During the recent LAAD 20019 Defence and Security exhibition in Rio de Janeiro, State-owned IMBEL – Indústria de Material Bélico do Brasil announced that the company’s Fábrica de Itajubá (Itajubá Factory), in Minas Gerais State, is currently getting ready to start mass production of its Ca 7.62x51mm IA2 semi-auto carbine. This includes not only tooling up for the process on an internal basis, but also acquiring bulk material for the weapons’ manufacture and contracting third-party suppliers, among other required steps. Formal, official approval of the gun as a “controlled product” by the Brazilian Army was granted in September, 2017 following an intensive test program carried out by the Service’s CAEx – Centro de Avaliações do Exército (Army Evaluations Center), the former, highly-regarded Campo de Provas da Marambaia (Marambaia Proving Grounds), in Rio de Janeiro.
Primarily aimed at the local military and civil LE market, the IMBEL Ca 7.62 IA2 has inherited the tilting-block breech locking bolt, the firing mechanism and the very same 20-round steel magazine of the FAL rifle that has been manufactured at Fábrica de Itajubá since the mid-1960s, but everything else is derived from the 5.56x45mm IA2 selective fire assault rifle and the semi-auto models, this including a re-dimensioned piston gas system and other mechanical features. Polymers, of course, are found everywhere, such as in the side-folding stock, hand guards, and the pistol grip, which clearly shows less forward inclination than that of the well-known FAL.