The F2000 is an assault rifle manufactured by Fabrique Nationale de Herstal (FN Herstal).
The F2000 was first introduced to the public in 2001 as a versatile yet compact rifle. It has a short-stroke gas piston system with an adjustable gas regulator, and fires the 5.56 x 45 mm NATO cartridge from AR-15 magazines. Due to the bullpup arrangement, it is compact yet with a long barrel for accurate firing, although it is slightly heavier than most carbines, such as the G36K or the M4. It features forward ejection of spent shells and a P90-style ambidextrous fire selector, and the charging handle is fully adjustable for right or left handed users.
The standard F2000 comes with a plastic forward handguard and an optical sight with 1.6x magnification. The sight cover and sight itself can be removed to reveal a Picatinny rail. The forward handguard can be removed to equip a variety of accessories such as laser aiming modules (LAM), 40 mm grenade launcher with push-button safety, 12-gauge shotgun, M303 less-lethal launcher, or the triple rail found on the F2000 Tactical. The optical sight can be replaced with a special computerized fire control system designed for the 40mm grenade launcher. The fire control computer makes firing regular grenades much easier, though it cannot fire smart grenades. There is an Israeli system that uses the M203 and computerized sight to fire 40 mm airburst grenades. Neither of these should be confused with the 20 mm and 25 mm grenades of the U.S. OICW program.
Usage around the world
A Norwegian soldier with the F2000.The F2000 rifle is a relatively new weapon system and yet unproven in actual widespread military service. Reports from limited trial and service usage are scarce. Only recently has the F2000 rifle slowly began to be seriously considered by some countries:
The F2000 rifle has been used by the Belgian Army Special Forces Group since 2004 and is a potential successor to the FN FNC currently used by the Belgian Armed Forces as a standard assault rifle.
Peruvian special forces supposedly are actively using the F2000 rifle.
The Chilean Army Special Forces ("Fuerzas Especiales") use the F2000 rifle with the FN P90.
Saudi Arabia is rumored to have signed a contract with FN Herstal in 2005 for 50,000 F2000 rifles to complement their P90s.
In June 2006, the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Slovenia signed a contract with FN Herstal to purchase 6,500 F2000 rifles as a new standard combat 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.
In 2006, the Norwegian Armed Forces started assessing several assault rifles for their new standard combat rifle, among them the F2000.
In the 2006 Operation Astute, peacemaker-forces led by the Australian Defence Forces confiscated several of the weapons from the Timorese police forces. It is not known how the rifles came into the hands of the police forces.
The F2000 platform has a bayonet lug mounted near the muzzle, and has an adjustable gas regulator with two settings: "normal" for standard ammunition meeting SAAMI or NATO specifications, and "adverse" to send more gas into the system to ensure proper functioning when fouled or when using out of spec ammunition. The chamber, rotating breech block, and ejector mechanisms can be accessed by flipping up the access cover, or known affectionately by many operators of the F2000 as the â€œtoilet seatâ€ cover. Spent cases are shifted into the ejection chute by the polymer ejector mechanism.