Israel bids farewell to the M-16

Sunday, December 16, 2012 |  Israel Today Staff

For decades the American-made M-16 assault rifle has been the personal weapon of choice in the Israeli army. But that is coming to an end as more and more units look to outfit their soldiers with Israeli-made weapons.

In the early 2000s, Israel first introduced the homegrown Tavor rifle into service with select active infantry units. Over the past 10 years, more and more active units have taken up the Tavor to the point that the aging M-16 is largely seen as the weapon of reserve soldiers.

Israel's Ma'ariv newspaper reports that the army now wants to complete the transition and bid a final farewell to the M-16.

This is not the first time Israel has tried to equip its soldiers with locally-made weapons.

Many years ago, Israel designed an assault rifle based on the regionally-popular Russian-made AK-47. The Galil assault rifle is still used by some armored units due to its ability to fold, but was long ago removed from widespread service in favor of the M-16.

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