Rifle, 5.56 MM, SAR 80 Type Assault rifle Place of origin Singapore, United Kingdom Service history Used by See Users Wars Sri Lankan Civil War
Somali Civil War
Production history Designer Frank Waters Designed 1976-1984 Manufacturer Chartered Industries of Singapore (CIS, now ST Kinetics) No. built 20,000 (in Singapore), unknown number of exports Variants Standard, Grenade launcher Specifications Mass 3.7 kg (8.2 lb) (empty and without accessories) Length 970 millimetres (38 in), 738 millimetres (29.1 in) with butt folded Barrel length 459 millimetres (18 in) Cartridge 5.56×45mm NATO Action Gas-operated, rotating bolt Rate of fire 600 round/min Feed system Various STANAG magazines Sights Iron sights
In the late 1960s, the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) adopted the AR-15 as their main service rifle. Due to difficulties in obtaining the rifles from the United States, the Singaporean government purchased a license to domestically manufacture the M16 rifle, which was then designated the M16S1. However, the domestic rifle requirements were not sufficient to allow Chartered Industries of Singapore (CIS, now Singapore Technologies Kinetics) to economically maintain operations at its rifle factory. Export sales of the M16S1 were not a viable option. Due to the requirements of the license agreement, CIS had to request permission from Colt and the US State Department to allow any export sale, which they rarely granted.
In the early 1970s, Sterling Armaments Company engineers had developed their own 5.56 mm rifle design, the Light Automatic Rifle (LAR), but this had been shelved when Sterling acquired a manufacturing licence for the US-designed Armalite AR-18 assault rifle. While Sterling could not legally sublicense the AR-18, their LAR design was available. As a result, the new Singapore rifle design closely resembled the LAR externally while having AR-18 elements internally.
The successor to this weapon is the SR-88.
- Central African Republic: Seen in the hands of Central African Gendarmerie.
- Croatia: Croatian Army.
- Papua New Guinea: Papua New Guinea Defence Force.
- Slovenia: Slovenian Army.
- Somalia: Somalia received SAR 80s during the 1980s. Most seen in the Middle East, heavily modified by various forces fighting in the region.
- Sri Lanka
- DR Congo Some used by Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda in Democratic Republic of Congo
- Small Arms Survey (2012). "Surveying the Battlefield: Illicit Arms In Afghanistan, Iraq, and Somalia". Small Arms Survey 2012: Moving Targets. Cambridge University Press. p. 338. ISBN 978-0-521-19714-4. Archived from the original(PDF) on 2018-08-31. Retrieved2018-08-30.
- The Sterling Years: Small Arms and the Men, James Edmiston, ISBN 1848844379
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- Mikulan, K; Thomas, Nigel (12 Apr 2006).The Yugoslav Wars (1): Slovenia & Croatia 1991–95. Elite 138. Osprey Publishing. p. 49. ISBN 9781841769639.
- Popenker, Max R. "SAR-80 (Singapore)". Modern Firearms. Archived from the original on 2006-06-19. Retrieved2006-06-06.
- Alpers, Philip (2010). Karp, Aaron (ed.). The Politics of Destroying Surplus Small Arms: Inconspicuous Disarmament. Abingdon-on-Thames: Routledge Books. pp. 168–169. ISBN 978-0-415-49461-8.
- C. J., CHIVERS (January 25, 2012). "Somali Pirate Gun Locker: An Oddball Assault Rifle, at Sea". The New York Times. Retrieved23 March 2013.
- Smith, Chris (October 2003). In the Shadow of a Cease-fire: The Impacts of Small Arms Availability and Misuse in Sri Lanka(PDF). Small Arms Survey. Archived from the original(PDF) on January 12, 2011.
- Small Arms Survey (2015). "Waning Cohesion: The Rise and Fall of the FDLR–FOCA"(PDF). Small Arms Survey 2015: weapons and the world(PDF). Cambridge University Press. p. 201. Archived from the original(PDF) on July 1, 2015.