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BSDA 2024: ROMARM displays new NATO-calibre assault rifle

Two configurations of the CN-22 were displayed on ROMARM's stand at BSDA 2024 – a medium version with a shorter 13.5 inch barrel (top) and a standard version with a 16 inch barrel (bottom). (Janes/Sonny Butterworth)

Fabrica de Arme Cugir, a subsidiary of Romania's state-owned ROMARM holding company, displayed two configurations of its CN-22 assault rifle at the Black Sea Defense and Aerospace (BSDA) 2024 exhibition held in Bucharest between 22 and 24 May.

Development of the CN-22 began in 2023 in response to a requirement from the Romanian Armed Forces for a new NATO-standard service rifle to replace its inventory of Romanian derivatives of the AK-series of assault rifles. The design leveraged work from the earlier CN-20, which was essentially an AK-series rifle modified to accept the 5.56×45 mm NATO-standard cartridge.

As with the CN-20, the CN-22 is chambered for the 5.56×45 mm cartridge and its internal components are largely based on the AK gas-operated system. However, unlike the CN-20 it is configured to allow for fully ambidextrous operation and to accommodate three Picatinny rails for mounting accessories.

According to a specifications sheet that refers to the CN-20 but contains images of the CN-22, the rifle has a minimum effective range of 350 m and a rate of fire of 550 rounds per minute. Excluding its 30-round magazine, the CN-22 weighs 3.5 kg.

Two configurations of the CN-22 were presented at BSDA – a medium version with a 13.5 inch barrel and a standard version with a 16 inch barrel. These barrels are rated for a minimum of 15,000 rounds.

Both configurations of the CN-22 displayed at BSDA were equipped with flip-up iron sights, but they will also be offered with the ACS-X1 magnified red dot optic from Romanian company Stimpex.

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