Next-generation assault rifle unveiled

Staff writer, with CNA

Sat, Jun 06, 2015 - Page 3

The armed forces on Thursday unveiled a next-generation assault rifle developed by the Armament Bureau’s 205th Armory.

The gold-plated model XT-105 rifle displayed at a press event in Kaohsiung was the first off the production line. The 205th Armory started developing the weapon in 2012.

The rifle is designed to meet the stringent tactical requirements of modern urban warfare, counterterrorism and close quarters combat, the armory said.

Dubbed a multiutilization special rifle (MSR), the 5.56mm by 45mm weapon is designed for versatility and can be fitted with barrels of three different lengths — 300mm, 360mm and 450mm.

It can also be outfitted with attachments, sights and optical scopes without the need for additional gun mounts and railing systems.

The weapon ejects spent shells forward to the right so there is no danger of burns to the operator.

The next-generation weapon features high accuracy and low recoil, an ambidextrous design and a collapsible stock for easy handling.

The weapon also forgoes the three-round burst firing mode, allowing for a more manageable fully automatic mode at a lower rate of fire.

Although the 205th Armory declined to give details, it said it may consider export of the X105, which can be customized to buyers’ needs.

The 205th Armory also showcased the XT-104, a 9mm sub-machine gun with low recoil that can be easily operated, even by novices; the K1 pistol with a laser-guided sight; and a close quarters combat version of the armed forces’ mainstay T-91 rifle, with a shorter barrel.

The 205th Armory traces its roots to the Qing Dynasty, when it was known as the Suzhou Western Artillery Bureau under imperial rule.

It moved to Kaohsiung as part of the retreat to Taiwan in 1949 after the Nationalists were defeated by Chinese Communist forces in the Chinese Civil War.

Since then, the 205th Armory has developed a number of weapons for the armed forces, including the T65 and T91 assault rifles, the T-75 20mm cannon, and various other small arms.