South African National Defence Force soldier with a SS-77 machine gun
|Type||General Purpose Machine Gun|
|Place of origin||South Africa|
|Used by||See Users|
|Wars||South African Border War|
|Manufacturer||Denel Land Systems|
|Weight||9.6 kg (21 lb 3 oz) (SS-77)
8.26 kg (18 lb 3 oz) (Mini SS)
|Length||1155 mm (SS-77)
1000 mm (Mini-SS)
|Barrel length||550 mm (SS-77)
500 mm (Mini-SS)
|Cartridge||7.62×51mm NATO (SS-77)
5.56×45mm NATO (Mini-SS)
|Action||Gas-operated, open bolt|
|Rate of fire||600–900 rounds/min|
|Feed system||100- or 200-round belt|
In the late 1970s, South Africa was involved in an international controversy over apartheid and the South African Border War in Angola. As a result, it was subject to an international arms embargo and had to, out of necessity, design and manufacture its own weapons. The SS-77 was developed to replace the FN MAG. It was designed in 1977 by Richard Joseph Smith and Lazlo Soregi, hence the name "SS-77". "SS" for Smith and Soregi, "77" for 1977, the year it was designed.
Denel unveiled at the Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) 2016 exhibit that they'll be replaced in production by the DMG-5 and DMG-5 CX GPMG.
In the early 1990s, a light machine gun version, the Mini-SS, chambered in 5.56×45mm NATO was introduced. LIW also manufactured kits to convert existing SS-77 to the Mini-SS. Changes include the weight decrease from 9.6 to 8.26 kg (21 lb 3 oz to 18 lb 3 oz) with a folding bipod and fixed butt.
- Colombia: Policía Nacional de Colombia, Infantería de Marina de Colombia.
- Kenya: Kenya Air Force: For IAR 330 helicopters.
- Malaysia: Royal Malaysian Navy-PASKAL
- Philippines: Philippine National Police-Special Action Force
- Romania: 215 SS-77 MK1 LMGs acquired in late 2008 and delivered in 2009.
- Rwanda: Some delivered in 1992.
- Saudi Arabia
- South Africa: General-purpose machine gun of the South African National Defence Force. Issued since 1986.
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