Thales Australia delivers Australian Combat Assault Rifle ACAR to Ukraine

Thales Australia, based in the New South Wales region, announced on August 7, 2023, that the Australian Combat Assault Rifle (ACAR) has been successfully supplied to Ukraine. This achievement was made possible with the support of the Australian Department of Defence, which facilitated the shipment of a limited quantity of ACAR weapons to Ukraine in early July. The delivery was part of a comprehensive package of weapons and munitions from Thales Australia's Lithgow Arms division. Reports indicate that the ACAR weapons were provided in two calibers, namely 5.56mm and 7.62mm.
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Australian Combat Assault Rifle ACAR (Picture source: Thales )

These ACAR weapons have been provided to the Ukrainian forces, allowing them to assess the utility and effectiveness of the rifle for their future needs. Initial feedback on the ACAR has been positive, and Thales expresses confidence in its performance.

Throughout its development, the ACAR has undergone rigorous testing and improvements, leading to its presentation at the 2022 Land Forces exhibition. The standard version of the ACAR is chambered in 5.56mm NATO and is also available in 7.62mm and .300 Blackout. A 6.8mm version is in the final stages of qualification.

Thales' commitment to the industrialization of the ACAR involves expanding production capacities at the Lithgow Arms facility. This initiative is expected to be completed by the first half of 2024, paving the way for large-scale production of the ACAR upon receiving orders. The company has ambitious plans to introduce the ACAR to the European market, with its official launch scheduled at the DSEI defense exhibition in the UK in September.

The specifications of the 5.56mm ACAR include a 12-inch (305mm) barrel, a length of 730mm with the adjustable buttstock collapsed, and an empty weight of 2.7kg. The magazine capacity varies from 20 to 30 rounds. Notably, the ACAR features a cold hammer-forged chrome-lined barrel, forged 7075-T6 aluminum alloy upper and lower receivers with an anodized finish, and a full-length Picatinny rail on the upper receiver. Given the adoption of noise reduction systems by the United States for all its future assault rifles, it was unlikely that the ACAR weapons would be incompatible with such devices.

Thales expects to receive further orders and is actively engaging with Australian and international stakeholders regarding the potential of the ACAR. With its advanced features, compliance with technical requirements, and the benefits of local production, the ACAR is positioned to have a significant impact on various markets, particularly in Australia. The feedback from Ukrainian soldiers on this new assault rifle is now eagerly awaited.

Thales Australia Delivers the Australian Combat Assault Rifle ACAR to Ukraine 925 002Australian Combat Assault Rifle ACAR (Picture source: Thales )