The Singapore Army has selected American firearms manufacturer Colt’s Infantry Automatic Rifle 6940 (IAR6940) as its next standard-issue automatic weapon in its army, replacing in-service ST Engineering’s 5.56 mm Ultimax 100 Mk2 light machine gun (LMG) that has been in service for over 40 years. The decision was made following months of extensive trials and evaluations of various weapon models to determine which best suits the Singapore Army. The Singapore Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) did not disclose how many IARs it will procure or if there was an agreement to produce the weapons indigenously. The Colt IAR6940 is a squad automatic weapon designed by Phil Hinckley and manufactured by Colt’s Manufacturing LLC in prototype form only.
The Colt’s Infantry Automatic Rifle 6940 was based on the design of the M16A4 series of rifles. It was made to compete with the FN HAMR and M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle for the IAR program. Three prototypes were made. A key difference of the Colt IAR from the M-16/M-4 is that the IAR operates via direct gas impingement instead of the traditional gas piston. It also features a one-piece upper receiver and a large heat sink below the barrel to better draw heat out of the barrel during extended periods of firing. It also features a fully adjustable gas regulator to fine-tune the weapon’s performance based on the ammunition used.
The Colt IAR is chambered for the 5.56x45mm and is designed to “satisfy the role currently fulfilled by the FN M249 SAW in a lighter, more man-portable package” at significant cost savings compared to the SAW. It’s operating system is direct gas impingement, similar to the AR-15, not gas piston/op-rod. The rifle also features a fully adjustable gas regulator to fine-tune the weapon’s performance based on the ammunition used. It has a patented monolithic upper receiver with MIL-STD-1913 (Picatinny) rails at the 3, 6, 9, and 12 o’clock positions. Its ambidextrous controls make it easy to operate for both right and left-handed shooters. The weapon uses standard AR-15/M16 type magazines.
Colt’s Manufacturing Company, LLC (CMC, formerly Colt’s Patent Firearms Manufacturing Company) is an American firearms manufacturer, founded in 1855 by Samuel Colt and now a subsidiary of Czech holding company Colt CZ Group. It is the successor corporation to Colt’s earlier firearms-making efforts, which started in 1836. Although Samuel Colt did not invent the revolver concept, his designs resulted in the first very successful ones. Colt is known for the engineering, production, and marketing of firearms, most especially between the 1850s and World War I. For a long time Colt was also primarily responsible for all AR-15 and M16 rifle production, as well as many derivatives of those firearms. The most successful and famous of these are numerous M16 carbines, including the Colt Commando family, and the M4 carbine.