IWI (Israeli Weapon Industries), an SK Group member and an Israeli producer of combat-proven small arms for law enforcement agencies, governments, and armies around the world, unveiled a new assault rifle at the LAAD 2019 exhibition which took place in early April in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The Carmel in 5.56x45mm caliber is a conventional configuration rifle, unlike the two previous assault rifles developed and manufactured by the company, the Tavor and the X95, which are both in a bullpup configuration. "As one of the world's leading small arms manufacturers in the world, IWI is committed to maintaining the existing markets and break into new markets," said Ronen Hamudot, IWI's VP Marketing and Sales. "We have the Micro Tavor (X95) which is one of the best weapons in the world in the bullpup configuration. The company constantly adjusts and changes weapons, and in order to meet the demands of modern warfare and to meet the needs of existing and potential customers, we have developed a new weapon in a conventional configuration."
Suited for extended combat duration, the Carmel features special steels, aviation-grade aluminum and high-impact polymers for high-performance in small unit operations across a wide range of environments and different combat scenarios. The rifle has a rotating bolt system that ensures maximum safety for the user, and is fully ambidextrous, equipped with "Picatinny" rails on all sides to allow 100% compatibility with any available sights, devices or accessories. According to the company, the rifle was designed for minimum maintenance and thus reduces operational costs and allows the use of any NATO / MIL-STD 5.56 Steel, aluminum or polymer magazines.
The Carmel is offered with four different barrel lengths: 267mm, 305mm, 368mm, and 406mm. To ensure maximum accuracy, IWI adopted the "Free Floating Barrel" solution, a quick detachable system having also been used to provide maximum modularity, which according to the company ensures barrel changing in a matter of seconds. The weight of the rifle without a magazine or sight is 3.3 kg.
Foreign sources claim that although the IDF does not show immediate interest in the acquisition of Carmel, some units have received pre-production rifles for testing and feedback. It should be noted that according to these sources, IWI continues to supply the IDF with Micro Tavor rifles (X95). Ronen Hamudot confirms that the rifle indeed received feedback from units in the IDF, but he is not aware of the intention of the IDF to purchase weapons beyond the Micro Tavor.
Hamudot says that many quantities of the rifle were delivered to a number of customers around the world for examination, and that they are now competing in a number of tenders worldwide. The choice to launch Carmel at the LAAD 2019 exhibition in Brazil was made because IWI sees Latin America as a strategic market. As for the future, Hamudot sees the Carmel as the first son in a family of weapons that they intend to develop with rifles in caliber 51X7.62 and rifles in new calibers of 6.8mm and 6.5mm.
In the Photo: The Carmel Assault Rifle at LAAD 2019, Credit: IsraelDefense