Belgium FN BRG-15 Heavy Machine Gun

In the 1980s, the Belgian FN company embarked on the development of the FN BRG-15, a large-caliber heavy machine gun. This powerful weapon showed great potential, but financial and other challenges ultimately hindered it.

Caliber and Ammunition

The FN BRG-15 heavy machine gun was designed to utilize a new 15.5mm caliber, offering increased power compared to the standard 12.7mm and even surpassing the 14.5mm heavy machine guns. The FN company conducted extensive research and development to create 15mm ammunition, ultimately settling on the 15.5mm x106mm caliber.

Design and Specifications

Weighing a substantial 60 kilograms without the tripod, the BRG-15 heavy machine gun is undoubtedly formidable weaponry. It measures 2.15 meters in total length, with the barrel alone spanning 1.5 meters. Due to its caliber and weight, it could potentially be classified as a gun in certain jurisdictions. Visually, it resembles an enlarged M2 heavy machine gun, featuring a spade grip, a quickly interchangeable air-cooled barrel, and a muzzle flash hider.

Bullet Types and Functions

The FN BRG-15 heavy machine gun can be loaded with various types of ammunition to suit different combat scenarios. These include armor-piercing bullets, tracer bullets, and incendiary bullets. A combination of these bullet types allows for trajectory correction, potent anti-armor capabilities, and effectiveness in air-to-air combat engagements. Notably, the armor-piercing bullets can penetrate 10mm steel armor at a distance of 1350 meters, making them highly capable against light armored vehicles.

Role and Usage

Contrary to popular belief, the BRG-15 heavy machine gun was not intended to replace the M2 heavy machine gun directly. While the FN company did design a heavy-duty tripod for infantry use, the overall weight of the ammunition and the machine gun itself made it impractical for manual transport.

Instead, the BRG-15 found its niche in the realm of vehicles, such as armored vehicles and patrol boats. Its power and caliber made it a suitable candidate for these applications.

Development and Abandonment

The development of the BRG-15 heavy machine gun progressed relatively smoothly. However, as the project neared completion, financial and other difficulties plagued the FN company, resulting in the abandonment of the BRG-15. Despite this setback, FN redirected its focus toward smaller caliber automatic weapons, leading to the successful development of renowned firearms such as the SCAR and FN MAG. Unfortunately, a heavy machine gun of comparable caliber did not materialize.


The Belgium FN BRG-15 heavy machine gun stands as a testament to excellent design marred by financial constraints. Its potential for delivering superior firepower through its 15.5mm caliber was promising, but circumstances prevented its full realization. FN’s subsequent successes in smaller caliber weapons should not overshadow the BRG-15’s legacy as a valiant effort in heavy machine gun design.


1. Why was the FN BRG-15 heavy machine gun delayed? The FN BRG-15 heavy machine gun faced delays primarily due to financial and other issues within the FN company.

2. What caliber of ammunition does the BRG-15 use? The BRG-15 utilizes 15.5mm x106mm ammunition, which provides increased power compared to standard 12.7mm and 14.5mm calibers.

3. Can the BRG-15 replace the M2 heavy machine gun? No, the BRG-15 was not intended to replace the M2 heavy machine gun directly. Its weight and size make it more suitable for use in vehicles and heavy-duty applications.

4. What types of bullets can be used with the BRG-15? The BRG-15 can be loaded with armor-piercing, tracer, and incendiary bullets, each serving specific functions in combat.

5. Did FN company succeed in developing other notable firearms? Despite the abandonment of the BRG-15, the FN company developed successful firearms like the SCAR and FN MAG, focusing on smaller caliber automatic weapons.