Major Product Achievements
In the fifties, FN Herstal participated in the development of the 7.62x51mm cartridge as a standard firearm cartridge among NATO countries and developed the most successful weapons in that caliber, the FN FAL™ light automatic rifle with two million units produced, and the FN MAG® medium machine gun (U.S. M240 series) adopted by over 80 countries at today's date.
In the seventies, FN Herstal developed the 5.56x45mm SS109 round that became the NATO Standard 5.56mm cartridge and the 5.56x45mm FN MINIMI® light machine gun. The FN MINIMI® has been adopted by over 45 countries over the globe.
Since the early 1990's, FN Herstal has been involved in less lethal, which resulted into the introduction of the FN 303® less lethal launcher onto the market in 2003. The FN 303® fires specifically designed projectiles and offers military and law enforcement users an alternative to the use of firearms by neutralizing suspects with maximum effectiveness and minimum risk.
Alongside these new products, FN Herstal, in cooperation with Rheinmetall Canada, designed and developed an Advanced Reconnaissance and Remotely Operated Weapon System (ARROWS™). This system can be equipped with either a 7.62mm or a .50 cal machine gun, offering total protection for the gunner since it is aimed and fired from beneath armor.
In 2006, FN Herstal expanded its machine gun range with the new lightweight machine gun FN MINIMI® 7.62 chambered in 7.62x51mm caliber.
Simultaneously, a new lightweight remote weapons station called the deFNder® Light was developed to provide optimized remote firing capability while keeping the operator completely under armor protection. The deFNder® Light is capable of integrating three separate infantry machine guns by FN Herstal—the FN MINIMI® 5.56, the FN MINIMI® 7.62 and the FN MAG®—and features unique elevation and depression angles.
At the end of 2009, FN Herstal introduced its FN Fire Control Unit (FCU) for 40mm LV grenades, which guarantees maximized hit probability from the first shot. The FN FCU ensures automatic aiming correction as well as fast and accurate target engagement while remaining user-friendly, light and compact.
This year proves to be an extraordinarily productive year for FN Herstal, which unveiled a large number of developments at the Eurosatory Trade Show in Paris.