Brazilian Army Approves Imbel IA2 As New Standard Issue Rifle

    The Imbel IA2, a 5.56mm caliber distant relative of the FAL which has been in development since 2008, has officially been standardized by the Brazilian Army. From IHS Jane’s:

    The Brazilian Army approved the IA2 5.56×45 mm assault rifle, developed by state-owned Indústria de Material Bélico do Brasil (IMBEL), as the service’s new standard rifle.

    The decision was approved on 27 August and officially announced on 4 September in the army’s bulletin. The rifle will now progressively replace IMBEL’s M964 FAL and M964A1 MD1 (also known as PARAFAL) 7.62×51 mm rifles.

    The IA2 is a gas-operated compact weapon constructed mainly with polymers. It weighs 3.6 kg and is 850 mm long (including a 33 cm barrel) and has a conventional piston/multi-lug rotary bolt system, with semi-automatic and full-automatic modes and a 750 rounds-per-minute firing rate.

    While the IA2 shares much of its architecture with the FAL, is it not a straight FAL derivative. Unlike the tilt-locking FAL, the IA2 utilizes the ubiquitous Stoner-Johnson rotary bolt common to the AR-15, AR-18, SCAR, and many other rifles. 5.56mm USGI magazine compatibility, new polymer handguards with heat shields, and an optics-ready Picatinny top cover round out the new rifle, which is accompanied by a 7.62mm variant. A somewhat exuberant video embedded below shows the IA2 in both 5.56mm and 7.62mm versions undergoing state tests:

    We previously took a look at the IA2, including disassembly photos, last year.

    Nathaniel F

    Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. He can be reached via email at [email protected]