The Beretta AR70/90 is a gas operated assault rifle chambered for the 5.56×45mm NATO cartridge, and is the standard issue service rifle of the Italian Armed Forces. The weapon is also designed to be fitted with a rifle grenade, and has grenade sights. The AR series comes in many variants such as the AR90, with a wire folding stock, for use by paratroopers.
A Beretta AR70/90 SCP
|Place of origin||Italy|
|In service||AR70/223: 1972–1990|
|Used by||See Users|
|Wars||War in Afghanistan|
Mexican Drug War
|Mass||3.99 kg (8.80 lb) (varies slightly)|
|Length||998 mm (39.3 in) (varies slightly)|
|Rate of fire||650 RPM (varies slightly)|
|Muzzle velocity||950 m/s (3,100 ft/s)|
|Effective firing range||500 m (1,600 ft)|
|Feed system||30-round STANAG Magazine |
100-round C-Mag drum magazine
The Beretta AR70/90 rifle was developed in the 1980s when the Italian Government decided that its military and law enforcement agencies needed a new standard service weapon. It was made to be compatible with other NATO weapons by the adoption of standard 5.56 mm STANAG loaders, whereas the AR70/90's predecessor, the BM59, derived from the U.S. M1 Garand, was chambered in 7.62 mm (.308), another NATO caliber which today is considered suitable mostly for sniper or machine gun use. There is a semi-auto version called the AR70/90S which lacks a flash hider and bayonet mount.
As of late 2010 the AR70/90 is supplemented in service by the new Beretta ARX-160, a new project which sees a great leap forward in soldier-to-weapon interfacing, several major developments in sighting and firepower such as the integrated (and also detachable) grenade launcher GLX-160, and the "Future Soldier Program" integration.
The AR70/90 is manufactured according to 1980s standards, i.e. with limited use of polymer plastic parts and using stainless steel whenever possible (a Beretta staple). It weighs approximately 4 kg in standard configuration. It has three firing positions (full auto, three-round burst, and semi-auto) and a safe, and has a carrying handle not unlike the Vietnam-era M16, a long, bulky barrel, and a hollow stock. It is usually fitted with an ACOG or a red dot optic.
|Version||Caliber||Length||Barrel length||Mass||Effective range||Rate of fire|
|AR70/223||5.56×45mm M193||995 mm||450 mm||3.8 kg||400 m||650 rpm|
|AR70/90, SC70/90||5.56×45mm NATO||998 (756) mm||450 mm||4.07 kg||500 m||670 rpm|
|SCP70/90||5.56×45mm NATO||908 (663) mm||360 mm||3.8 kg||350 m||670 rpm|
- Albania – 5000 units gifted to the Albanian Armed Forces by Italy.
- Burkina Faso Police
- Egypt: Used by police forces
- Honduras: Delivered 1,000 in 2006.
- Indonesia: Indonesian Navy (Special Forces)
- India: Used by National Security Guard (N.S.G.)
- Italy: Army has 105,000 AR70s and 15,000 SCP70s in service; the weapons are also in service with the Navy, Air Force, Carabinieri, Guardia di Finanza and Polizia di Stato. Those models will be decommissioned in favor of the ARX-160.
- Jordan - SC70/223 is the standard carbine of the Special Forces from the 1980s
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