Development of this rifle began in 1967, under the leadership of the Paul Tellie, a French arms designer. This new rifle was intended to replace in service the MAS Mle.49/56 semi-automatic rifles, MAT-49 submachine guns and some MAC Mle.1929 light machine guns. First FAMAS prototype had been built in 1971. French military began to test this rifle in 1972-73, but, in the meantime, France adopted a Swiss-designed SIG SG-540 5.56mm assault rifle as an intermediate solution. FAMAS rifle was adopted by the French in 1978 and since then became a standard French Army shoulder fired small arm.
(Photo from wikipedia.org)