Beretta ARX160, displayed at Interpolitex 2012.
|Place of origin||Italy|
|Used by||See Users|
|Wars||War in Afghanistan|
|Weight||*3.0 kg (6.6 lb) (empty with 302 mm (11.9 in) barrel)
|Length||*755 mm (29.7 in) (stock extended), 680 mm (27 in) (stock collapsed), 580 mm (23 in) (stock folded) (302 mm (11.9 in) barrel)
|Barrel length||302 mm (11.89 in)|
406 mm (15.98 in)
|Width||80 mm (with extended stock)|
|Cartridge||5.56×45mm NATO, 7.62×39mm, 7.62×51mm NATO|
|Action||Gas-operated rotating bolt|
|Rate of fire||700 RPM|
|Effective range||5 position rear sight up to 600 m (656 yd)|
|Feed system||30-round detachable STANAG Magazine, 100-round detachable C-Mag drum magazine|
|Sights||Front sight adjustable in elevation and windage|
The Beretta ARX160 is a modular assault 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 GLX160, which can be mounted underneath the rifle or used with an ad hoc stock system as a stand-alone weapon.
Design[edit | edit source]
The ARX160 departs from the previously issued Beretta AR70/90 on several points. The weapon is composed of an upper and lower receiver, both manufactured mostly from polymer, and operates through a short-stroke piston system. Feeding is through STANAG magazines.
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.
The lightweight barrel is chrome lined and manufactured by the hammer forging process at the Beretta factory in Gardone Val Trompia, Lombardy. The standard barrel length is 16 in (410 mm), with a 12 in (300 mm) barrel for special operators. A 16-inch heavy barrel with match-grade rifling for marksmen and a 20 in (510 mm) barrel are being tested. 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 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.
The rifle has the ability to eject shells out of either the left or right 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.
Back-up iron sights are standard and made of the same polymer as the gun'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.
Variants[edit | edit source]
Variants of the ARX160 include the ARX160A1, ARX160A2, ARX160A3 and ARX160SF.
A conversion kit in 7.62×39mm, which requires changing the barrel, bolt, lower receiver assembly, and magazine, is available. It uses standard AK/AKM magazines. Other calibers, including 5.45×39mm and 6.8mm Remington SPC were planned, but may have been cancelled.
The ARX100 is a semi-automatic only variant, featuring a 16" barrel, to make it legal for the American civilian market.
History[edit | edit source]
Developed for the Italian Armed Forces as part of the Soldato Futuro ("Future Soldier") program, the ARX160 was launched in 2008 as a commercial weapon system.
Between 2008 and 2014 around 30,000 ARX160 have been supplied to the Italian Army, Italian Navy, Italian Air Force and Italian special forces in the specific version A2 and have been since used in several missions including Afghanistan. The current program aims to replace the older Beretta AR70/90 as standard assault rifle for the Italian Armed Forces.
Foreign interest[edit | edit source]
The Beretta ARX160 was a Phase II contender 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.
Users[edit | edit source]
- Albania: Albanian Land Force and Special Operations Battalion.
- Bahrain: Bahrain Defence Force 
- Egypt: Sa'ka Forces
- Italy: Italian Army and Italian Navy. Delivered 30,000 within 2015
- Kazakhstan: Kazakhstan Special Forces in 7.62×39mm with GLX160 grenade launcher
- Mexico: Federal Police. Almost 5,687 as November 2014. Policia Metropolitana de Guadalajara.
- Pakistan: Special Security Unit Sindh 
- Paraguay: Secretaría Nacional Antidrogas (SENAD) adopted the ARX160 with suppressor and GLX160 grenade launcher.
- Turkmenistan: Military of Turkmenistan. Ordered 1,680 ARX160s along with 150 GLX160s.
Gallery[edit | edit source]
See also[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Italy’s Next Generation Rifle: The ARX 160 - SAdefensejournal.com, 19 August 2011
- The Army’s Next Generation Carbine - Cheaperthandirt.com, May 19, 2012
- Army Kills Competition to Replace M4 - Military.com, 13 June 2013
- Argentinean Special Forces Evaluating Beretta ARX 160 - Thefirearmblog.com, February 6, 2013
- India to put assault rifle contenders through winter trials - Janes.com, 4 August 2013
- "Army scraps the world's largest assault rifle tender". India Today. 1 July 2015. http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/army-tender-cancelled-multi-caliber-assault-rifles/1/448193.html. Retrieved 1 July 2015.
- BDT ARX-160: next French service rifle? - All4Shooters.com, June 3, 2015
- Mexico joins Albania and Italy as customer for new Beretta rifle, DefenceNews, September 10th, 2009 by Tom Kington
- Egyptian Navy Special Forces Adopt Beretta ARX-160 - Thefirearmblog.com, 18 July 2013
- "Kazakhstan Special Forces Adopt Beretta ARX-160 in 7.62x39mm - The Firearm Blog". The Firearm Blog. http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2013/05/08/kazakhstan-special-forces-adopt-beretta-arx-160-7-62x39mm/. Retrieved 11 November 2014.
- "Beretta ARX 160 in Turkmenistan - The Firearm Blog". The Firearm Blog. http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2012/02/27/beretta-arx-160-in-turkmenistan/. Retrieved 11 November 2014.
- Giorgio Beretta. "Italia: ecco le armi esportate da Berlusconi a dittatori e regimi autoritari". ControllArmi. http://www.disarmo.org/rete/a/36260.html. Retrieved 11 November 2014.
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