ST Kinetics, the land systems and specialty vehicles arm of the state-affiliated Singapore Technologies (ST) Engineering group, has unveiled the production-ready version of its fully ambidextrous 5.56 mm calibre Bullpup Multirole Combat Rifle (BMCR) at the Singapore Airshow 2018 exhibition, following the completion of qualification trials in mid-2017.
Now designated as the BR18, the rifle retains the BMCR’s overall length of 645 mm when configured as an assault rifle outfitted with a 368 mm (14.5 in) barrel, with an empty weight of 2.9 kg and chambered for the 5.56x45 mm M193 and NATO SS109 cartridges, the company's own Extended Range (ER) rounds, as well as other types of new ammunition. The company is quoting maximum effective ranges of 460 m and 800 m for the M193 and SS109 ammunition respectively, with a muzzle velocity of 860 m/s when employing SS109 rounds.
However, an ST Kinetics spokesperson told Jane’s that engineers from its Advanced Material Engineering (AME) subsidiary – which is responsible for the development of the weapon – have incorporated several improvements from user feedback from “potential local and international customers” since its 2014 debut at the Singapore Airshow.
In terms of physical form, the upper and lower receiver groups have received slight aesthetic modifications to reduce the body’s overall bulk as well as a redesigned, hollow stock. Jane’s understands that the most significant improvement, however, is a revised cocking system. Unlike the BMCR which is constructed with a polymer stock with the cheek-rest element of the butt functioning as a non-reciprocating charging-device, the BR18 has folding charging handles on both sides of the rifle. The handle is folded out by hand, pulled back with two fingers, and then released, with the force of the handle moving forward returning it to the stowage position and lock there via a spring-loaded detent.
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