A Beretta ARX160 A2
|Place of origin||Italy|
|Used by||See Users|
|Wars||War in Afghanistan|
|Barrel length||16 in (406.4 mm)|
12 in (304.8 mm)
|Width||80 mm (with extended stock)|
.223 Remington (ARX100 only)
.22 Long Rifle (ARX160 22LR only)
|Action||Gas-operated rotating bolt|
|Rate of fire||
|Effective firing range||5 position rear sight up to 600 m (656 yd)|
|Sights||Back-up folding iron sights and integrated Picatinny rail for various optics|
The Beretta ARX160 is an Italian modular rifle manufactured by Beretta. Developed for the Italian Armed Forces as part of the Soldato Futuro (English: "Future Soldier") program, the ARX160 was launched in 2008 as a commercial weapon system independent from the Soldato Futuro ensemble, complete with a companion single-shot 40×46mm NATO low-velocity grenade launcher, called the GLX160, which can be mounted underneath the rifle or used with an ad hoc stock system as a stand-alone weapon.
In late 2015, Beretta introduced the Beretta ARX200 7.62×51mm NATO battle rifle which is a derivative of the ARX160. The Italian Army is planning to introduce two configurations of the ARX200; a battle rifle with a foldable telescoping stock and a designated marksman rifle (DMR) with a fixed-stock.
The Beretta ARX160 was launched in 2008 as a commercial weapon system and was developed for the Italian Armed Forces as part of the Soldato Futuro (Future Soldier) program. Between 2008 and 2014, there were around 30,000 ARX160 A2s that are chambered in 5.56×45mm NATO cartridge that have been supplied to the Italian Army, Italian Navy, Italian Air Force and Italian Special Forces and have since been used in several missions including in Afghanistan. The current program aims to replace the older Beretta AR70/90 as the standard assault rifle for the Italian Armed Forces.
In 2012, Beretta introduced the 7.62×39mm configuration of the ARX160, and on the same year Beretta also introduced the ARX160 A2 which is currently in use with the Italian Army and Special Forces.
In 2013, Beretta introduced the ARX160 A3, which is an improved variant of the ARX160. The improvements includes a redesigned handguard with an improved heat ventilation and an extended Picatinny rail on its bottom, and an improved pistol grip design.
In 2014, the Italian Ministry of Defence allocated 2.7 million USD to Beretta for the development of the ARX200 battle rifle. Also, the Italian Armed Forces has announced a possible requirement for 1,170 rifles chambered in 7.62×51mm NATO cartridge.
In late 2015, the Beretta ARX200 battle rifle was introduced and is being supplied to the Italian Army. It is a distant derivative of the ARX160 modular assault rifle. It has passed the following military and environmental tests; cold and hot temperature, temperature and humidity, ice, salt fog, heavy rain, salt water, sand and dust, mud, unlubricated, double feeding proof, and barrel obstruction proof.
The Beretta ARX160 was one the 5 Phase II contenders in the United States Army Individual Carbine competition to replace the M4 carbine. The Individual Carbine competition was cancelled before a winning weapon was chosen.
In February 2013, the Argentine Army received an ARX160 rifle and GLX160 grenade launcher for evaluation for their special forces. In December 2016, Fabricaciones Militares signed a deal with Beretta to produce the ARX200 under license.
The Beretta ARX160 departs from the previously issued AR70/90 on several points. It is composed of an upper and lower receiver, both manufactured mostly from polymer, and operates through a short-stroke piston system. It is chambered in either 5.56×45mm NATO or 7.62×39mm cartridge. Feeding is through STANAG magazines for the 5.56×45mm NATO configuration and AK-47 or AKM magazines for the 7.62×39mm configuration. Other calibers, including 5.45×39mm and 6.8mm Remington SPC were planned, but may have been cancelled.
It features an ambidextrous safeties, magazine release (right side, left side and "AK" style), bolt release and charging handle, as well as the ability to change which side spent casings are ejected, a quick-change barrel which can be removed and replaced in seconds without any tools, Picatinny rails, and a foldable telescopic stock.
The lightweight barrel is chrome lined and manufactured by the hammer forging process at the Beretta factory in Gardone Val Trompia, Lombardy. Barrel lengths for this rifle are 16 in (40.6 cm) for its standard barrel, and a 12 in (30.48 cm) barrel for special operators. The flash hider has 5 radial cuts and 4 smaller cuts to control muzzle climb in automatic firing. Barrels have a 1:7 twist to fire NATO standard ball and tracer rounds. The non-free-floated barrel is easily removed simply by pulling on slide levers and pulling it out. A bayonet lug, designed for the Extrema Ratio Fulcrum bayonet is positioned above the barrel rather than underneath it.
