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Posted: 8/5/2015 6:10:48 PM EST
Thales’s F90 rifle is to enter Australian Defence Force service, marking a new era for our soldiers and their weapons.

The Australian Department of Defence has signed an AUD 100 million contract with Thales to produce rifles, grenade launchers, spare parts and various ancillaries at Thales’s facility in Lithgow, regional NSW.

The F90 is a light, versatile weapon that meets the highest standards of performance and reliability, and has been well-received by soldiers in various trials.

Kevin Wall, Thales’s Armaments Vice President in Australia, said: “Our soldiers deserve the best possible equipment, and the F90 delivers on all counts. Enhancing the Austeyr is the most cost-effective way to deliver a capability upgrade, and we’ve worked closely with Defence and Army units to design, test and manufacture this world-class weapon. We’re now looking forward to getting it into troops’ hands as quickly as possible.”

“The F90 is born from over 100 years of engineering and manufacturing expertise at Lithgow, and this is the latest chapter in Lithgow Arms’ long contribution to Australian military operations.”

In Australian Defence Force service, the rifle will be known as the Enhanced F88 (EF88), marking a significant enhancement of the original Austeyr F88.

Two versions will be delivered – a standard rifle with a 20” barrel, plus a carbine with a 16” barrel. Deliveries to the ADF will begin in the next few weeks and phased over six years.

Thales is currently exploring export opportunities for the F90 in various markets around the world, while also developing further enhancements for the rifle, which is fitted for but not with electronic architecture including centralised power as a key future-proofing measure.

Note to editors
More information about the F90, including a video, can be found here: http://www.lithgowarms.com/portfolio-item/f90/

https://www.thalesgroup.com/en/australia/press-release/new-era-f90-assault-rifle-enters-australian-defence-force-service#.dpuf
Link Posted: 8/5/2015 6:55:43 PM EST
Ok ok ok....I had no idea what the f90 was... So I binged it...binged it hard... And being a Aug lover.. This needs to make it to the U.S. It's crazy looking and just different in a ugly beautiful way... Do want... So I took a screen shot for anyone else that doesn't know what this rifle looks like... Pretty sweet
Link Posted: 8/5/2015 7:24:13 PM EST
Things I like:

Shorter length of pull
Lighter barrel
Skeletonized receiver


Things I don't like:

Fixed barrel
Removal of the most ergonomic vfg in the history of vfg's
The front of the rail where it meets the rifle ruins the aesthetic of the classic AUG
Link Posted: 8/5/2015 9:21:43 PM EST
Originally Posted By maleante:
Thales’s F90 rifle is to enter Australian Defence Force service, marking a new era for our soldiers and their weapons.

The Australian Department of Defence has signed an AUD 100 million contract with Thales to produce rifles, grenade launchers, spare parts and various ancillaries at Thales’s facility in Lithgow, regional NSW.

The F90 is a light, versatile weapon that meets the highest standards of performance and reliability, and has been well-received by soldiers in various trials.

Kevin Wall, Thales’s Armaments Vice President in Australia, said: "Our soldiers deserve the best possible equipment, and the F90 delivers on all counts. Enhancing the Austeyr is the most cost-effective way to deliver a capability upgrade, and we’ve worked closely with Defence and Army units to design, test and manufacture this world-class weapon. We’re now looking forward to getting it into troops’ hands as quickly as possible.”

"The F90 is born from over 100 years of engineering and manufacturing expertise at Lithgow, and this is the latest chapter in Lithgow Arms’ long contribution to Australian military operations.”

In Australian Defence Force service, the rifle will be known as the Enhanced F88 (EF88), marking a significant enhancement of the original Austeyr F88.

Two versions will be delivered – a standard rifle with a 20” barrel, plus a carbine with a 16” barrel. Deliveries to the ADF will begin in the next few weeks and phased over six years.

Thales is currently exploring export opportunities for the F90 in various markets around the world, while also developing further enhancements for the rifle, which is fitted for but not with electronic architecture including centralised power as a key future-proofing measure.

Note to editors
More information about the F90, including a video, can be found here: http://www.lithgowarms.com/portfolio-item/f90/

https://www.thalesgroup.com/en/australia/press-release/new-era-f90-assault-rifle-enters-australian-defence-force-service#.dpuf
View Quote
I don't see where you're getting magpul out of this?
Link Posted: 8/5/2015 9:30:01 PM EST
maleante iirc was flashing pics of that rifle before the m1 was being shown. Dumbass me thought that was the m1!

I like the color scheme but as mentioned, where's the vfg?
Link Posted: 8/5/2015 9:40:03 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By xdmikey:
maleante iirc was flashing pics of that rifle before the m1 was being shown. Dumbass me thought that was the m1!

