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.
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.
- South Africa: General-purpose machine gun of the South African National Defence Force. Issued since 1986.
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