The ARX160 operating system is unique in that the piston moves almost 2 in (50.8 mm), while other systems move fractions of an inch. The piston follows the bolt carrier almost all the way rearward, resulting in low gas pressure levels and a less sudden and more constant push on the carrier group.
It has the ability to eject the empty shells out of either in the right side or left side for ambidextrous operation. The bolt has seven lugs and an extractor on the left and right, with no ejector. The extractors are spring-loaded and which way cases are ejected is selected by pressing a case through a small hole located past the port. It is small and optimized for the tip of a bullet to fit. The ejection port is open on both sides and directs shells at a 45 degree angle from the barrel. The cocking lever is on the bolt carrier and can be positioned on either side by pulling it out, swinging it through the ejection port, and pushing it in to secure it in place.
It features a standard back-up iron sights that are made of the same polymer as the weapon's receiver. The front sight post is adjustable for windage and elevation and the rear peep sight has six positions to fire in increments from 100–600 meters. The primary optical sight is the Aimpoint ACIES, a domestic version of the Aimpoint CompM2. Telescopic sights, night vision systems, vertical forward grips, and other accessories will be available through the Soldato Futuro program.
The Beretta ARX160 modular assault rifle is only available for military and law enforcement use. It is chambered in either 5.56×45mm NATO or 7.62×39mm cartridge. It features a Picatinny rail on the top of the receiver for mounting various optics, on both sides of the hand guard for mounting various accessories and on the bottom of the handguard for mounting various grips, a quick change barrel, a barrel length of 12- and 16-inch, a folding back-up iron sights, ambidextrous fire/safety selector, magazine release, bolt release and charging handle, case ejector that can eject the empty brass either to the right side or left side by pressing on the case ejection selector with a tip of a 5.56×45mm NATO cartridge, and a telescopic folding buttstock that is also adjustable for length of pull. A conversion kit for 7.62×39mm is also available, it requires changing the barrel, bolt, lower receiver assembly and magazine in order to change the caliber. It uses the AK-47 or AKM magazines for the 7.62×39mm configuration and STANAG magazines for the 5.56×45mm NATO configuration.
The Beretta ARX160 A2, also referred to as the ARX160 SF (Special Forces) is similar to the ARX160 but features a shorter buttstock, an extended Picatinny rail on the bottom of its handguard and uses a 12-inch barrel. It was developed for the Italian special forces and was later adopted by them.
The Beretta ARX160 A3 is an improved variant of the ARX160 and has similar features to it. The changes for the ARX160 A3 includes a redesigned handguard, where its top row air vent slits have been replaced with a larger square cut outs, though the bottom row air vent still retains the thinner slits. These larger cut outs reduces some weight of the rifle while letting more air to circulate around the barrel. It also has an extended Picatinny rail on the bottom of its handguard, an improved pistol grip design and a barrel length of 11- and 16-inch.
The Beretta ARX100 is a semi-automatic only variant of the ARX160, that is available for the civilian market. It is chambered in 5.56×45mm NATO or .223 Remington cartridge. It features a Picatinny rail on the top of the receiver for mounting various optics, on both sides of the hand guard for mounting various accessories and on the bottom of the handguard for mounting various grips, a quick change barrel, a barrel length of 16-inch, a folding back-up iron sights, ambidextrous fire/safety selector, magazine release, bolt release and charging handle, a case ejector that can eject the empty brass either to the right side or left side by pressing on the case ejection selector with a tip of a 5.56×45mm NATO or .223 Remington cartridge, and a telescopic folding buttstock that is also adjustable for length of pull.
The Beretta ARX160 22LR is a semi-automatic only variant of the ARX160, that is available for the civilian market. It is chambered in .22 Long Rifle cartridge, making it ideal for a tactical training rifle. It features an 18.11-inch barrel for the carbine configuration and an 8.3-inch barrel for the pistol configuration, and uses a 5-, 10-, 15-, or 20-round magazine.
The Beretta ARX200 is a derivative of the ARX160 modular assault rifle and was introduced in late 2015. It is only available for military and law enforcement use. It is chambered in 7.62×51mm NATO cartridge and operates through a short-stroke gas piston system with a rotating bolt.
