Argentina’s state owned defence manufacturer Fabricaciones Militares has delivered the first batch of modernised FAL rifles. Nearly 300 of the refurbished FALs have been handed over to the Argentine Army with new railed forends, stocks and top covers.
The FAL has been in Argentine service for decades and is supplemented in service by Steyr AUG and M4 carbine. Back in 2016, it was announced that Fabricaciones Militares would produce the 7.62x51mm Beretta ARX200 under license to begin replacing the venerable FAL in 2020.
The modernisation programme includes ambidextrous controls, the replacement of the standard fixed and para butt stocks in use with an adjustable telescoping butt stock, the addition of a new railed forend with picatinny rail sections at the 12, 3, 6 and 9 o’clock positions. The newly refurbished rifles also have a new top cover which is also railed giving continuous 12 o’clock rail space.
The programme began when the tenders for the upgrade and for a batch of reflex sights was released way back in late 2015, with a call for the purchase of 350 modernisation kits.
At the end of July, Fabricaciones Militares posted an announcement that the first 292 modernised FALs had been delivered (machine translated):
Within the framework of the interadministrative agreement 01/2018 signed by the General Directorate of Military Manufacturing and the Argentine Army during the month of May of the current, the delivery of 292 modernized FALs was completed.
The works developed by the Fray Luis Beltrán Military Factory on the Light Automatic rifles model IV contemplated improvements tending to the maneuverability and on the bolt system, guaranteeing in this way the degree of accuracy and reliability of the weapon.
The exact number of FALs which will be upgraded to the new modernised pattern is unknown, there has been no further updates on the indigenous production of the Beretta ARX200 since the announcement in late 2016, however, Beretta have also since signed an agreement with Qatar laying the foundations for Qatari production of the ARX160 and ARX200 under license.