The Fusil Automatique Léger ("Light Automatic Rifle") or FAL is a self-loading, selective fire battle rifle produced by the Belgian armaments manufacturer Fabrique Nationale de Herstal (FN). During the Cold War, it was adopted by many North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) countries, with the notable exception of the United States. It is one of the most widely used rifles in history, having been used by over 90 countries.
The FAL was predominantly chambered for the 7.62x51mm NATO round, and because of its prevalence and widespread use among the armed forces of many NATO countries during the Cold War it was nicknamed "The right arm of the Free World."
The first prototype for the FN FAL was developed during 1947 by Dieudonné Saive, and was designed to fire the intermediate 7.92x33mm Kurz cartridge that was used by the Nazis in their StG.44 rifle during World War II. After testing this prototype in 1948, Britain urged FN to develop more prototypes, including a bullpup configuration prototype that was chambered for their new .280 British caliber intermediate cartridge. After testing the bullpup prototype, FN decided to return to the original design for future production. In 1950, the United Kingdom presented the redesigned FN FAL as well as their own EM-2 to the United States for comparison testing against the United States Army's design of the time, the T25. FN decided to hedge their bets on the U.S., as the British seemed to favor their EM-2. In 1951, the FN made a deal with the U.S. that they could produce the FAL royalty-free for the U.S., especially when the British adopted the EM-2 design the very same month. However, the deal was rescinded after the General Labor Union lost the general elections and was ousted from Parliament with Churchill regaining office, as well as Truman and Churchill getting into an argument that the British accept the EM-2 while America accepts the FN FAL in 1952. Due to insistence on continued rifle testing, the T44 won out eventually, although the FN FAL was still issued throughout NATO for the time being.
- Main article: Peace Walker Incident
During the Peace Walker Incident in 1974, the Militaires Sans Frontières procured design specs for the FN FAL in an AI weapon hangar, during an attempt to retrieve gear belonging to their captured commander, Big Boss. The MSF later managed to enhance it and make it easier to utilize by trimming down its barrel, and later, with help from specialists in optical technology, added in a targeting laser add-on. Peace Sentinel also utilized this weapon, primarily while escorting armored fighting vehicles.
Nearing the end of the Cold War, the FN FAL was starting to be replaced by several countries to update their arsenal. As a result, the United States got a surplus of these weapons, as well.
During the events of the mission to intercept Big Boss's remains in Eastern Europe, the Paradise Lost Army utilized a carbine version of the FN FAL while attempting to defend the pyx from Liquid Ocelot's army.
Behind the scenes
- "A high-performance assault rifle, one of the two mainstays of the West alongside the M16. Solid, powerful, and reliable, the FAL is a very well-rounded weapon. Its chief drawbacks are its large size, which makes it a bit unwieldy, and the high recoil produced by its high-powered ammunition, which makes it difficult to control during sustained fire.
The FAL's highly precise aim allows for AUTO AIM over a wide angle. It is versatile enough to provide stopping power from a distance while still holding its own in a sudden gun battle at close range.
(Rank 4) This model has also been fitted with a laser sight, making it quick to aim and even more effective at long-range gun battles."
- ―FN FAL weapon description in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
- Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
- Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
- Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
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