A recent photograph has been posted on the Kurdish forum Kurdistan Sky Scrapers depicting a Peshmerga fighter with a Beretta Defense Technology 5.56x45mm NATO ARX 160A2 with a 12 inch barrel instead of a standard 16 inch. The rifle sports factory sights, and has an Aimpoint CompM3 (or at least an imitation) mounted on the 12 o’clock picatinny rail. Attached to the rifle is a black two point sling. The Peshmerga fighter does not have the standard issue 30 round STANG magazine inserted, although supplies of such magazines should be close at hand due to the overwhelming use of M16A2s in the region, coming through Iraqi markets and official U.S. supply lines.
Italian advisors and trainers have been working with the Peshmerga for the duration of the conflict for some time now, but this is an indication of a stronger commitment. Italy’s Defense Ministry has been on public record urging small arms shipments to various Kurdish armed groups in northern Iraq due to the perceived threat of the so-called Islamic State within Europe. However, this was back in 2014, with this statement by the Italian Defense Minister Roberta Pinotti-
Beretta Defense Technologies is making headway in a number of MENA and Central Asian countries such as Egypt and Kazakhstan when it comes to ARX 160 sales.
Caliber: 5.56x45mm NATO, 7.62×39 M43
Action: Gas operated, rotating bolt
Overall length: 820-900 mm with 406 mm barrel and butt in ready position; 680 mm with butt folded
Barrel length: 305 mm / 12″ or 406 mm / 16″, quick changeable
Weight: ~ 3.1 kg with 406 mm barrel, w/o mag
Rate of fire: 700 rounds per minute
Magazine capacity: 30 rounds