Thales shows new assault rifle

June 11, 2012 at 12:59 PM

PARIS, June 11 (UPI) -- A new compact assault rifle with high muzzle velocity and with grenade launcher variants has been introduced by Thales at an arms show in France.

The F90, evolved from Australian small arms expertise, was unveiled at the Eurosatory exhibition in Paris. The basic assault weapon weighs 7.1 pounds, has a 16-inch barrel, an overall length of 27.5 inches and fires 5.56mm ammunition.

"It is identical to the EF88-designated weapon currently being developed by the company for Australia's LAND 125 program, and is based on the F88 platform that has been in service and evolved in Australia since the late 1980s," Thales said.

In addition to the standard and grenade-launching variants, it also comes in a longer-barreled Marksman variant and a carbine variant.

"The F90 is a weapon ideally suited to the modern battlefield," said Thales Australia Chief Executive Officer Chris Jenkins. "Light, compact and adaptable, it offers armed forces a cost-effective upgrade with a substantial degree of future-proofing.

"It is evolved from a tried and tested platform that has been proven again and again on operations, and is backed up by 100 years of weapons engineering, as well as leading design expertise."

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