Technical Specifications: AR-80 Assault Rifle
CLASSIFIED LEVEL YELLOW
PHALANX Extraterrestrial Response Unit
Technical Document, Delta Clearance
Filed: 20 March 2084
By: Cdr. Paul Navarre, R&D: Engineering Division, PHALANX, Atlantic Operations Command
The alien attack on Mumbai made our situation painfully clear. Their technology is far more advanced than ours. The complete inability of Commonwealth troops to make a dent in the Mumbai offensive revealed critical weaknesses in current military training and equipment. They lost three battalions just bringing the aliens to a standstill without inflicting significant casualties. PHALANX has to overcome these odds, and to do that we need the very best human technology has to offer.
The Excalibur Program was created to find the most effective weapons on Earth by reviewing their manufacturing standards, durability, operational record, and their combat performance in the situations where we've managed to bring the aliens to battle.
The French LeBlanc FAA-191 (Fusil Assaut Automatique) provides the most advantageous mix of range, penetration against alien armour, and magazine size in the assault rifle class. It is a bullpup design, meaning the magazine and action of the weapon are located behind the grip to reduce overall weapon length. The 191 fires a 30-round box magazine of 4.7mm caseless ammunition, tungsten-cored steel penetrators with impressive armour-piercing capability over short and medium ranges. The round does not perform well at long range, but then assault rifles aren't meant for long-range firefights.
Though the design is far from new, first prototyped in 2057, no other rifle has fully surpassed the 191. It is accurate and quick to reload. Its rugged construction makes it dependable in combat and unlikely to break or jam. It is resistant to heat, cold, dust and humidity all at once. Ammunition and replacement parts are widely available due to the design's maturity and relative popularity among Earth's armed forces. This is a rifle you can entrust your life to.
For PHALANX use, we have given this rifle the classification AR-80.
This should be our go-to weapon for medium-range engagements. It can lay down an impressive amount of fire and is deadly out to far longer ranges than any pistol or SMG.
However, no one should entertain the illusion that the assault rifle is the end-all be-all of our arsenal. A balance of weapons is required for us to be able to deal with different situations; while the assault rifle remains a good weapon at close range, it can be slow to manoeuvre in tight spaces and is eclipsed by both submachine guns and shotguns at these ranges, weapons which provide a far greater point-blank punch. Any sweep of an urban building should be led by close-range weapons, while rifle-equipped soldiers either secure the perimeter or form a second assault wave to support the others.
If our rifle-equipped troops are caught beyond effective weapon range, they should make an advance from cover to cover in order to effectively bring their weapons to bear. Snipers should provide covering fire for the advancing teams or attempt to take out the enemy at range.
While the AR-80 is a fine rifle in all respects, it was not designed to fight an alien invasion force. We should develop our own purpose-built weapons as soon as it becomes feasible to do so.