FN F2000

FN F2000

Infobox Weapon

caption=The F2000
type=Assault rifle
used_by=See "Users"
wars=Operation Astute, War in Afghanistan
designer=Fabrique Nationale de Herstal
manufacturer=Fabrique Nationale de Herstal
variants=F2000 Tactical, F2000 S, FS2000
weight=kg to lb|3.8|sp=us|abbr=on|precision=2|wiki=yes (F2000) convert|3.6|kg|abbr=on (F2000 Tactical)
length=mm to in|690|abbr=on|precision=1|wiki=yes
cartridge=5.56x45mm NATO
action=Gas-operated, rotating bolt
rate=850 rounds/min
range=500 m
feed=30-round detachable STANAG magazine
sights=1.6x magnified telescopic sight, notch back-up sight

The F2000 is an individual 5.56 mm weapon system, developed at the turn of the 21st century by the Belgian armament manufacturer Fabrique Nationale (FN) in Herstal. The F2000 made its debut in March 2001 at the IDEX defense exhibition held in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates.

Design details

The F2000 is a modular weapon system; its main component is a compact 5.56 mm caliber assault rifle configured in a bullpup layout. This selective fire weapon is a gas-operated design utilizing a short-stroke piston system driven by propellant gases diverted into the hollow gas cylinder through a port in the barrel; it fires from a closed bolt position. The weapon is locked with a rotary bolt which features 7 radial locking lugs, a spring-powered extractor and ejector. The chamber, bolt, and ejector mechanisms can be accessed by flipping up a hinged cover in the receiver, behind the sight housing.

The weapon consists of two main assemblies: the barrel and the receiver, joined together with a latch, located above the oversized trigger guard. The barrel group is integrated with a MIL-STD-1913 Picatinny rail used to mount optical sights. The receiver housing contains the trigger group, the bolt and bolt carrier assembly, return mechanism and magazine well. A removable handguard is installed in front of the trigger which completes and encloses the trigger guard. The forward handguard can be removed to equip a variety of tactical accessories; the manufacturer offers handguard pieces with built-in laser pointers, halogen flashlights, a 40 mm grenade launcher module, shotgun, less-lethal launcher or a triple Picatinny rail forend.

The F2000 is hammer-fired and has a trigger mechanism with a fire selector unit borrowed from the P90 submachine gun; the selector toggle is a rotating disc located under the trigger. The fire selector doubles as the weapon’s manual safety and secures the firearm against accidental discharge (the selector/safety disc has 3 settings: “S” – safe, “1” – semi-automatic mode, “A” – fully automatic fire). The “safe” setting disables the trigger. Many of the internal components including the hammer and sear are made of polymer.

The F2000 uses a unique ejection system, ejecting spent cartridge casings forward and to the right side of the weapon – through a tube running alongside the barrel. This method of ejection provides for fully ambidextrous operation; the rifle can be used without any modification by both right and left-handed shooters. This ejection pattern was achieved by using a swiveling polymer tray, which receives the empty casing from the bolt face immediately after disengaging from the extractor. As the empty casing is extracted it is held while the rocker assembly tilts to lift it above and clear of the feed path as the next round is stripped from the magazine by the bolt head. The casing is fed into the tray located in a cavity in the receiver wall, which then pivots the cartridge case and directs it into a chute (above the barrel); the case is discarded from the tilting tray by being impacted by a pin on the moving bolt carrier upon its forward return. Only when the ejection tube contains more than three or four cases is the first of them ejected forward through a port just behind and to the right of the muzzle. This system is patent protected (patent number 5675924 dated 14 October 1997 by René Predazzer [http://www.google.com/patents?id=ZMEmAAAAEBAJ&dq=5675924] and patent 6389725 from February 25 2000, author – Charles Denuit). [http://www.google.com/patents?id=00kJAAAAEBAJ&dq=6389725] The ambidexterity provided by forward ejection is its most obvious benefit, and removes many of the tactical and user difficulties (such as lack of ambidexterity, inability to shoot around corners, and gas and debris released in close proximity to the shooters face) that bullpup designs usually create.

The F2000 is fed from standard NATO (STANAG 4179) box magazines with a 30-round cartridge capacity using 5.56x45mm ammunition. The magazine catch button was installed symmetrically in the pistol grip, in front of the magazine; the magazine catch is operated by an oversize actuator used when wearing NBC gloves. The F2000 is not configured from the factory to have a drop-free magazine system due to the friction from the removable dust gaskets. The magazine needs to be pulled out manually. It should also be noted that the rifle does not have a hold-open device; the bolt does not stay back after the last round is fired. The cocking handle is placed on the left side of the receiver, just above the handguard, and can be easily operated by left-handed shooters. There are no access points for the possible ingress of dirt or debris; the cocking handle slot is sealed.

