Israel Weapon Industries Ltd. recently unveiled a new AR-style rifle that can quickly change from 5.56mm to .300 Blackout ammunition and is designed for special operations forces.
The .300 Blackout, developed by U.S.-based Advanced Armament Corporation, uses a 5.56mm case cut down to accept the .30-caliber bullet, so the larger round can be used with the bolt and magazine of M16s, M4s and other AR-style weapons. Only the barrel needs to be changed out.
U.S. gunmakers began designing 5.56mm/.300 Blackout conversion kits in 2017 when U.S. Special Operations Command started looking for a kit to allow operators with M4A1 carbines to switch back and forth between the two calibers to suit different missions.
IWI plans to show off its new ARAD "multi-caliber assault rifle" in 5.56mm and .300 Blackout at the Defense & Security Thailand 2019 and Milipol Paris 2019 defense shows in November.
"IWI strives to continuously adjust its products to the needs that arise from the field," Ronen Hamudot, vice president for marketing and sales at SK Group, a technology and innovation holding company that IWI belongs to, said in a recent news release.
"Today's complex arenas have created a demand for assault rifles adapted to different types of ammunition for different types of missions," he continued. "For this reason, for the past two years, we have invested considerable resources in expanding our range of products so that every customer can find the weapon that precisely meets their requirements."
The ARAD's modular design allows operators to easily dismantle and replace the barrel, according to IWI's website.
It features a short-stroke gas piston with a regulator, which allows constant operation in all environmental conditions and has a rate of fire of 700 to 1,100 rounds per minute, the website states.
ARAD weighs just over six pounds and is available with barrel lengths of 11.5 inches and 14.5 inches; it will soon be offered in 16.5- and 20-inch barrel lengths, according to the release.
It's also equipped with a picatinny rail on top and M-LOK attachment points on the sides and bottom of the handguard for mounting lights, lasers and other attachments.
-- Matthew Cox can be reached at email@example.com.