Singapore has chosen American firearms manufacturer Colt to supply its armed forces with infantry automatic rifles (IAR).
The decision was made following months of extensive trials and evaluations of various weapon models to determine which best suits the army.
Colt’s Infantry Automatic Rifle 6940 was picked as the suitable replacement for ST Engineering’s Ultimax 100, which has been in service with the Singapore military for over 40 years.
The country’s defense ministry did not reveal what other models were considered, but it is believed that ST Engineering pitched an updated version of its Ultimax 100.
The ministry did not disclose how many IARs it will procure or if there was an agreement to produce the weapons indigenously.
The Colt 6940
Colt’s IAR 6940 is a light machine gun that shares several common components with the M16 rifle, such as the barrel compensator, bolt carrier group, and charging handle assembly.
It fires NATO-standard 5.56x45mm ammunition.
The weapon is designed to provide sustained, fully automatic fire, thanks to its 406-millimeter-long internally chrome‐plated barrel.
The IAR 6940 is lighter and has a higher rate of fire than the previous version called the Colt Automatic Rifle.
The move to tap a foreign manufacturer has reportedly raised eyebrows in Singapore.
The Southeast Asian nation has a long history of producing indigenous weapons for its army since the 1970s.
The Singapore Army’s seven-man sections have all been equipped with domestically-developed weapons.