Belgian Company Fabrique Nationale Herstal, jointly with subcontractor OIP, have won an order from the French Army for up to 2,600 SCAR semi-automatic sniper rifles. The company has offered its SCAR-H PR (Precision Rifle) 7.62×51 mm NATO caliber with fixed buttstock for the Fusil Semi-Automatique de Précision (FPSA, or Semi-Automatic Precision Rifles) and their optics. FN Herstal partnered for this contract the Flemish company OIP Sensor Systems, based in Oudenaarde, which provides optical and aiming systems. The SCAR-H PR semi-automatic sniper rifles will be used by the marksmen in the infantry sections of the French Army.
The decision of the French General Directorate of Armament (DGA) in favor of SCAR is a surprise for the FN Herstal, which three years ago lost the competition to replace the French Army’s standard assault rifle, FAMAS. Many specialists therefore expected DGA to again prefer the German manufacturer. The contract’s value is not known, but it is generally accepted that such rifles cost about 5,000 to 6,000 euros each. A night sight system is significantly more expensive. FN Herstal will participate in the Leclerc tank renovation program, by providing light remote-controlled turrets.”
The FN SCAR (Special Operations Forces Combat Assault Rifle) is a gas-operated (short-stroke gas piston) self-loading Assault/Battle rifle with a rotating bolt. The rifle was developed by Belgian manufacturer FN Herstal (FNH) for the United States Special Operations Command (SOCOM) to satisfy the requirements of the SCAR competition. This family of rifles consist of two main types. The SCAR-L, for “light,” is chambered in 5.56×45mm NATO cartridge and the SCAR-H, for “heavy,” is chambered in 7.62×51mm NATO. Both are available in Close Quarters Combat (CQC), Standard (STD), and Long Barrel (LB) variants. As of early 2019, the FN SCAR is in service in over 20 countries.
Fabrique Nationale Herstal (National Factory Herstal), self-identified as FN Herstal and often referred to as Fabrique Nationale or simply FN, is a leading firearms manufacturer located in Herstal, Belgium, owned by the holding company Herstal Group which is in turn owned by the regional government of Wallonia. It is currently the largest exporter of military small arms in Europe. Owned by the Walloon Region, the Herstal group includes a defense and security division (FN Herstal) and a hunting and shooting division (Browning and Winchester brands). In 2018, the group recorded sales of 828.9 million euros, and posted a consolidated net profit of 59.4 million euros.