The MK46 is an M249 variant developed to meet a US Special Operations requirement for a lightweight light machine gun that would retain the intrinsic functionality and reliability of the standard M249. (Available in Black. Flat Dark Earth color availability - TBD).
Weight reduction was achieved by using a new lightweight fluted barrel removing the magazine well and vehicle mounting lugs, and incorporating a titanium bipod.
Unique to the MK46 is the forward rail that accommodate scopes, laser designators and flashlights. It also accommodates a forward pistol grip and has a detachable bipod.
This weapon has been adopted by the US Navy.
Adopted by USSOCOM, the Mk 46 Mod 0 features an improved rail handguard and uses the standard fixed buttstock, which is significantly lighter than the E4's M5 retractable unit from FN. The Mk 46 variant differs notably from the M249 and Minimi in that it is only belt-fed, while the latter work with belts or M16-type magazines. The Mk 46 is lighter due to this change. While extremely similar, the Mk 46 Mod 0 and the M249E4 are not the same weapon.