Last month the Croatian Ministry of Defense unveiled the final design of the VHS assault rifle (Višenamjenska Hrvatska Strojnica – Multifunctional Croatian Machinegun). The rifle has been in development for many years by Croatian manufacturer HS Produkt who are better known for their HS 2000 pistol ( sold as the Springfield Armory XD in the US).
The early prototype rifle utilized an interesting gas system. Reading the patent and other info on the internet it seemed to be a new take on gas delayed blowback. A piston is used to push back the bolt and gas is piped behind the bolt to slow it down.
The new final production model. Click to expand. (Photo by Remigiusz Wilk (REMOV))
The new model bears more than a slight resemblance to the French FAMAS. The external design is without doubt inspired by the FAMAS.
The gas system was ditched and the final production model uses direct gas impingement, the same system as the M16/AR-15, unlike the earlier model or the FAMAS, which uses a lever-delayed blowback action.
The rifle will come in two models. The 20″ barreled rifle model called the VHS-D (pictured above,) the 16″ carbine model called the VHS-K (pictured below). The VHS is chambered in the 5.56x45mm NATO and takes STANAG (AR-15) magazines. The price is estimated to be €1000.
According to Wikipedia the rifle will undergo trials in earyl 2009 and by 2012 60,000 will be in service with the Croatian army.
This video clip show the rifle in use:
Guns.ru has more info on the rifle.