An assault rifle is a selective fire rifle or carbine typically firing ammunition with muzzle energies and sizes intermediate between those of handgun and more traditional high-powered rifle ammunition. Assault rifles are categorized between light machine guns, intended more for sustained automatic fire in a support role, and submachine guns, which fire a handgun cartridge rather than
10. FN SCAR
Place of origin: USA & Belgium
The FN SCAR systems completed low rate initial production testing in June 2007. After some delays, the first rifles began being issued to operational units in April 2009, and a battalion of the US 75th Ranger Regiment was the first large unit deployed into combat with 600 of the rifles in 2009. The US Special Operations Command has currently cancelled their purchase of the Mk 16 SCAR-L and are planning to remove the rifle from their inventory by 2013. However, they plan to purchase 5.56 mm conversion kits for the Mk 17, supplanting the loss of the Mk 16. The SCAR is now one of the competing weapons in the Individual Carbine competition which aims to find a replacement for the M4 Carbine.
9. Barrett REC7
Place of origin: USA
The Barrett REC7 (designation stands for “reliability-enhanced carbine” 2007) is a M4-pattern rifle available in either 5.56 NATO or 6.8 SPC. Unlike possible replacements for the M16/M4 such as the now canceled XM8, the REC7 is not an entirely new rifle, instead it is made up of an upper receiver that is attached to a M16/M4 lower receiver and is compatible with many accessories intended for the M16/M4 family. It can also be mated to M16/M4 lower receivers currently in the possession of the US military. The rifle uses a short-stroke gas piston mechanism, unlike the M16 or M4 which use direct impingement.
Place of origin: Italy
The ARX-160 is an assault rifle manufactured by Pietro Beretta S.p.A.. Developed for the Italian armed forces as part of the Soldato Futuro (Future Soldier in English) program, the ARX-160 has been launched in the year 2008 as a commercial weapon system independent from the Soldato Futuro ensemble, complete with a companion single-shot 40mm NATO low-velocity grenade launcher, called GLX-160, which can be underslung to the rifle or used with an ad-hoc stock system as a stand-alone weapon. The weapon’s unique features include ambidextrous safeties, magazine catches and charging handle, the ability to change which side spent casings are ejected, a quick-change barrel which can be removed and replaced in seconds without tools, picatinny rails and a foldable telescopic stock.
Place of origin: Germany & USA
The XM8 was the U.S. military designation for a lightweight assault rifle system under development by the United States Army from the late 1990s to early 2000s. The Army worked with the German small arms manufacturer Heckler & Koch (H&K) to develop the system to its requirements in the aftermath of the Objective Individual Combat Weapon (OICW) contract, for which H&K had been a subcontractor to ATK. Although there were high hopes that the XM8 would become the Army’s new standard infantry rifle, the project was put on hold in April 2005, and was formally canceled on October 31, 2005.
Place of origin: USA
Adaptive Combat Rifle was initially developed over a period of five months and was planned to replace the M16 completely independent of government funding. On November 18, 2008, Bushmaster released a statement saying, “The ACR is being redesigned to be a superior offering to compete for the next generation US Army infantry carbine and subcompact weapon requirement and will be available to select customers in 2009.” The ACR was one of the weapons displayed to U.S. Army officials during an invitation-only Industry Day on November 13, 2008. The goal of the Industry Day was to review current carbine technology prior to writing formal requirements for a future replacement for the M4 Carbine. The ACR is part of the Individual Carbine competition to replace the M4.
5. Steyr AUG
Place of origin: Austria
The AUG, a bullpup 5.56mm assault rifle, is a selective fire weapon with a conventional gas piston operated action that fires from a closed bolt. Designed as a family of rifles that could be quickly adapted to a wide variety of roles with the change of the barrel to a desired length and profile, the AUG is a modular configuration rifle that employs a high level of polymer and advanced alloy components. The primary variant of the rifle, designated the AUG A1, consists of six main assemblies: the barrel, receiver with integrated telescopic sight, bolt and carrier, trigger mechanism, stock and magazine. The AUG uses the 5.56x45mm NATO cartridge and the standard 1:9 rifling twist will stabilize both SS109/M855 and M193 bullets. Some nations including Australia and New Zealand use a version with a 1:7 twist optimised for the SS109 NATO round.
