Defensa.com reports that the Peruvian Army has awarded FN Herstal a contract for SCAR-L rifles and grenade launchers.
Peru have announced the purchase of a further 256 SCAR-L 5.56x45mm assault rifles and 24 40mm FN40GL under-barrel grenade launchers. These weapons are destined for units of Peru’s Army special forces including units assigned to the Valle de los Rios Apurimac, Ene y Mantaro (VRAEM) region, known for its cocaine production and decades-long struggle with the communist guerrilla’s organization, Shining Path.
Peru’s Marine Corps provides the country’s primary special forces, these include the Espíritus Negros and Fuerza Delta – their answer to the US’ Rangers and Delta Force. The Peruvian military feels the SCAR-L is the ideal weight for special forces operations in the country’s dense jungle regions.
This is not Peru’s first purchase from the famous Belgium small arms manufacturer having already purchased a number of bullpup F2000 and FN P90 PDWs. The Peruvian regular army is currently armed with a confusing array of infantry rifles in various calibers including M16s, M4s, AKMs, and Galils. In a move to standardize Peru is acquiring over 8,100 FN SCAR-H 7.62x51mm rifles, it deploys as standard issue rifles to some of its front line units. The $31.5 million contact for SCAR-Hs was signed in 2013 and a separate deal was made for 1,640 SCAR-Ls. The new contract brings the Peruvian inventory of 5.56 SCARs to around 3,500 rifles.
FN Herstal is also currently fulfilling another Peruvian military contract to provide the Peruvian Marine Corps with 700 new SCAR-Ls. The purchase of the smaller caliber SCAR-Ls and grenade launchers comes as the Peruvian government steps up its efforts to combat the illegal production of Cocaine in the VRAEM region and tackle increasing attacks from Communist insurgent groups in the area.