To replace the assault rifles AR-70/90, which are in service with the Italian army, the famous company “Beretta” together with the army of Italy, the development of a new generation of weapons was started as part of the national program “Soldato Futuro” (soldier of the future).
The development of new weapons was made primarily with regard to such indicators as flexibility and simplicity of design, ease of maintenance and ergonomics, using modern materials.
In 2005, Beretta demonstrated the first models of the new rifle under the designation ARX-160, and in 2008 the working prototypes.
After large-scale tests, during which 500 thousand shots were made, the new Beretta ARX-160 assault rifle of the 5.56 × 45 mm NATO assault rifle began to enter service in the Italian army in 2009.
The cost of developing the ARX-160 was estimated at 4 million euros. Part of the cost was covered by the Italian Ministry of Defense.
ARX-160 with a barrel length of 406 mm
The Beretta ARX-160 rifle is an important element of the advanced infantry equipment complex, which in addition to the rifle includes a special electro-optical sight (with optical, television and IR channels, laser designator and data transmission system), as well as a new 40mm single-shot modular GLX grenade launcher 160, which can be mounted on a Beretta ARX-160 rifle.
- The ARX-160 assault rifle uses vapor-automatic equipment with a short stroke gas piston. Locking the barrel by turning the shutter.
- The design of the rifle is provided with a bolt delay.
- Fuse-translator fire mode is located on both sides of the receiver and provides maintenance of single and automatic fire.
- The receiver is made of impact-resistant polymer.
- The body of the firing mechanism is also made of impact-resistant polymer and combined into one unit with the receiver of shops and the pistol grip.
- On the receiver and the rifle’s forearm there are aluminum guides of the Picatinny rail type, on which various accessories and additional equipment can be installed (optical and electronic sighting systems, a subbarrel grenade launcher, etc.).
ARX-160 complete with a Beretta GLX-160 grenade launcher
- The optoelectronic sighting system mounted on the ARX-160 in the image above includes day, night and conventional optical channels, a laser range finder and a ballistic computer for a grenade launcher.
- Regularly the rifle is completed with an open sight with a front sight and entirely, located on the folding quick-detachable bases.
- Weapons are powered from NATO standard stores (compatible with M16 rifles) with a capacity of 30 rounds.
- The Beretta ARX-160 assault rifle is equipped with a side-collapsible plastic butt that also has additional length adjustment (5-step telescopic mechanism).
ARX-160 with a barrel length of 406 mm with a folded butt
|Caliber, mm||5.56? 45 NATO|
|– butt folded||750|
|– butt decomposed||950|
|– the butt is laid out and pulled out||1000|
|Barrel length, mm||406|
|Shop count cartridges||thirty|
|Effective range, m||400|
Features of the machine
Unusual for this class of weapon is the ability to quickly replace the barrel in the field, without disassembling the weapon. To remove the barrel, you just need to pull the bolt back and lock it there with a bolt delay, and then press the lock button (on the right side of the receiver, in front of the magazine receiver) and remove the barrel forward.
ARX-160 incomplete disassembly
Another unusual feature of the Beretta ARX-160 rifle is the ability to quickly switch the direction of ejection of spent cartridges (to the left or right side), for which there are windows for ejection of sleeves on both sides of the receiver. Switching the direction of the ejection of the sleeves is carried out by pressing a bullet or other sharp hard object on a special cross pin located in the rear of the receiver. As a result of moving the pin on one side or the other, two symmetrically located in the gate of the ejector-reflector change their functions, ensuring the ejection of the sleeves in the desired direction.
Replacing the barrel, chamber and bolt allows the use of 5.45×39 mm ammunition in the ARX-160.
The Beretta ARX-160 assault rifle is available in three versions: standard – with a barrel length of 406 mm, shortened – with a barrel length of 305 mm and special – with a reinforced barrel with a length of 406 mm.
ARX-160 with various optional equipment