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Mostly unknown to the general public outside of the hard-line gun enthusiasts community, ST Kinetics − the land systems division of the Singapore Technologies Engineering corporation − is a true economic powerhouse for the small Asian city-state. ST Kinetics' technological know-how and manufacturing capabilities allow Singapore to self-satisfy most of its defense needs and to export defense-related products all around the world. ST Kinetics also manufactures a wide line of small arms and light weapons, well known for their original and innovative design.
The 2014 edition of the EUROSATORY expo in Paris marks the first time that ST Kinetics showcased the BMCR ("Bull-pup Modular Combat Rifle") rifle outside of Singapore; the same prototype seen at the nord Villepinte exhibition center was showcased later in 2013 at the Singapore Air Show, while the early prototypes, known as the "Next-Gen Concept Rifle", were showcased in 2012. The BMCR has been designed to overcome the drawbacks of ST Kinetics' own SAR-21 bull-pup rifle, and to meet the standards of the singaporean ACMS ("Advanced Combat Man System") program. Although no official tender has been launched by the Singaporean Armed Forces for a new rifle to replace the SAR-21, ST Kinetics is proceeding with the development of the BMCR, which may be available on the global military and law enforcement markets by early 2015.
The BMCR is not your usual bull-pup rifle; it is built around a super-reinforced, blast-proof polymer and sports front and top MIL-STD-1913 "Picatinny" rails for optical aiming systems and other tactical accessories, including undercarried grenade launchers (just like ST Kinetics' own STK-40GL).
The BMCR sports a 14.5" barrel with a proprietary muzzle brake/flash hider, and is extremely short, lightweight and balanced if compared to other bull-pups offering the same barrel lenght. It is also totally ambidextrous, and that's not just due to the controls configuration: the BMCR features a forward ejecting system that extracts all spent cases in a side tunnel, from which a piston − linked to the bolt − will then proceed to remove it forcefully, well away from the shooter's face who will be capable to shoot the BMCR from either the left or the right shoulder in order to adapt himself/herself to any available cover. Unlike other forward-ejecting bull-pups (e.g. the FN F2000 or the Kel-Tec RFB), spent cases are ejected round after round; there's no "tunnel" where they'll accumulate, waiting to be pushed outside by other spent shells or to cause a jam if the gun is fired upwards.
The top cover of the BMCR acts as a cocking handle, but is not reciprocating, so it will comfortably act as a cheekpiece. It will also provide quick and easy access to the chamber in case of any malfunction.
The ST Kinetics BMCR rifle is based upon a SAR-21 type long-stroke, adjustable gas piston system located besides the barrel, not above it. This allows a quick barrel assembly change to adapt the BMCR to fill any requested role on the battlefield, from a standard 14.5"-barrel assault carbine to a designated marksman rifle or a sustained-fire automatic rifle − both with a 20-inch barrel, albeit with a different profile. The barrel change system is different from any other bull-pup offering a quick barrel change option, and allows superior stability and accuracy.
The ST Kinetics will be offered in a basic 5.56x45mm NATO configuration, although a 7.62x51mm high-intensity combat variant is slated to be already in development to better satisfy the needs of modern warfighters.