I like the color scheme but as mentioned, where's the vfg?
View Quote


There is a 1913 rail there so you can add the front grip of your choosing... Tango down or bcm gunfighter would be sexy even a surefire grip and light
Link Posted: 8/5/2015 10:09:36 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Sparks556:


There is a 1913 rail there so you can add the front grip of your choosing... Tango down or bcm gunfighter would be sexy even a surefire grip and light

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Originally Posted By Sparks556:
Originally Posted By xdmikey:
maleante iirc was flashing pics of that rifle before the m1 was being shown. Dumbass me thought that was the m1!

I like the color scheme but as mentioned, where's the vfg?


There is a 1913 rail there so you can add the front grip of your choosing... Tango down or bcm gunfighter would be sexy even a surefire grip and light


Steyr should offer the AUG grip as a stand alone
Link Posted: 8/5/2015 10:19:11 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/5/2015 10:24:27 PM EST by maleante]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By xdmikey:
maleante iirc was flashing pics of that rifle before the m1 was being shown. Dumbass me thought that was the m1!

I like the color scheme but as mentioned, where's the vfg?
View Quote


The F90 has been out now for quite some time as a new design. The big news is that it is finally official. With that comes the magpul AUG magazines.

The pictures up till now are not exactly what it will be. If you watch the promotional video on thales' site, you can see some differences.
The big difference that stood out to me is the shell deflector for offhand shooting.


Another thing to understand is that the F90 is NOT an AUG. It shares very little with the AUG, one of the few commonalities is the carrier itself (with parts in the carrier being different). In my opinion about the only thing AUG about it is that it accepts AUG magazines.
Link Posted: 8/5/2015 10:23:28 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By mcantu:
Steyr should offer the AUG grip as a stand alone
View Quote


I saw a picatinny attached Steyr grip. Looked bad (as in not good), Steyr kept the folding mechanism on it.
It should be a simple plastic grip just like on the AUG, but with solid mounting like all other VFG's. No need for it to stow. If Steyr won't make it, someone else needs to.
Link Posted: 8/5/2015 10:28:22 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Seven-Shooter:
I don't see where you're getting magpul out of this?
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Originally Posted By Seven-Shooter:
I don't see where you're getting magpul out of this?


Magpul just announced their new PMAG AUS GEN M3 Window 5.56×45 Magazines for Steyr AUG/F88/F90 rifles. Magpul developed them for the Australian Military who use the F88 Austeyr...

www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2014/04/22/magpul-pmag-aus-gen-m3-mags-steyr-aug


With this comes that.
Link Posted: 8/5/2015 10:38:53 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/5/2015 10:39:49 PM EST by AubrayJ]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By maleante:


The F90 has been out now for quite some time as a new design. The big news is that it is finally official. With that comes the magpul AUG magazines.

The pictures up till now are not exactly what it will be. If you watch the promotional video on thales' site, you can see some differences.
The big difference that stood out to me is the shell deflector for offhand shooting.


Another thing to understand is that the F90 is NOT an AUG. It shares very little with the AUG, one of the few commonalities is the carrier itself (with parts in the carrier being different). In my opinion about the only thing AUG about it is that it accepts AUG magazines.
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Originally Posted By maleante:
Originally Posted By xdmikey:
maleante iirc was flashing pics of that rifle before the m1 was being shown. Dumbass me thought that was the m1!

I like the color scheme but as mentioned, where's the vfg?


The F90 has been out now for quite some time as a new design. The big news is that it is finally official. With that comes the magpul AUG magazines.

The pictures up till now are not exactly what it will be. If you watch the promotional video on thales' site, you can see some differences.
The big difference that stood out to me is the shell deflector for offhand shooting.


Another thing to understand is that the F90 is NOT an AUG. It shares very little with the AUG, one of the few commonalities is the carrier itself (with parts in the carrier being different). In my opinion about the only thing AUG about it is that it accepts AUG magazines.


Looks like the , twin op rods, stock design, gas regulator, safety, mag release, rear sling swivel, trigger, takedown latch, and bayonet lug are pretty much AUG parts.

But besides those things, it isn't very much like an AUG.

AJ
Link Posted: 8/6/2015 10:15:05 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By AubrayJ:


Looks like the , twin op rods, stock design, gas regulator, safety, mag release, rear sling swivel, trigger, takedown latch, and bayonet lug are pretty much AUG parts.

But besides those things, it isn't very much like an AUG.

AJ
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Originally Posted By AubrayJ:
Originally Posted By maleante:
Originally Posted By xdmikey:
maleante iirc was flashing pics of that rifle before the m1 was being shown. Dumbass me thought that was the m1!

