Israeli-based IWI on Wednesday announced a new AR-style modular piston rifle, the ARAD, in 5.56x45mm and .300 Blackout.
Designed for special operations and military use, the select-fire ARAD is modular, with the ability for the user to swap calibers in the field through quick-change barrel systems. Although based on the AR-15 series, the ARAD ditches direct-gas-impingement for a short-stroke gas piston operation, with a two-position (regular/suppressor) gas regulator.
Ronen Hamudot, VP of Marketing and Sales at IWI’s parent SK Group, said in a statement that demand exists for rifles that can be rapidly adapted to different calibers for diverse missions. “For this reason, for the past two years, we have invested considerable resources in expanding our range of products so that every customer can find the weapon that precisely meets their requirements,” said Hamudot.
Other features include fully ambidextrous surface controls, a two-stage enhanced trigger and a monolithic aluminum MIL-STD 1913 rail in the upper receiver. Using standard M16/AR mags, IWI notably shows off the ARAD with metal body 30-rounders, a favorite of the Israeli Defense Force. The rifle has four QD sling or cord points, a collapsible stock, and M-LOK accessory rails at the 3-, 6- and 9 o’clock positions.
While initially offered in 11.5- and 14.5-inch free-floating chrome-lined barrel variants due to its current pitch to military end-users, both 16.5- and 20-inch barrels are reportedly on the way. That fact, coupled with IWI’s track record of introducing select-fire rifles and then bringing them to the consumer market in a semi-auto format, could mean an NFA-compliant ARAD will reach U.S. shores in the future although the gun is not carried on IWI U.S.’s website at this time. Also, future caliber choices are in development.
As for now, the ARAD is set to be shown off at international defense shows in Paris and Thailand in November. Of note, the Royal Thai Army a few years ago placed a big order with IWI for more than 100,000 5.56mm Tavors as well as smaller quantities of Ace, Galil, and X95 rifles along with the company’s Negev light machine gun.