAperture with elevation drum and adjustable front post, folding tritium night sights, and a Picatinny rail for various optical sights

In 2012, IWI introduced the Negev NG-7 7.62×51mm NATO general-purpose machine gun.


Design detailsEdit

An IDF NEGEV fed from an ammo box in a shooting range.

The IWI Negev is a gas-operated selective fire light machine gun that uses propellant gases from the barrel to cycle a short-stroke gas piston operating system under the barrel and a rotary bolt locking mechanism. The bolt itself features 4 radial locking lugs that engage the barrel extension and its rotation is controlled by a pin on the bolt body, which rides inside a camming guide machined into the bolt carrier. The bolt contains a spring-powered casing extractor unit, while a lever ejector is housed inside the receiver (it is rotated by the recoiling bolt carrier).

The design was meant to be reliable, especially in adverse conditions.[4] In 1997, it was officially adopted by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF).

Striker firing mechanismEdit

The Negev is striker-fired, where the bolt carrier assembly acts as the striker, and fires from an open bolt position. A lever-type fire control selector switch is provided (“A”— for fully automatic fire and “R”— for semi-automatic fire), installed on the left side of the pistol grip, which doubles as a manual safety against accidental firing. The safe “S” position disables the sear mechanism (which makes it impossible to cock the bolt carrier), by lifting the lever responsible for holding the bolt carrier in the forward position and disconnects the trigger mechanism from the sear. The weapon can be secured safe regardless of the position of the bolt carrier group. The cocking handle is equipped with a ratcheting mechanism that immobilizes the partially cocked bolt carrier.

Gas regulatorEdit

The Negev's adjustable gas regulator has three settings:

  • setting "1" is used exclusively when feeding from a magazine (rate of fire in this mode is around 850–1,050 rounds per minute).
  • setting "2" is used in normal operating conditions when feeding from a belt (rate of fire in this mode is also around 850–1,050 rounds per minute).
  • setting "3" which is used under adverse operating conditions, such as in the presence of dust, dirt or heavy fouling (rate of fire in this mode is around 950–1,150 rounds per minute).

Early prototypes used a different 3-position gas adjustment system:

  • setting "1"—for normal operations.
  • setting "2"—for adverse environmental conditions.
  • setting "3"—isolates the gas system, and is used to launch rifle grenades with the use of a grenade-launching blank cartridge drawn from a special 12-round magazine from the Galil rifle.


The Negev has a quick-change chrome-lined barrel that is manufactured using a cold hammer forging process. The barrel is fitted with a slotted flash suppressor and a fixed carry handle, which is used to transport the weapon and change-out an overheated barrel. The barrel can be changed only after lifting open the feed tray cover.

During the weapon's initial development a barrel with a 1 in 305 mm (1:12 in) rifling twist rate was also planned, adapted for the lightweight M193 cartridge. Additionally, a multifunction muzzle device was designed, used to launch rifle grenades.


The Negev's iron sights (closed-type) consist of a front post (adjustable for both windage and elevation) and a rear aperture sight with an elevation adjustment drum, with 300 to 1,000 m range settings. For night-time operation the weapon is equipped with gaseous
tritium-illuminated vials (supplied by Betalight): one installed in the front sight post, and two—on a notch sight under the standard aperture sight arm (before use, the rear sight leaf is pivoted forward to expose the night notch sight). A rail is integrated into the receiver top cover that allows optical day and night-time sights to be mounted to the weapon. The barrel can also be optionally fitted with mounting hardware that would allow the Negev to mount a laser pointer or reflex sight.

The machine gun has a metal side-folding (right side) stock and a removable bipod, installed to the forward end of the handguard and folded under the handguard when stowed. The receiver also has slots and hooks used to secure the weapon to vehicle mounting hardware.


The Negev uses the 5.56×45mm NATO cartridge and is optimized for the SS109 bullet. Field maintenance involves stripping the weapon down to six main groups: the barrel, stock, bolt carrier, bolt, bipod and return mechanism. All parts, including the quick-change barrels are fully interchangeable. While the Negev NG-7 uses the 7.62×51mm NATO cartridge.

