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The M240, officially Machine Gun, 7.62mm, M240, is a family of belt-fed, gas-operated medium machine guns firing the 7.62x51mm NATO cartridge (w/ M13 Link). It is the US designation for the Belgian FN MAG 58 (Mitrailleuse d`Appui Général, "General Purpose Machine Gun") machine gun.
The M240 has been used by the United States armed forces since the mid 1980s. It is used extensively by infantry, as well as ground vehicles, watercraft, and aircraft. Despite not being the lightest medium machine gun in service, the M240 is highly regarded for reliability, and its standardization among NATO members is also seen as a major advantage.
All variants of the M240 series are fed from disintegrating belts, and are capable of firing most types of 7.62 mm NATO ammunition. All variants of the FN MAG 58, including the M240, can use European-type non-disintegrating belts (following replacement of a few easily-swappable parts). They all share the same basic internal parts, which are also interchangeable, for the most part, with other members of the FN MAG family. There are significant differences in weight and some features among some versions for which this does not apply. The M240 is manufactured by the American division of FN Herstal, a Belgian company with historically deep ties to U.S. arms procurement.