Offering a variety of options to accommodate ever-evolving mission requirements, Beretta’s ARX160 is a truly innovative military battle rifle that adapts not only to the needs of mission at hand but to the operator as well. Seen here with Beretta’s GLX160 40mm grenade launcher and Aimpoint CompM4.
With the United States still looking at the possibility of a new carbine and/or rifle for its forces, many weapons manufacturers are still working to meet that solicitation, bringing a number of new rifles and innovations to the fore. Although many are simply variations on the existing platform, some are truly different. Piston systems are the norm and ergonomics is key. The idea is to provide a rifle that will fit just about anyone that needs it, without regard to size or arm length. The newest systems are all about being modular, lightweight, and operator-friendly.
One of the terms you hear most often is modularity. It is sort of the catchphrase of this generation of weapons. This is mostly the ability to use one basic platform and configure it for different missions. At the Special Operations level that may require configuring the rifle for a shorter barrel, or even a different caliber. The idea is to have one rifle with interchangeable parts rather than three or four rifles.
On a broader scale, it means one basic rifle can be used across all the services with simple changes. Not every service wants a 12-inch barrel, they may want a 16- or even 20-inch barrel. Not everyone needs to have a grenade launcher or bipod attached. From a logistics standpoint, having a different system for each need is a nightmare, not to mention somewhat expensive.