Ammunition feedingEdit

The Negev feeds from an M27 disintegrating, open-link ammunition belt, carried in a 150-round fabric container that clips into the magazine well, or alternatively from a 35-round box magazine from the Galil assault rifle, or a 30-round STANAG magazine from the M16 rifle (with the use of an adapter). 200-round ammunition belt containers are also available. Belted ammunition is introduced into the feed tray port from the left side, while the magazine is inserted vertically into the magazine well at the base of the receiver. The feed system uses a pawl feeding mechanism, driven by the recoiling bolt carrier, but the belt is moved only during the rearward movement of the bolt carrier. The non-reciprocating charging handle is located on the right side of the weapon.


A left-side view of the IWI regular Negev.
  • Negev – The IWI Negev light machine gun is chambered in 5.56×45mm NATO cartridge. It has a barrel length of 460 mm (18.11 inch) and two operation modes; semi-automatic for accurate and fast controlled fire, and fully automatic for maximum firepower.[5]
  • Negev SF – The IWI Negev SF is a compact variant of the Negev. It uses a shorter barrel and is primarily fitted with a side grip (NEGEV Assault Grip).[6] It has a barrel length of 330 mm (12.99 inch).[7][5]
  • Negev NG-7 – The IWI Negev NG-7 general-purpose machine gun is chambered in 7.62×51mm NATO cartridge. It has a barrel length of 508 mm (20 inch) and two operation modes; semi-automatic for accurate and fast controlled fire, and fully automatic for maximum firepower.[5]
  • Negev NG-7 SF – The IWI Negev NG-7 is a compact variant of the Negev NG-7. It uses a shorter barrel and is primarily fitted with a side grip (Negev Assault Grip).[6] It has a barrel length of 420 mm (16.5 inch).[5]



See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f Kemp, Ian (March 2007). "Lightweight Firepower" (PDF). - Asian Military Review. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 July 2011. Retrieved 18 April 2010.
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ James H. Willbanks, 2004."Machine Guns: An Illustrated History of Their Impact". ABC-CLIO. Retrieved 30 June 2015.
  5. ^ a b c d "IWI tavor brochure". Retrieved 19 March 2017.
  6. ^ a b "NEGEV ASSAULT GRIP - IWI". IWI. Retrieved 19 June 2017.
  7. ^ "IWI Negev |". Retrieved 19 June 2017.
  8. ^ "News.Az - Azerbaijan buys great deal of weapons from Israel last year".
  9. ^ a b c d Binnie, Jeremy; de Cherisey, Erwan (2017). "New-model African armies" (PDF). Jane's. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 June 2017.
  10. ^ a b Wezeman, Siemon T. "Israeli arms transfers to sub-Saharan Africa" (PDF). SIPRI Background Paper. SIPRI. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 December 2011.
  11. ^ "Eesti Kaitsevägi - 5,56 mm kergekuulipilduja Negev - Kaitsevägi". Retrieved 25 March 2016.
  12. ^ "Negev in Georgian army". Archived from the original on 19 February 2012. Retrieved 9 June 2012.
  13. ^ Vining, Miles (22 April 2016). "ISAF armament of BLS".
  14. ^ Hogg, Ian (2002). Jane's Guns Recognition Guide. Jane's Information Group. ISBN 0-00-712760-X.
  15. ^ Negev NG7 Archived 18 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine -
  16. ^
  17. ^ Mexican Federal Police Using IWI Negev Machine Gun -, 2 August 2013
  18. ^ McNab, Chris (2017). The FN Minimi Light Machine Gun: M249, L108A1, L110A2, and other variants. Weapon 53. Osprey Publishing. p. 78. ISBN 978-1-4728-1623-8.
  19. ^ "Paraguay Army Chooses IWI's "Negev"". Israel Defense. 1 August 2015.
  20. ^ Dela Rosa, Ronald (20 May 2017). "PNP Director General Dela Rosa's One Year Report for 2016-2017" (PDF). Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  21. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 July 2011. Retrieved 18 June 2010.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  22. ^ "Những bức ảnh về Quân Đội Nhân Dân Việt Nam (Phần 4) - Trang 480". TTVNOL. Retrieved 9 June 2012.
  23. ^ "5,56 мм легкий кулемет "Форт-401"". (in Ukrainian). 6 March 2011. Archived from the original on 29 January 2012.

External linksEdit