The ARX200 is planned to fill the gap in Italian infantry armament between the 5.56×45mm NATO assault rifle and large-caliber bolt-action sniper rifles, based on combat experience in Afghanistan. The Italian Armed Forces has ordered four hundred ARX200s for trials and evaluation, and its also expected that the first batch of ARX200s will be delivered by the end of 2015. They are also testing on how to introduce a battle rifle into small infantry units. Possibly 2 to 3 designated marksman rifles and battle rifles are planned for use at squad level.
The Italian Army is planning to introduce two configurations of the ARX200; a battle rifle with a foldable telescoping stock, capable of fully automatic and semi-automatic fire, and a designated marksman rifle (DMR) with a fixed-stock, that is only capable of semi-automatic fire.
The battle rifle configuration is to be equipped with an interface for the Beretta GLX160 grenade launcher chambered in 40×46mm NATO, a foldable telescopic stock with adjustable cheek rest, shock absorber back plate and four fixed sling attachments. On the other hand, the designated marksman rifle (DMR) configuration is to be equipped with a computerized Intelligent Combat Sight (ICS) developed by Steiner Optics (a subsidiary of Beretta Defense Technologies), which integrates a laser rangefinder, an inclinometer and a ballistic calculator into a compact 6×40 optic.
The ARX200 features three gas settings for normal, adverse and suppressed firing, and has a cyclic rate of fire of around 600–650 rounds per minute (RPM) for its battle rifle configuration. It has a fully ambidextrous controls, including the bolt catch lever, magazine release button and fire selector. Unlike the ARX160, it is not designed to change which side the empty shells are ejected. However, the charging handle remains reversible and can be switched from the right to left side of the upper receiver and the barrel locking bolt is located in front of the magazine well. It is equipped with a quick-change, free-floating, cold hammer-forged barrel which can be removed and replaced in a minute using one wrench. It has a weight of 4.5 kg without a magazine and 8.6 lb (3.9 kg) unloaded, a length of 730 mm with the stock folded, 890 mm with the stock collapsed and 1,000 mm with the stock extended, a 406 mm (16 in) heavy barrel (excluding the flash hider) with match-grade rifling with four right-hand grooves and a 279 mm (11 in) twist rate, a monolithic upper receiver with a long Picatinny rail on top made of steel-reinforced polymer which includes internal rails for a weapon bolt carrier, a more streamlined forend for operators who use the C-clamp grip when shooting, and Beretta claims that the it has an accuracy of 1.5 MOA with 5 shots at 100 meters. The polymer lower receiver is equipped with a modular magazine well for the new Beretta 20-round polymer magazine and also has a special magazine-well adapter that can be removed in order to use the M110/SR-25 magazines.
- Albania: Used by the Military police, Special Operations Battalion and special police forces (RENEA).
- Argentina: ARX200 is set to replace the FN FAL in 2019 or 2020.
- Egypt: Used by the Sa'ka Forces.
- Italy: Used by the Italian Army, Italian Navy, Italian Air Force, Carabinieri and Special Forces.
- Kazakhstan: Used by the Kazakhstan Special Forces in 7.62×39mm with the GLX160 grenade launcher.
- Kenya: National Police Service adopted ARX200 7.62×51mm since 2017 https://www.cp24.com/world/kenyan-police-optimistic-about-finding-kidnapped-italian-1.4189337
- Kurdistan: ARX160 A2 in 5.56x45mm NATO seen in use by the Kurdish Peshmerga in 2017.
- Mexico: Used by the Federal Police and Policia Metropolitana de Guadalajara. Almost 5,687 as of November 2014.
- Pakistan: Used by the Special Security Unit Sindh.
- Poland: On order by Polish Prison Service.
- Qatar: At DIMDEX 2018 exhibition, Barzan Holding made an agreement with Beretta to create joint venture to locally produce the ARX160 and ARX200 for the Qatar Armed Forces.; 30,000 ARX200 for Qatar.
- Thailand: Royal Thai Police SWAT Team (Arintaraj 26) since 2017.
- Turkmenistan: The Military of Turkmenistan uses a total of 1,680 ARX160 A1s along with 150 GLX160s.; later, other furniture of ARX160 A3s.
- UAE:UAE Special Forces since 2012.
- United States: Fresno Police Department SWAT.
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