I like the color scheme but as mentioned, where's the vfg?


The F90 has been out now for quite some time as a new design. The big news is that it is finally official. With that comes the magpul AUG magazines.

The pictures up till now are not exactly what it will be. If you watch the promotional video on thales' site, you can see some differences.
The big difference that stood out to me is the shell deflector for offhand shooting.


Another thing to understand is that the F90 is NOT an AUG. It shares very little with the AUG, one of the few commonalities is the carrier itself (with parts in the carrier being different). In my opinion about the only thing AUG about it is that it accepts AUG magazines.


Looks like the , twin op rods, stock design, gas regulator, safety, mag release, rear sling swivel, trigger, takedown latch, and bayonet lug are pretty much AUG parts.

But besides those things, it isn't very much like an AUG.

AJ



I think he means it is not parts compatible with the AUG.
Link Posted: 8/6/2015 1:01:50 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/6/2015 1:02:21 PM EST by lazyengineer]
According to specs, looks like they shaved off about half a pound. That will be a welcome weight savings for a 7.5# rifle. But also a little misleading, since they also took off the VFG. That might be regretted, and I'm guessing many will be adding an aftermarket VFG, negating some of those weight savings.

That, or they will wrap their hands around the front area regularly - right there by the gas vent port - yea that won't be biting any recruits or anyone in a rush under high stress conditions . Lay something across that vent port next time you go shooting, for a fun show.
Link Posted: 8/6/2015 7:17:22 PM EST
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Originally Posted By maleante:




With this comes that.
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Originally Posted By maleante:
Originally Posted By Seven-Shooter:
I don't see where you're getting magpul out of this?


Magpul just announced their new PMAG AUS GEN M3 Window 5.56×45 Magazines for Steyr AUG/F88/F90 rifles. Magpul developed them for the Australian Military who use the F88 Austeyr...

www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2014/04/22/magpul-pmag-aus-gen-m3-mags-steyr-aug


With this comes that.
Ah. And there we are.

Nice to see Magpul takin additional bites out of the OEM/military supply market :D
Link Posted: 8/6/2015 9:49:25 PM EST
Whats the purpose of those holes in the stock? It seems like a great way to introduce dirt/debris into the inside of the stock and receiver?

That cant be for weight savings either...


Link Posted: 8/6/2015 10:03:09 PM EST
I am sure it is for heat disipation.

They are right over the chamber area.
Link Posted: 8/6/2015 10:37:49 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/7/2015 8:03:26 AM EST
The holes have to be for heat dissipation. That was always my o e complaint about the gun is howlong it took to cool down, essentially being wrapped in an igloo cooler....I have to umagine full auto capability only exacerbates the issue.

With regard to the VFG, I really like what they've done with the new trigger guard angles. That looks like the optimal way to hold the rifle. Not that I don't love the VFG, but i use it about as much as I don't.
Link Posted: 8/7/2015 8:36:45 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By BaronVonRiktoven:
The holes have to be for heat dissipation. That was always my o e complaint about the gun is howlong it took to cool down, essentially being wrapped in an igloo cooler....I have to umagine full auto capability only exacerbates the issue.

With regard to the VFG, I really like what they've done with the new trigger guard angles. That looks like the optimal way to hold the rifle. Not that I don't love the VFG, but i use it about as much as I don't.
View Quote


Agreed, I like the angle it kinda looks like it would have a p90 feel...
Link Posted: 8/7/2015 10:40:53 AM EST
Kinda looks like an AUG and FS2000 made a baby with that top rail/stock interface. The aesthetics don't do it for me, but Thales doesn't care about my opinion or the US consumer market.

Looking forward to the Magpul AUG mags though! Nothing wrong with Steyr, but more high quality choices is always a good thing.
Link Posted: 8/7/2015 12:14:19 PM EST
The folding foregrip looks very similar to the one Beretta uses on the PX4 Storm minus the bottom plug
Link Posted: 8/7/2015 8:06:44 PM EST
Meh. No QR barrel.

Unless the Magpul magazines are less than $20 I have no interest in them.
Link Posted: 8/7/2015 8:15:56 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/7/2015 8:21:41 PM EST by maleante]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By blfuller:
The folding foregrip looks very similar to the one Beretta uses on the PX4 Storm minus the bottom plug
http://media.midwayusa.com/productimages/880x660/Primary/523/523585.jpg
View Quote


Which is just a rebranded CAA grip.



Which is nearly identical to the TDI grip used on the F90. TDI being the company (Israeli just like CAA, etc) that supplies Steyr with the forward grips for the military A3's.

