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Israel has a rich history of manufacturing military arms to suit its needs. It started its very existence as a modern nation state. Relegated to hand-me-down weapons, the country found out quickly how critical a mission-specific weapons system truly is. Israel presents some of the harshest conditions on the planet for firearms operation. The climate and conditions are not conducive to the smooth operation of complicated firearms. In fact, these kinds of conditions almost certainly ensure that anything but the most robust weapon will fail. If they work in Israel, they generally work anywhere else.

Climate and conditions play a role, and so does the tactical environment. Most Israeli engagements occur in urban environments, in close quarters. While a full-length battle rifle will suffice for many troops, specialty units and policemen need more compact arms. These constraints helped create the Uzis and Micro-Galils popular among special operations soldiers. Having personally carried a Micro-Galil for years as a SWAT officer, I can attest to their reliability, ease of use and dependability. Built like small tanks, they were incredibly robust. Even so, while the AK platform is more capable of accommodating short barrels than an AR, it remains problematic. You still end up with a 10-inch or shorter barrel, providing substandard ballistics. Secondarily, you also have a small flamethrower, as there is significant muzzle blast. What Israel needed was a weapon that covered it all, and the Tavor TAR-21 from IMI (now IWI) fit the bill…

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