The rifle’s hammer-forged steel barrel has a flash suppressor with an angled cut at the tip which directs the muzzle blast upward, compensating for muzzle rise. The F2000 has an optional bayonet lug mounted near the muzzle, and an adjustable gas regulator with two settings: "normal" for standard ammunition meeting NATO specifications, and "adverse" – used to send an increased volume of gas into the system to ensure proper functioning when fouled or when using low pressure ammunition. The weapon’s primary sight is a telescopic sight with a fixed 1.6x magnification (the reticle also enables use in low-light conditions) contained in a plastic housing above the receiver (mounted on the MIL-STD-1913 rail), the secondary sight is a non-adjustable fixed notch and front blade, molded into the optical sight housing cover. The sight cover and sight module can be quickly removed to reveal the Picatinny rail.

One of the modules developed for the F2000 system is a proprietary lightweight 40 mm under-slung GL1 grenade launcher (empty weight – 1 kg) that uses standard low-velocity 40x46mm grenades. The launcher is a single-shot breech-loaded pump-action weapon with a barrel that slides forward for loading and unloading (like the M203 grenade launcher), locked by axial rotation of the barrel. The weapon’s trigger was installed directly under the F2000's trigger so that it can be manipulated without removing the shooting hand from the rifle’s pistol grip. The breech release button is found on the left side of the launcher body, like on the M203. The grenade launcher barrel length is convert|230|mm|abbr=on|1. The grenade launcher comes with a basic flip-up ladder sight, but it was intended to be used with a specially-designed optoelectronic fire control system designated FCS, developed in cooperation with the Finnish company Noptel. The aiming module is installed in place of the standard optical sight and becomes the weapon’s primary sight when mounted, but its main purpose is to accurately determineand indicate the range of a grenade target. The module is powered by a 9 V battery pack, installed in the stock, behind the magazine well. The power pack is also intended to power any other tactical accessories or systems that could be introduced. The FCS integrates a low-power laser rangefinder (precise to within +/- 1 m), a day-time aiming channel with an electronically projected reticle, a measured range display reading and a diode elevation adjustment indicator. The fire control system calculates a firing solution manifested by the barrel’s angle of elevation using target range information from the laser rangefinder (the rangefinder is activated by pushing a button on the pistol grip, below the trigger), corrected manually by the shooter through a push-button interface (add/subtract buttons) on the FCS top cover to take account for head or tail winds that could affect the desired range. The F2000 FCS also contains software with the ballistic properties of up to six types of 40 mm grenades and can be reprogrammed to take advantage of future munition improvements.

After obtaining a range measurement, the distance to the target is displayed on a liquid crystal screen and the elevation diode flashes red. Once a correct elevation has been achieved by tilting the rifle, the diode changes color to green indicating the weapon is ready to fire. A further three signaling diodes have been installed on the top of the FCS unit, enabling accurate firing from the hip. The fire control computer makes firing regular grenades accurately much easier, though it cannot launch smart grenades. There is an Israeli system that uses the M203 and a computerized sight to fire 40 mm air burst grenades. Neither of these should be confused with the 20 mm and 25 mm grenades of the US OICW program. The FCS is under continuous development and newer versions differ somewhat from the original concept.

A 3-shot grenade launcher is also being developed for the weapon (in 40 mm). The rifle can also be adapted for police operations by using under-slung modules with a 12-gauge 5-shot shotgun or a 12-gauge less-lethal XM303 pneumatic shotgun. A module with a 20 mm grenade launcher is also planned (using 20x28mm ammunition from the OICW program) with an integrated FCS unit.


The F2000 Tactical railed variant is similar to the standard model, but it lacks the optical sight, and comes instead with an extended top receiver MIL-STD-1913 rail with flip-up iron sights.

The FS2000 is a civilian-legal, semi-automatic version of the F2000 that first became available in June 2006. The FS2000 Tactical model is equipped with an extended barrel with a permanently attached flash suppressor and a 1:7 in right hand twist rifling rate; the bayonet lug was not included on the FS2000 rifles. The lower hand guard can be removed in the same manner as the F2000 to accept the same variety of accessories. It comes with a Picatinny rail optic rail along with backup iron sights. The rear flip-up National Match-sized aperture is adjustable for windage, while the removable front sight is adjustable for elevation. A small number of the early models featured a stepped barrel contour as well as a demilled bayonet lug. A measurement of the stepped barrel's rifling was as long as the non-stepped barrel, revealing that the stepped barrel is not simply a shorter F2000 military barrel with an extended flash hider.