Link Posted: 8/7/2015 9:57:39 PM EST
Grip pod? Maybe? Could be a tacticool addition..
Link Posted: 8/7/2015 11:01:38 PM EST


I like the redesigned hand-guard.. Kind odd has that AR magwell hold....VFG is an option..
And the barrel fluting is a plus for weight reduction and cooling.

The holes in question? I say cooling ....


Link Posted: 8/7/2015 11:06:53 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By CopM4:


I like the redesigned hand-guard.. Kind odd has that AR magwell hold....

View Quote



I think the redesigned handguard is shaped that way to better accommodate the 40mm GL that was designed to attach to the rifle.
Link Posted: 8/8/2015 10:51:37 AM EST
I'll stick with the Steyr Aug. I don't like the non quick release barrel and the lack of VFG. The one pictured looks like garbage. I really like the Aug VFG. There aren't any after market ones that I like as much as the Aug. Plus, they would have to manufacture this thing in the US to be able to sell to civilians here. I have a Steyr Aug and don't want this thing. Next purchase is planning to be the Desert Tech MDR, not another 5.56 rifle.
Link Posted: 8/8/2015 11:51:45 AM EST
+2, since I have two. Augs.
Link Posted: 8/8/2015 9:00:50 PM EST
Hopefully the F90 is built to a better standard than the F88. That said, here are some thoughts on the design evolution.

1. Non QR barrel. When does a trooper change his barrel? How many are issued with a spare barrel so they've actually got something to change? The fact is, barrel changes are unlikely to ever be changed except at an armory or depot, and then only when replacing a shot out barrel. So why incur the weight and complexity to have a QR barrel? Deleting the QR function allowed them to attach a Picatinny rail to the receiver for either a VFG, AFG or the grenade launcher. The slot in the front of the trigger guard is so the trigger of the GL can fit through, making it easier to shoot. Attaching the GL directly to the receiver instead of the barrel keeps it from degrading the accuracy of the rifle.

2. Fluting the barrel is obviously for weight and heat dissipation. Same for skeletonizing the stock (in spots) and the receiver.

3. Picatinny rail on the side of the receiver and a longer rail on top for lights and lasers.

4. If you observe the rear of the receiver, the stock is built up in that location. There is high speed video when the GL is fired and the stock flexes almost enough for the pistol grip to contact the magazine. So the stock is strengthened where it needs to be to reduce flexion.

5. Recognition that black rifles stand out against a camo uniform, trees, grass, brush. So it gets a green and tan finish from the factory.

If it proves more durable and reliable than the F88, it will be a great improvement. The weight reduction, reduced length of pull, and the rails also address some of the reasons the Australian SAS were able to use the M4 in preference to the F88.
Link Posted: 8/10/2015 8:04:07 PM EST
Get'n some Kryptek and aus-multicam-ish on. Thanks to ADF photography...

http://images.defence.gov.au/ and search on EF88.

I'm too lazy to upload pics...


Link Posted: 8/11/2015 12:16:05 AM EST
With the 40mm it looks pretty bad ass
Link Posted: 8/11/2015 10:41:20 AM EST
Thales has said that they worked closely with Steyr in developing the F90/EF88. That makes me wonder if maybe Steyr will incorporate any of the changes into the AUG. i know they made adjustments to the bolt carrier, ejection port and gas plug to improve operation.

the things i would most like to see in an updated AUG would be the shorter length of pull and skeletonized receiver and fluted barrel in order to cut weight. somehow between the A1 and M1 the AUG picked up more than a pound in weight
Link Posted: 8/11/2015 3:27:52 PM EST
I wonder what type of arrangement that Steyr will have with Thales? I don't see why they would not export a semi-auto Law Enforcement version.
If they get to the US, they will need a US parts count. Magpul mag gets 3. Then add trigger, piston and flash hider for 6.
Hammer should be easy enough to get to 7.

Anyone know what the US parts count required would be?

Mick
Link Posted: 8/11/2015 5:38:58 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Sparks556:
With the 40mm it looks pretty bad ass
View Quote

Yes it does!
Link Posted: 8/11/2015 6:02:28 PM EST
Must HAVE This. Thales will never export to civies and Steyr is too proud to admit that the thales may be better. I appreciate all of the changes they made. Lightening the AUG is a good thing. While I love the qc barrel feature for cleaning, I could live without it for the weight savings, added chamber strength and possibility of new/larger calibers. I always wanted a 6.8 or 6.5 conversion but was told the aug QC barrel would lack the hoop strength after additional materials were removed. Looking at the pics of F90 barrel the chamber area is thicker and more traditional in shape.
Link Posted: 8/31/2015 5:11:24 PM EST
Here's a video link of the 90 in action, I would embed, but have no clue how to do it.

VIDEO LINK
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