Place of origin: Germany
The Heckler & Koch G36 is a 5.56×45mm assault rifle, designed in the early 1990s by Heckler & Koch (H&K) in Germany as a replacement for the 7.62mm G3 battle rifle. It was accepted into service with the Bundeswehr in 1997, replacing the G3. The G36 is gas-operated and feeds from a 30-round detachable box magazine or 100-round C-Mag drum magazine. The G36 is a selective fire 5.56mm assault rifle, firing from a closed rotary bolt. The G36 has a conventional layout and a modular component design. Common to all variants of the G36 family are: the receiver and buttstock assembly, bolt carrier group with bolt and the return mechanism and guide rod. The receiver contains the barrel, carry handle with integrated sights, trigger group with pistol grip, handguard and magazine socket.
Place of origin: Russia
The Kalashnikov AK-12 (АК-200) is the newest derivative of the Soviet/Russian AK-47 series of assault rifles and is proposed for possible general issue to Russian Army, and is currently undergoing testing. On May 25, 2010, Russia’s media published a Russian Defence Ministry statement that the AK-12 rifle was to be tested in 2011. The demonstration model (AK-200) was presented to Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin during his official visit to inspect the products of the Izhmash arms manufacturing plant in Izhevsk, was apparently a basic AK-74 in standard 5.45×39mm caliber. On the demonstrator, the traditional locations of cocking handle, safety lever and fire selector remained unchanged, but the AK-12 production model featured revisions to all of these features. The Izhmash demonstrator was fitted with the large capacity 60 round casket magazine.
Place of origin: Germany
The Heckler & Koch HK416 is an assault rifle designed and manufactured by Heckler & Koch. It uses the AR-15 platform, originally conceived as an improvement to the Colt M4 carbine with the notable inclusion of a gas-piston system derived from the Heckler & Koch G36. Customers have the option of purchasing a new upper receiver, buffer and drive spring to refurbish M4s or buying a completely new build HK416. The HK416 is part of the Individual Carbine competition to replace the M4. The HK416 uses a proprietary gas system derived from the HK G36, replacing the direct impingement gas system used by the standard M16/M4. The HK G36 gas system was in turn partially derived from the AR-18 assault rifle designed in 1963.
Place of origin: Israel
The TAR-21 (or simply Tavor) is an Israeli bullpup assault rifle chambered for 5.56×45mm NATO ammunition with a selective fire system, selecting between semi-automatic mode and full automatic fire mode. It is named after Mount Tabor, while “TAR-21” stands for “Tavor Assault Rifle – 21st Century”. Since 2009, it has been selected as the standard issued weapon of the Israeli infantry. The MTAR-21 (Micro Tavor) was recently selected as the future assault rifle of the Israeli Defense Forces, and some infantry division are being issued with the rifle, replacing the bigger and standard TAR-21. The TAR-21 provides carbine length, but rifle muzzle velocity. The bullpup design is also used to minimize the silhouette of soldiers and to maximize effectiveness in turning corners in urban warfare.
The TAR-21 has ejection ports on both sides of the rifle so it can easily be reconfigured for right or left-handed shooters. However, this process requires partial disassembly, so it cannot be quickly reconfigured while the rifle is in use. The TAR-21 design was created by Zalmen Shebs, with the express purpose of creating a weapon more suited to urban combat than the M16/M4 carbine. It is based on advanced ergonomics and composite materials in order to produce a more comfortable and reliable rifle. The TAR-21 is waterproof and lightweight. The weapon has a built in laser and MARS red dot sight; one of the main advantages of having a built in system is that the weapon does not have to be zeroed after each use, but the TAR-21 can also be mounted with an array of different scopes such as EOTech holographic weapon sights, night vision systems and other electronic devices.