Suriname armed forces receive French FAMAS assault rifles
During a visit to Paramaribo on September 14 and 15, General Marc Le Bouil, the commander of the French Armed Forces in Guyana, arrived with a series of FAMAS assault rifles destined for Suriname. France and Suriname share a common border in Latin America and thus have mutual interests in the region.
On this occasion, France delivered various military equipment worth one million euros to the Surinamese armed forces, in the presence of civil and military authorities from both countries, including the French Ambassador, Nicolas de Lacoste. Over 55 cubic meters of equipment, mainly FAMAS rifles and ammunition, were transported to Paramaribo by the French Armed Forces in Guyana. However, military and security cooperation with Suriname has had its ups and downs. It was temporarily suspended in 2019 by Surinamese authorities due to incidents during operations against illegal gold mining on the Maroni River, stemming from uncertainties about the border demarcation between the two countries.
The FAMAS, an acronym for “Fusil d’Assaut de la Manufacture d’Armes de Saint-Étienne”, is a bullpup assault rifle that has been the “iconic” rifle of the French armed forces for nearly four decades. It has been gradually replaced by the HK-416F in operational units since 2017.
The FAMAS comes in two main variants, the F1 and the G2. The F1 model was produced from 1975 to 2000, with around 400,000 units built. It was initially priced at 1,500 euros, equivalent to $1,729.57 as of October 20, 2018. On the other hand, the G2 variant was produced between 1994 and 2000, with a production run of 10,000 to 15,000 units. The G2 was priced at 3,000 euros, equivalent to $3,459.15 as of the same date.
In terms of specifications, the FAMAS is a relatively lightweight weapon. The F1 model weighs 3.61 kg (approximately 7.96 lbs), while the G2 is slightly heavier at 3.8 kg (around 8.4 lbs). The overall length of the standard FAMAS is 757 mm, but there is also a Commando variant with a more compact length of 555 mm. The barrel length varies between the standard and Commando versions as well. The standard FAMAS has a barrel length of 488 mm, while the Commando version has a shorter barrel at 285 mm. Both models use the 5.56×45mm NATO cartridge and operate on a lever-delayed blowback action.
It has a rate of fire ranging from 900 to 1,100 rounds per minute. The F1 model has a muzzle velocity of 930 m/s, while the G2 slightly lags behind at 925 m/s. The effective firing range for the F1 is 300 meters, but the G2 outperforms it with an effective range of 450 meters. The maximum firing range for both models is an impressive 3,200 meters.
The F1 model uses a 25-round detachable box magazine, whereas the G2 uses a 30-round detachable box magazine that is STANAG compliant. Both models come equipped with rear aperture sights fitted with tritium night inserts and a front post, enhancing their versatility in various combat scenarios.
According to the French Embassy in Suriname, this “donation of military equipment is the largest ever made with a partner from the Guiana Plateau” and will be “accompanied by various operational, technical, and security training, particularly at the newly refurbished Savannah shooting range in central Suriname by the 9th Marine Infantry Regiment.”