For over a century, FN Herstal has been a world leading designer and manufacturer of light and portable weapons, integrated weapon systems and ammunition. This will be demonstrated once again at IDEX this year.
The Belgian company will be exhibiting its full range of small calibre ammunition, including its famous 7.62mm x 51mm calibre (adopted as NATO standard in the 1970s), and its newer 5.7mm x28 mm calibre, which was recommended by NATO for personal defence weapons in 2003.
Further recent developments will be on display at the show. The new MINIMI™ lightweight machine gun 7.62mm x 51mm was launched onto the international market in 2006 in order to fulfil a worldwide growing requirement for a machine gun which would give the soldier the power of 7.62 ammunition combined with the weight of a 5.56 machine gun. This new weapon is specially designed for dismounted infrantrymen and special forces.
Over the last ten years, FN Herstal has seen its integrated weapon system business growing steadily. More than 1,200 helicopters and subsonic aircraft have been equipped with 7.62mm or .50 calibre machine guns, either crew served or axially mounted. On display at IDEX this year will be the Medium Ramp Pintle weapon system, which includes a .50cal M3M machine gun and can be installed on the ramp of all major helicopters.
This year, the ARROWS® (Advanced Reconnaissance and Remotely Operated Weapon System), developed in co-operation with Oerlikon Contraves, will be shown. This vehicle-mounted system can be equipped with a .50cal or 7.62mm calibre machine gun, and is able to acquire and destroy land, sea and air targets, either fixed or mobile, up to 2,500 metres away whilst offering the operator full protection.
Another focus at IDEX will be the FN303 less lethal launcher. Introduced in the early 2000s, this product has been designed to exclusively shoot less lethal projectiles. It allows neutralization and seizure of suspects with maximum effectiveness and minimum risk. The FN303 is used in many law enforcement and military missions, such as domestic violence intervention, surveillance and protection of sensitive areas, crowd control, and escorting vehicles and people, to name just a few.
Many more exhibits will also be at IDEX 2007, on FN Herstal’s stand, Hall 7, Belgian Pavilion from the 18th to the 22nd of February 2007.