FN Herstal has recalled approximately four hundred early FS2000 carbines in July 2006 [ [http://www.fnhusa.com/contents/News/PDFs/7-21-06_FN_FS2000_Recall.pdf FN Herstal USA Recalls FS2000s] ] due to the heavier military firing pins causing slam fires with commercial ammunition. The fixed rifles are equipped with a reduced mass firing pin, captured firing pin spring, and a revised bolt. Some users have experienced light primer strikes and short-stroking with the recalled parts using certain types of ammunition.

A new variant of the FS2000, called the FS2000 Standard, is equipped with the factory F2000 1.6x magnification optic and sight cover. It does not contain the grenade launcher computer. The FS2000 Standard arrived in the US civilian market in December 2007.


*flag|East Timor: In the 2006 Operation Astute, peacekeeping forces led by the Australian Defence Force confiscated several of these weapons from Timorese police forces. It is not known how the rifles came into the possession of the local police force.
*flag|Belgium: The F2000 rifle has been used by the Belgian Army Special Forces Group since 2004 and is currently being issued to regular infantry formations as a successor to the FN FNC service rifle. Initially, both rifles will be used alongside each other at a rate of two F2000 per eight-person infantry squad.
*flag|Chile: The Chilean Army Special Forces ("Fuerzas Especiales") use the F2000 rifle with the P90.
*flag|Croatia: The Croatian Army tested the rifle in 2006. As of|2008, the 1st Airborne Company of the Special Operations Battalion is the only army unit equipped with this weapon. According to unofficial estimates, approx. 100 rifles have been purchased. [cite web | url=http://www.jutarnji.hr/vijesti/clanak/art-2008,9,14,,133234.jl | title=Specijalci neće ‘fantomsku pušku’ | first=Krešimir | last=Žabec | publisher="Jutarnji list" | language=Croatian | date=September 14, 2008 | accessdate=2008-09-14]
*flag|India: Used by the Special Protection Group.
*flag|Mexico: The Grupo Aeromóvil de Fuerzas Especiales of the Mexican Army uses the F2000 assault rifle.
*flag|Pakistan: The Pakistan Air Force Special Service Wing (SSW) use the F2000 among other weapons.
*flag|Peru: Peruvian Army special forces actively use the F2000 rifle.
*flag|Poland: Used by GROM in limited numbers.
*flag|Saudi Arabia: Saudi Arabia is rumored to have signed a contract with FN Herstal in 2005 for 50,000 F2000 rifles to complement their P90 purchase.
*flag|Slovenia: In June 2006, the ministry of defence of the Republic of Slovenia signed a contract with FN Herstal involving the acquisition of 6,500 F2000 rifles as the new standard service rifle for the Slovenian Armed Forces. This is arguably the first confirmed large-scale adoption for this rifle from a European and NATO member country. The basic F2000 Tactical model was upgraded according to Slovenian specifications and designated F2000 S, the most apparent feature being a raised Picatinny rail also functioning as a carrying handle. The rifle debuted on July 25 2007. Rearmament was completed by the end of 2007. In 2012 the Slovenian army is going to equip its reserve forces with the F2000 S as well. The Slovenian army will ultimately purchase 14,000 rifles. [http://www.slovenskavojska.si/poklicna/oborozitev/index.htm]
*flag|Spain: The Spanish Military have been experimenting and field testing this rifle and are expecting to put it into service in 2009 with light infantry divisions. Fact|date=September 2008


External links

* [http://www.fnherstal.com/index.php?id=184&backPID=182&productID=12&pid_product=232&pidList=182&categorySelector=1&detail= FN Herstal – F2000 official page]
* [http://www.fnherstal.com/index.php?id=184&backPID=182&productID=2&pid_product=232&pidList=182&categorySelector=1&detail= FN Herstal – F2000 Tactical official page]
* [http://www.fnherstal.com/index.php?id=272&backPID=266&productID=107&pid_product=298&pidList=266&categorySelector=8&detail= FN Herstal – the newest variation of the FCS aiming module]
* [http://www.fnhusa.com/le/products/firearms/family.asp?fid=FNF011&gid=FNG006 FNH USA – The FS2000]
* [http://world.guns.ru/assault/as41-e.htm Modern Firearms]

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