Hehe...Happy Christmas to you, too.
No, I have many passionate arguments in favour of the Ultimax. You may get tired of hearing them. But since you asked...
It's a long read, but I hope you find this thing that I put together worth reading: Ultimax 100's and the USMC 1982
Ultimax was first introduced to US military during the SAW trials. It was still prototype stage undergoing troop trials in Singapore.
The Minimi won. US military begins universal adoption of Minimi as M249.
However, USMC had very good things to say about the Ultimax during the SAW trials regarding its accuracy, light weight and controllability. 1983
Ultimax passes troop trials in Singapore and begins production as the Mk 2. 1983
Gen Paul Kelly of the USMC agreed to a further demo of the Ultimax by CIS (today STK). CIS understood the chance for sales to US is zero since all money had gone to Minimi procurement. According to this article:
- Singapore Straits Times 1983
the demo at Quantico was a declared a great success and Gen Kelly had good things to say. This was just before Gen Kelly became the 28th commandant of the USMC (1983 - 1987).
Also present were representatives from many other countries. 1986
3-yrs later (Gen Paul Kelly still commandant of USMC), the US Navy SEALS bought 20 Ultimax to begin 2-yr ops trials according to this article from International Defence Review:
- International Defence Review 1989 - part
- International Defence Review 1989 - part 1986 - 1988
SEALS trial. 1989
Product Improvement Programme (PIP) based on SEALS feedback results in production of Ultimax Mk 3.
Same IDR article also alleges that some of these PIP Ultimax Mk 3's will be supplied to SEALS. Unconfirmed whether this 2nd sale to SEALS actually took place.
By now, more than 10 other countries are Ultimax users - albeit small countries, and using the Ultimax in small numbers. 2005
23 years after adoption of Minimi, USMC calls for replacement of the Minimi.
But USMC also wanted the replacement in a hurry as evidenced by the title of its "call for entries" in Jul 2005 titled "Non-developmental, 5.56mm, Infantry Automatic Rifle
To me the specs almost fit the Ultimax to a "T". Instead, 3 years later after a lot of "development", it looks ike USMC will have nothing more than a souped-up assault rifle like the Diemaco LSW or the Colt HBAR tested and rejected more than 30 years ago.
So what does this say about the Ultimax?
One way is to say that since it has failed in US trials every time, why should the Danes consider it?
Another way to look at it is that despite having failed to be selected in the 80's, the USMC had a good enough impression of it to look at it again 3rd time round.
I would like to think that the Ultimax failed more because of the complexities of US procurement process than for any other reasons.