The French Army has decided to retire the old guns (dating back to the 50s) of domestic manufacture Mac-50 as well as the local version of the Beretta 92F, called Pamas G1. Both will be replaced by the Glock 17 FN, still in 9x19 mm caliber (the initial order foresees a quantity of 74.596 pieces).
To replace the FR F2 sniper rifles, however, the French turned to the Belgian factory FNH (Fabrique Nationale de Herstal), adopting the SCAR-H PR semi-automatic rifle for marksmen in 7,62x51 mm caliber, with daytime aiming optics. (with the possibility of integration with IL and IR optics). The order for the rifles amounts to a quantity of 2.237 weapons.
The French have an urgent need to have these weapons, especially as regards the SCAR. The rifle squads of the French infantry, engaged in the Barkhane operation in the Sahel, are often in a situation of inferiority compared to the jihadist groups. This situation is called Tactical overmatch, that is, it identifies a tactical situation of superiority caused by the greater ballistic performance of the former Soviet ammunition in caliber 7,62x54R and 7,62x39 mm (PKM, AKM), compared to the French one in caliber 5,56x45 NATO.
In fact, at the end of September, a first training session was organized at the Bourges military schools to facilitate the familiarization of the SCAR-H PR by its future users.
The SCAR will be distributed to each infantry squad, tracing what has already happened in the British Army rifle squads, which are equipped with the L-129A1 semiautomatic rifle in 7,62x51 mm caliber.
The first 150 rifles were delivered last December 16 to the 14th BSMAT (Base de Soutien du Matériel). In addition, the 14th BSMAT also received 5.000 Glock 17 FR pistols, a weapon "Robust, reliable and ergonomic", underlines the Ministry of the Armed Forces, "calibrated with the 9 mm PB, it has a length of 114 mm by 700 g, with a 4,5 inch barrel and a magazine capacity of 17 cartridges".
Deliveries of the new weapons will end by 2022.
Images: Armée de Terre