As part of a modernization process leaving the last of its MAS style bolt-action rifles behind, the French are now fielding the FN SCAR H PR.
The famed "blue devils" of the 13th Alpine Hunter Battalion (13e Bataillon de Chasseurs Alpins), a crack mountain infantry unit that dates to 1853, was the first to receive the new SCARs. Using a 20-inch barrel, a side-folding stock that is adjustable for length and height, and a 20-round detachable magazine, the 7.62 NATO rifle is the rough equivalent to the SCAR 20 on the U.S. consumer market.
The French military says the SCAR H PR "will allow marksmen to maintain superiority over the opponent, day and night, for shots up to 800 meters."
The SCAR H PR, of which 2,235 were ordered from FN for delivery by 2023, will replace the aging GIAT FR F2 sniper rifle in French military service. Introduced in 1986, the bolt-action 7.62 NATO FR F2 is an update from the earlier MAS FR F1, a 7.5x54mm bolt gun developed in the 1960s from the country's WWII-era MAS-36 rifle.
As for the 13th BCA, besides service in both World Wars – including transitioning to the Resistance after the German occupation in the latter – they have been very busy in recent years with deployments to Bosnia, Lebanon, Chad, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Djibouti.