|Cartridge type||5.56 x 45 mm (.233 Rem)|
|Dimensions and weight|
|Total weight (with loaded magazine)||4 440 g|
|Total weight (with empty magazine)||3 820 g|
|Overall length||805 mm|
|Barrels length||508 mm|
|Rate of fire||450 - 650 rpm|
|Practical rate of fire||40 - 100 rpm|
|Magazine capacity||30 rounds|
|Range of effective fire||more than 500 m|
The SAR-21 assault rifle was first publicly presented in 1999
at DSEi 99 defense exhibition. Assault rifle is recently used by Singapore
Armed Forces as the main infantry assault rifle. In the future SAR-21
should fully replace recently used M16S1 automatic rifle (Singapore
variant of the M16A1 automatic rifle), SAR-80 and SR-88 rifles. The SAR-21
assault rifle was developed by Singapore Technologies Kinetics company. It is also offered for export military
and law enforcement sales.
Rifles automatic works on gas returning principle threw the barrel's walls. It's automatic principle is similar to Kalashnikov's assault rifle family principle. Reloading handle is placed over the barrel box. When the gun is fired reloading handle stays stable. The SAR-21 executes single or automatic fire. It has no separate detail as a fire mode changer. It executes single fire when trigger is pushed once and unremitting fire - when trigger is pushed to the end and held accordingly. The safety-lock is placed at the front of the trigger guard.
The assault rifle's developers obviously tried to join reliability of the AK rifles and fire accuracy of M-16 automatic rifle. Rifle is built on "bullpup" principle which gives it a number of advantages. First of all assault rifle has a smaller dimensions comparing with assault rifles based on traditional scheme. While SAR-21 is much shorter than the M16 rifle it has the same barrel's length consequently as the fire accuracy. It's small dimensions allow to fire SAR-21 comfortably from the inside of the armored personnel carriers and the infantry combat vehicles. Secondly it has low recoil as the recoil power pushes rifle straight backwards preventing it's tossing after the each shot.
The SAR-21 barrel's box is made from plastic polymer. The gun is comfortable to carry and fire. Like the Kalashnikov's assault rifles SAR-21 has a very few mechanisms. All of the major parts are connected together by a push-pins and can be disassembled in field condition during a minute without any tools. Rifle's reliability is equal to Kalashnikov's rifles reliability. That is to say it fires even after immersing it under the water or in the mud. Assault rifle does not requires precision care like M16 or the greatest part of the western countries rifles. These feature make rifle easy in maintenance.
Rifle use 30 round box magazine. Magazine is made from transparent plastic what allows to control a number of rounds left.
Standard rifles variant is fitted with 1.5x magnification optical sight built-in the carrying handle. However assault rifle is fitted with a simple opened sight mounted over the optical one. It is intended to use in close combat when optics isn't reasonable. Standard SAR-21 rifle has an interesting feature - it is fitted with laser aiming module (LAM). It is built-in inside the foregrip. It emits either visible or infrared beams. The LAM switch is built into the forearm of the rifle.
There were developed modifications the SAR-21 P and SAR-21 RIS of the base assault rifle. The SAR-21 P (Picatinny rail) and SAR-21 RIS (Rail Interface System) both has a multipurpose standard NATO rail over the barrel's box instead of carrying handle with built-in optical sight. Such rail is intended for a various sights such as collimator or night vision. In these versions reloading handle is placed from the left side. The SAR-21 RIS has a one more additional accessories rail placed instead the foregrip. It is intended to use tactical flashlights, laser sights, additional handles and other accessories.
The SAR-21 assault rifle can be fitted with knife-bayonet attached over the barrel or 40-mm underbarrel grenade launcher such as US M203 or Singapore CIS 40GL.
SAR-21 assault rifle has a great reliability and fire accuracy reinforced by optical sight. It is comfortable to use and easy in maintenance. It can be partly dismantled in a minute. It's small dimensions and recoil power makes it ideal for the Airborne troops and the Special Forces. Great dimensions trigger guard allows to execute fire wearing gloves. Amount of the fire mode changer as a separate detail makes unnecessary mode changing depending on the situation. Rifle can be reloaded from the each hand. One more interesting feature that rifles cartridge receiver has built-in safety system, which protects shooter's face in case of the cartridge cases explosion. Built-in laser aiming module extends the abilities of the standard assault rifle. The SAR-21 RIS model allows to complete assault rifle depending on the combat mission.
Shooter has no ability to change cartridge cases extraction side like the AUG assault rifle what makes it uncomfortable to use for the left-handed shooters. The "bullpup" scheme rifles have a common disadvantage as far as it is uncomfortable and longer to change magazine. Opened sight has a too high and short sighting line. It makes harder to aim properly (lower fire accuracy) and firing from the covers shooter have to uncover almost to his waist to make a sighted shot. Assault rifle is a bit uncomfortable in the bayonet combat comparing with the traditional rifles of it's short length.